Over the past year connected fitness devices -- activity trackers and sensor-laden wearables -- have consistently made headlines. By far the largest company working in wearable fitness devices, Nike, which offers the wrist-worn FuelBand, recently announced the first class of startups accepted into its Nike+ accelerator. The company aims to build an ecosystem of apps around its Nike Fuel platform and, in the process, to increase loyalty among users of its FuelBand device. Jawbone, which is the next largest company working on fitness wearables like its UP device, made a big move last week by acquiring longtime health sensor company BodyMedia for an undisclosed sum. Fitbit just commercially launched its latest activity tracking device, Fitbit Flex, this week. Misfit Wearable's first generation Shine device is set to ship next month and Basis has the next batch of Basis Bands in-stock and for sale again, too.
While all of these devices connect back to companion smartphone apps and online dashboards (some more easily than others, of course), the smartphone itself is still a very capable piece of sensor-equipped hardware in its own right. Fitness apps abound for iPhone and Android users.
Apple sells many self-tracking devices both online and at its brick-and-mortar stores, but judging by the 42 apps that Apple hand-picked to feature in its "Let's Get Moving" section of the iTunes AppStore, the company is clearly rooting for the fitness apps that don't require any additional hardware, too. In fact, not a single companion app for a dedicated health tracker device is featured among the activity tracking apps that Apple highlights in this AppStore section.
Apple divides its "Let's Get Moving" section into a few key subcategories: Top iPhone Workout apps -- mostly for lifting weights and other in-place type exercise routines; Top iPhone Running apps; Top iPhone Cycling apps; Top iPhone Swimming apps; Top iPhone Walking apps; and Top iPhone Yoga apps. Notably, many of the "walking" apps have tracking capabilities for running and cycling, too, as do some apps in the "running" category. Many of the more popular activity tracking apps aim to track more than just one type of activity.
While there's plenty of excitement around dedicated health and fitness tracking devices, Apple's software-only list of standalone fitness apps is a good reminder that the smartphone can track most activities without the help of peripheral fitness devices.
In the pages to follow is MobiHealthNews' guide to Apple's list of top iPhone fitness apps along with a few screenshots, a short description, links, and pricing information. Skip ahead to app categories using these links: Workout Apps; Running Apps; Cycling Apps; Swimming Apps; Walking Apps; Yoga Apps.
Apple's Top iPhone Fitness Workout Apps
FitnessBuilder -- Free (for one month) -- $6.99 - $299.99
Fitness Builder describes itself as a portable personal trainer that guides you through complete fitness plans and lets you drag and drop different exercises to create your own workout session. The app includes a library of more than 6,000 exercise images and videos produced by the company's exercise physiologist, physical therapy and orthopedist team. The app also includes: "challenging workouts across all disciplines (over 800), access to a live personal trainer and the most complete set of workout building & performing tools, fitness calculators, tracking, scheduling and progress graphing features –on this app and syncing to the web." Basic subscription runs $6.99 and scales up to a $299.99 fee for physical therapy-focused subscriptions. MORE
P90X - $2.99
From the app description: "The breakthrough workout program that revolutionized home fitness now has a companion app that lets you Bring It! on your iPhone, so you can get even more amazing results—and work out with P90X anywhere. Keep track of your sets, reps, and weights, view your progress, log your nutrition, and share your results. With interactive features like these, you'll stay motivated and accountable to get more out of P90X and P90X2 than ever." Also includes a discount for those looking to buy the workout DVDs, too. MORE
Nike Training Club -- Free
From the app description: "Get lean, toned and strong with more than 100 custom-built workouts. Take your goal further with all-new NikeFuel and calorie data. Unlock exclusive extra workouts from Rihanna’s personal trainer Ary Nuñez and professional athletes like Hope Solo, Serena Williams and Paula Radcliffe. Detailed instructions and audio support are on hand to help you perfect each of Nike Training Club’s dynamic drills. Choose a workout that fits your goal. Set it to your music, share your progress, earn your rewards. And just see the results." MORE
DailyBurn - Video Workouts -- Free (one month) -- $9.99/month or $64.99/year
From the app description: "No matter what type of workouts you need or want, DailyBurn has you covered. We have cardio, strength, yoga, kickboxing, abs, mobility, core, metabolic conditioning, stretching, and more. We have workouts for beginners that are just getting started, and advanced workouts for those that really need a challenge. Each member of the DB6, DailyBurn's elite trainers, was specifically selected to give you access to a complete trainer team with different strengths and capabilities. You can get a bodyweight cardio workout from Cody, a strength workout from JR, or a kickboxing workout from Keiara." MORE
Gipis Running -- 5K, 10K, Half-marathon -- Free
From the app description: "Want to start running? Or run a marathon under 3:00:00? Gipis creates a personal training plan that is designed specifically for you! 1. Set your running goal. 2. Get your personal training plan. 3. Start tracking your runs. Training plan adjusts to your progress & automatically updates every time you track a run." MORE