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11 Apps to help you exercise at home during the lockdown

Be it cardio, strength training, weightlifting, yoga or meditation, whatever form of exercise you’re into, there’s an app for it. Below are few to help you kick off a new work routine or continue your existing one at home during the 21-day lockdown.

As of midnight, on Thursday, 26 March 2020, South Africa will go on a countrywide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Although President Cyril Ramaphosa recommended social distancing in his 15 March address, many gyms had not closed their doors. However, with the lockdown in place, and for the health and safety of South Africans, keeping their doors open will no longer be an option. In fact, on Tuesday, 24 March Virgin Active, the country’s biggest gym chain, sent emails and SMSes out to members that it would be closing its doors in line with the lockdown, as well as freezing membership fees.

However, that is no reason to stop working out and lose out on potential physical as well as mental health benefits of exercise. There are a lot of apps designed to help with working out at home. For many who might have been training in gyms without guidance, there is the added bonus of exercise guidelines, many of them completely, except for WiFi and data costs. If you’ve been thinking of kicking off an exercise programme, this period at home and the accompanying risk of finding oneself overwhelmed by anxiety over the coronavirus epidemic, is an even greater reason make time to work out, start a yoga routine, or meditate, all in an effort to keep healthy and relieve stress.

We’ve put together a list of free, free with in-app purchases, as well as paid-for subscription apps that you can download to start your home workout programme.

Training apps

Adidas Training by Runtastic

Screenshot from the App Store

The app has numerous workout plans designed for different fitness levels and exercise durations, from as short as 7 mins, most of which you can do with no equipment necessary. There are also over 180 videos which help demonstrate exercises as well as a voice coach. If you’re not sure where to start, you can use the app to put together a training programme. Although not necessary, if you’re looking for a more personalised programme, there is an option for a paid subscription premium membership.

Price: Free, with optional in-app purchases

App store rating out of 5 stars: 4.8 on Google Play, 4.7 on Apple’s App store

Nike Training Club

Screenshot from the App Store

This app offers body-part focused routines, targeting abs & core, arms & shoulders, and glutes and legs; as well as boxing, yoga, strength, endurance and mobility workouts. In addition to voice coaching, there are also videos to demonstrate different workouts. There are also celebrity guided workouts featuring the likes of Serena Williams, Kevin Hart, Ellie Goulding and more. If space at home is limited, make sure to check out their “big workouts for small spaces”. And it’s all free.

Price: Free

App store rating out of 5 stars: 4.2 on Google Play, 4.8 on Apple’s App store

Johnson and Johnson 7-minute workout

Screenshot from the App Store

Designed by Chris Jordan, Director of Exercise Physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, the app features a variety of 7-minute workouts with video demonstrations as well as a voice coach. You can also choose a workout with a longer duration, or combine different workouts to create a longer session.

Price: Free

App store rating out of 5 stars: 4.7 on Google Play, 4.7 on Apple’s App store

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Weightlifting apps

Jefit

Screenshot from the App Store

Bodybuilding requires discipline, and if you have weights at home and looking for those gains through a disciplined and regimented programme is what you’re after, Jefit might be your thing. We recommend this one for dedicated workout enthusiasts.

Price: Free to download, but needs a subscription to use effectively

App store rating out of 5 stars: 4.7 on Google Play, 4.8 on Apple’s App store

Beginner gym workout – 4 days a week plan

Screenshot from the App Store

While technique may not be the most important thing when you’re starting a training programme, when it comes to bodybuilding, the better the technique, the better your results. This app will teach you the basics of weight training, as well as let you know what equipment you need.

Price: Free

App store rating out of 5 stars: 4.5 on Google Play

Kettlebell by Fitify

Screenshot from the App Store

This is a strictly Kettlebell affair, so in order to use it, you have to make use of kettlebells. The instruction videos are light on data, which is great if you’re not using a Wi-Fi connection. There are several routines; you can combine a few exercises that work for you or use one of their prepared programmes that focus on core strength, shoulder and back, upper body, or a full-body workout. It’s mostly free, but if you prefer, you can opt for paid premium workouts.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

App store rating out of 5 stars: 4.7 on Google Play, 4.8 on Apple’s App store

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Yoga apps

Daily yoga

Screenshot from the App Store

Daily yoga is full of video classes that cater to practitioners across different levels, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi. They promise “500+ asanas, 70+ yoga programmes, 500+ guided yoga, pilates, and meditation sessions.” There are quite a lot of free classes with video and audio instructions, as well as paid options.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

App store rating out of 5 stars: 4.7 on Google Play, 4.8 on Apple’s App store

Yoga studio

Screenshot from the App Store

Yoga studio is quite a comprehensive resource of yoga and meditation content, with instruction on accurate poses, HD video classes, scheduling, tracking, as well as goal-oriented plans. However, although it is free to download, most of its content requires a subscription.

Price: Free to download, but needs a subscription to use effectively

App store rating out of 5 stars: 3.9 on Google Play, 4.4 on Apple’s App store

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Meditation

Headspace

Screenshot from the App Store

Headspace has over 500 themed meditations that cover stress, anxiety, mindfulness and sleep. Whether you’re a beginner or well-experienced, you’ll find something. However, while there are some free basic meditation options, you’ll definitely need to pay the subscription to get the most out of it.

Price: Free to download, but needs a subscription to use effectively

App store rating out of 5 stars: 3.5 on Google Play, 4.9 on Apple’s App store

Calm

Screenshot from the App Store

Calm offers a selection of guided meditation sessions from as short as three minutes through to 25 minutes, covering a multitude of topics including calming anxiety, breaking habits, forgiveness, gratitude and many more. There is a reasonable amount of free content as well as prepared meditation programmes, like “21 days of calm”. Superstar athlete Lebron James even has a course on the app with tips on mental fitness.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

App store rating out of 5 stars: 4.4 on Google Play, 4.8 on Apple’s App store

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The all-rounder

Aaptiv

Screenshot from the App Store

Aaptive feels massive, because it is. Unlike most of the popular apps which have put a strong focus on video, Aaptiv bets on variety and upbeat audio. Its classes are audio-only, with some training classes offering short video demonstrations of the exercises that you can watch before or during the workout. The selection of workout ranges from strength training, to cardio, to yoga, through to meditation. The instructors are upbeat, supported by a selection of popular pop tracks across different genres. You can also filter your workouts by trainer so that you can exercise to your preferred trainers. However, this doesn’t come cheap. To access the workouts, you have to have a subscription.

Price: Free to download, but needs a subscription to use

App store rating out of 5 stars: 3.8 on Google Play, 4.7 on Apple’s App store ML

What apps have you used that have helped you with your workout routine? Let us know in the below comments section!

If you would like to share your ideas or suggestions with us, please leave a comment below or email us at [email protected] and [email protected].

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