Monday, December 11, 2017

Unless you really know what you’re doing, it can be easy to waste time when working out, aimlessly drifting from machine to mat without actually doing much working.

You can solve this problem with a personal trainer, or extensive planning, or you can just download one of the many excellent workout apps that exist for your smartphone.

These will do all the planning for you, and chuck in some motivation too. Here are the best workout apps.

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Cody

It’s all very well hitting the iron with all your might – you’ll certainly make waves in the size and strength departments – but don’t forget about your structural health. Working on your flexibility and posture is the key to remaining supple and it also aids recovery from intense exercise. Cody offers a vast range of interactive classes in yoga, pilates, flexibility and restorative stretching. Free, App Store and Google Play, codyapp.com

LDNM Workout App

The two sets of brothers from south London who run LDN Muscle have built a huge social media following with years of helpful advice. They’ve helped thousands transform their bodies, and their training and nutrition guides are now available through a handy app. £1.99, App Store and Google Play, ldnmuscle.com

Under Armour Record

Arguably the world’s leading sports clothing brand, Under Armour now has the Record app which offers a similarly industry-topping approach to your fitness goals. All-encompassing, this app can help you target fat loss, muscle gain, sports performance and sleep improvement. Free, App Store and Google Play, record.underarmour.co.uk

Gravitus

This pure strength-training app provides an exercise bible, workout templates and a training log so you can track the progress made on your lifts. What sets Gravitus apart from similar apps is its social function, which connects you to other users while also providing a league table of strength rankings. Free, App Store, gravitus.co

BurnAlong

All the workout videos in this app require minimal or no equipment, so you can follow along wherever you are. There is a large variety of classes to try, from Pilates and yoga to boxing and HIIT, as well as six-week training programmes if you’re after something more involved than a one-off session. Free one-month trial then £9.49 monthly, App Store and Google Play, burnalong.com

RISETODAY

If you like the freedom of being able to pick and choose your workout classes without signing up for a full gym membership, but still want to access the flashiest studios, this app might be able to help. You can search by location and class type to find whatever workout you fancy that day at a time that suits you. RISETODAY also lists facilities like tennis courts and coaches, if you’re after some one-on-one guidance. Free, App Store and Google Play, risetoday.co

Beachbody On Demand

Get access to the hugely popular series of Beachbody training programmes, including Insanity and Core De Force. You can stream the videos or download them to your device to watch at your convenience. If you have an Apple Watch or Wahoo TICKR X chest strap, you can link them to the app for heart rate and calorie tracking during the workouts. £39 quarterly, App Store and Google Play, beachbodyondemand.co.uk

Freeletics Bodyweight

There are four Freeletics apps available: Bodyweight, Gym, Running and Nutrition. We’ve picked out the bodyweight app because, as you might have guessed, all its guided workouts require next-to-no equipment so you can do them pretty much anywhere and any time. The Freeletics packages aren’t cheap, but they’ll provide a comprehensive, personalised workout plan for you that fits both your existing level of fitness and your schedule, so there’s no reason not to stick to it. App free, £32.99 for three-month plan, App Store and Google Play, freeletics.com

CARROT Fit

A welcome attempt to bring some humour into the world of workouts. CARROT Fit talks you through seven-minute workouts that use conventional bodyweight exercises renamed as dragon mating dances, celebrity face punches or something equally silly. The app’s AI will also insult you, quite a lot. It’s not for everyone, but if you’ve had no success with normal seven-minute workouts it’ll cost you less than a fiver to try something very different. £3.99, App Store, meetcarrot.com/fit

30 Day Fitness Challenge

The best way to start your fitness kick with a bang is to cash in all that early confidence by committing to a 30-day challenge. This app has three 30-day challenges available: full body, abs and butt, for those who are really committed to sculpting their glutes. Free, Google Play

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Keelo

This app contains a huge library of short (20 minutes max) and original HIIT workouts so you’ll always have something new to try. There are also HD videos to guide you through all the exercise and an Apple Watch app so you can work out without having to use your phone. Free, Pro £7.99 monthly, App Store, keelo.com

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Sworkit

This excellent app splits its bodyweight workouts into four categories – strength, cardio, yoga and stretching. Once you’ve selected from that quartet, you pick the part of the body you want to focus on or opt for a full-body workout, and set how long you want to exercise for, and Sworkit will guide you through a variety of exercises in a circuit. Free, pro £2.29 monthly, App Store and Google Play, sworkit.com

Runtastic Six Pack Abs

Whole-body fitness is overrated, it’s all about six-pack abs, and this app will help get you there. Or just strengthen your core a bit, which is also good. Free, pro £3.99, App Store, Google Play and Windows Phone Store, runtastic.com/sixpack

StrongLifts 5×5

Take all the thought out of your weights routine. This app tells you what exercises to do, with what weight, the sets and reps, and how long to rest between sets. Free, £7.99 for Power Pack, App Store and Google Play, stronglifts.com

Seven

No-one can get fit in six minutes, seven is the bare minimum required. That’s still not a long time though and you don’t even have to plan out the seven minutes, as this app will do it all for you. Free, £1.49 for extra workouts, App Store, Google Play and Windows Phone Store, perigee.se

Intervals

If you’re clued up enough to know what exercises you want to do in your HIIT sessions, but want a purpose-built timer to keep you on track, you can’t do better than this clear and simple app. Free, pro £2.99, available on the App Store

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FitStar

It’s pricy, but still a lot cheaper than hiring a real-life personal trainer, and the bespoke exercise plans in the FitStar app are almost as good as the real thing. £5.99 monthly, £29.99 annually, App Store and Google Play, fitstar.com

MINDBODY

Your ticket to a million boutique gyms and studios, and all the classes they contain. MINDBODY lets you search for classes by type and location, so you can always find a workout suited to you at a moment’s notice. Free, App Store and Google Play, mindbodyonline.com

Gymaholic

With a huge library of exercises and routines this is another great option for weights enthusiasts, but what really makes this app stand out is the 3D augmented-reality animated exercises. Basically, a little green virtual person pops up and shows you how to do exercises. You have to see it to believe it. Free, pro £2.99, App Store, gymaholic.me

Pocket Yoga

If weights and HIIT classes leave you cold then this simple yoga app, which guides you through over 200 poses and 27 different sessions, might be more up your street. £2.29-£2.51, App Store (£2.29) and Google Play (£2.51), pocketyoga.com

Fitocracy

Laden with social features and a gamification system that allows you to “level up” as you get fitter, Fitocracy is a whole lot of fun, and also an excellent workout tracker. Free, pro £3.99 monthly, App Store and Google Play, fitocracy.com