Going to the gym can be such a production: There's time spent getting dressed and ready, heading to your gym or studio, and then up to an hour spent actually working out.
On especially busy days, it's just not feasible to dedicate practically two whole hours to exercising. But that doesn't mean you should slack off completely - there are tons of apps out there dedicated to fast, effective workouts right on your phone or tablet. Convenient and efficient, these apps are way
better than a DVD or YouTube video, thanks to interactive features. We tested a few, so we could report on which ones we like best.
Right from the start, the clean layout had us convinced that we were going to like this app. And we were right! The 19-minute intro session (we chose intermediate) follows models that flow through the poses in a clear, uninterrupted way that introduces the names of each pose. There were chaturangas
(the hallmark of vinyasa yoga), which increased heart rate and made us sweat. After a session, we felt limber and warmed up. Try the Freestyle sessions, including Standing Traveler for when you're waiting in line, or Morning Mix for a quick a.m. sesh.
This app is straightforward, simple and effective. First, watch the exercise tutorials. This part takes a few minutes, but you only need to watch them the first time you use it. Then hit the giant "start" button, and the app runs you through 10 exercises blending cardio and strength training, like jumping lunges, mountain climbers and squat jumps. There are 15 seconds to rest between each exercise, and you can adjust the rest period in settings. The only negative about this app is that there's no model doing the exercises along with you, so you need to rely on your own memory to know how to do each one. It's a great workout - try doing a few reps and you'll really feel the burn!
Want to run a race but not sure how to train by yourself? This app by Zen Labs Fitness takes you through the motions, and if you can step outside and run for a half an hour, then this is a great tool to guide your training sessions and keep you feeling motivated. Over the course of eight weeks, the app alternates walking and jogging in increased intervals until you've worked your way up to jogging 2.75 miles on your own. I love that it times the intervals for you, like a personal trainer. Even as you near the race, the workout doesn't exceed 38 minutes including warm-up and cool-down.