Shape Best In Fitness Awards 2023: Best Virtual Fitness Platforms and Apps

Whether you love to run, lift, or dance, these virtual fitness platforms and apps are ready to help you move.

FightCamp / Nike Training Club / Peloton.

The past few years have brought in a wave of new and innovative fitness apps and online streaming services, all with the goal of helping you get moving from the comfort of your own home — no matter your preferred method or budget. But some virtual fitness offerings are a cut above the rest, thanks to progress-tracking features, gorgeous filming locations, countless class options, and more.

Here, Shape editors and experts call attention to the apps and online platforms worth signing up for, whether you're in need of an accountability partner, a community, or a variety of workout methods.

Best App for Personal Training: Future

The Future app has reimagined personal training for the digital age. The app pairs you with a coach, who creates a workout plan that fits your schedule, goals, and available equipment. Each workout is loaded into the app, with instructional videos and helpful tips from your coach. At $149 a month, it's a lower price point than a traditional personal training session (which can run up to $100 an hour).


Future Personal Training App, $149/month

Expert Review: "I have been so impressed with this app in the months that I've been using it. My coach has been incredibly responsive and was able to program smart workouts (and recovery days) during a particularly hectic month of travel. It's super easy to give my coach feedback on what I did and didn't like, and I love that I feel like I'm actually progressing toward my goals instead of doing the same workouts over and over again." Kristen Geil, NASM-certified personal trainer and Shape senior fitness editor

Best App for Tracking Progress: Fitbit

In a single app, you can see how you’re progressing toward your daily goals for steps, distance, active minutes, and calories burned (if that’s your jam), plus view your pace, time, and distance while running, walking, and hiking. Log your workouts, and you’ll see how much you’ve moved throughout the month on an exercise calendar.


Fitbit App, free

Expert Review: “I love using my Fitbit band and the accompanying app to track my progress. I can easily access all my stats on my wrist or the app, no matter where I am.” — Phyllicia Bonanno, yoga and meditation instructor and Sweat trainer

Best Workout App for Beginner Exercisers: Apple Fitness+

It's fair to assume that you have at least one Apple product that you can't live without for one reason or another. But with the launch of the Apple Fitness+ in 2021, the brand has become a must-have for fitness fans, as well. Hundreds of workouts are available to stream from your iPad, Apple TV, or iPhone, and Apple Watch users can connect their device to view metrics (heart rate, calories, time, and activity ring status) during a workout right on the screen. Choose to pay a monthly fee of $9.99, or annual fee of $79.99.

Apple Fitness+

Apple Fitness+ App, $9.99/month or $79.99/year

Expert Review: “While Apple Fitness+ has classes for people of all fitness levels, I love that it offers specific programs for true beginners looking to get into an exercise routine for the first time. The learning curve and intimidation factor around exercise can make getting started a high barrier for entry, but Apple Fitness+ makes fitness feel fun, accessible, and inclusive." Alyssa Sparacino, ACE-certified personal trainer and Shape editorial director

Best Free Workout App: Nike Training Club

The Nike Training Club app offers high-quality virtual fitness classes you can access at home or on the go. Choose from HIIT, strength training, running, yoga, meditation, and more classes taught by qualified instructors. You can take a single class, or start a series with a trainer that aims to help you build strength and confidence in a specific area over time.

Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club App, free

Expert Review: "This app has a solid variety of workout types to choose from. There are options for bodyweight only and full gym equipment, which I appreciate as someone who likes to work out at home with minimal equipment. I also enjoy the motivation I get to finish a series once I start one." Christie Calucchia, Shape news editor

Best App with Training Programs: Sweat

You'll never feel lost with your workout routine with Sweat, which offers more than 40 training programs, including high-intensity strength, low-impact HIIT, pre- and postpartum, Pilates, and more. Through the platform, you can schedule your workouts, receive reminders to tackle a session, and see your workout history throughout the month so you can stay on track with your goals. While the app originally only featured founder Kayla Itsines' mostly-HIIT workouts, it's since expanded to include multiple trainers with diverse backgrounds who offer instruction in multiple types of training. After a seven-day free trial, you can pay $19.99 per month or $119.94 annually.

Sweat App

Sweat App, $19.99/month or $119.94/year

Expert Review: "The programs let you choose from resistance, cardio, recovery, or rest days, so you can easily tailor a week of workouts to whatever your mood and/or body needs. While other fitness apps have left me bored or questioning my technique, Sweat does such a great job breaking down each move with easy-to-follow video clips and tips that I couldn’t help but commit for the long haul." — Hayley Mason, Shape and InStyle general manager

Best Workout Timer App: Interval Timer

This simple, user-friendly app is ideal for anyone trying to program certain work-to-rest intervals during HIIT, running, circuits, and more. Choose from a variety of customized variables, such as the number of sets, countdown time, set time, rest time, and more, to create the exact workout you want. The app stays on display even when your phone or tablet is locked, so you don't have to fumble with electronics to see how many minutes you have left.

Interval Timer

Interval Timer App, free

Expert Review: "I used this app exclusively when I was teaching HIIT group fitness classes, and now I use it for my own strength and cardio workouts, too. I love how easy it is to read the screen from far away (thanks to the bold numbers and color-coordinating countdowns), and a major bonus is that it works seamlessly with my workout playlists for a complete experience." — Geil

Best Community Experience In App: Strava

Strava is a running, cycling, and hiking tracking app that offers both free and subscription-based memberships. Not only does it keep track of your performance, but it also allows you to post your activities so others can give you kudos on your workouts. You can like and comment on activities people you follow post, giving you an extra bit of motivation to get moving.

Strava: Run, Ride, Hike

Strava App, free

Expert Review: "I don't start a run before opening up this app. It allows you to track your runs for free and offers detailed maps, along with badges for achieving certain accomplishments, such as a new segment PR. You can adjust settings to alert you when you’ve hit a certain distance, which helps with keeping pace. It also has a community aspect I enjoy. You can follow friends and like and comment when people post their activities." — Calucchia

Best IRL-Like Virtual Workout: Alo Moves

The on-demand yoga, strength, Pilates, HIIT, and mindfulness virtual workouts available on Alo Moves will mentally transport you to gorgeous studios, calm beaches, mountaintop retreats, and beyond. With dozens of instructors, hundreds of classes, and countless “studio” locations, your movement practice will never go stale. After a seven-day free trial, pay $20 per month or $99.50 per year for your membership.

Alo Moves

Alo Moves App, $20/month or $99.50/year

Expert Review: "I love that I can filter videos by time, instructor, and workout type. Plus, when I follow along with a specific series, it keeps me motivated to keep coming back to the app. The instructors are super engaging, giving you the feeling of working out alongside someone else, even if you're alone in your living room (which I often am!)." — Calucchia

Best Running App: Nike Run Club

Whether you’re dreaming of running a mile without a break or you’re aiming to finally cross that half marathon off your goal list, Nike Run Club provides helpful tools to get you there. Use the app to track your progress and runs or follow along with training plans designed for long or short distances, outside runs, and treadmill sprints. The app also has playlists to go along with different runs and Headspace-guided motivations to get you in the right mindset.

Nike Run Club

Nike Run Club App, free

Expert Review: "As someone who gets bored with running quickly, the Nike Run Club app makes me feel like I’m playing a game. I can easily set goals in the app to work toward with friends, and we share our stats to hold each other accountable." — Mason

Best Low-Impact Workout App: Melissa Wood Health

Whether you’re in the mood for a gentle stretch session, endurance-building barre class, or upbeat dance workout, Melissa Wood Health’s online fitness studio has you covered. New classes are released three times a week, and pregnant and postpartum folks can even find workouts designed to support the core and pelvic floor. After a seven-day free trial, you'll pay $9.99 per month or $99 per year.

MWH: Fitness + Wellness

Melissa Wood Health App, $9.99/month or $99/year

Expert Review: “MWH has wonderful mini meditations coupled with bodyweight classes that work for all levels — there's truly something for everyone. The fitness community is vibrant, and they also have wonderful paths (think: guided training programs) for beginners and people getting back into movement, which I find super helpful and accessible.” Marietta Alessi, Shape social media director

Best Yoga App: The Underbelly

Co-founded by inclusive wellness advocate Jessamyn Stanley, The Underbelly offers breathwork and yoga flows that celebrate inclusivity, accessibility, and community, and you can also stream the workouts on Roku, Apple TV, or any smart TV. After a 14-day free trial, pay $19.99 per month or $180 per year.

The Underbelly

The Underbelly App, $19.99/month or $180/year

Expert Review: "I love the variety of yoga classes available on The Underbelly app. The range of classes is suitable for both a beginner and advanced yogi with plenty of encouragement from the instructors." Jessica Rihal, certified yoga teacher and meditation instructor

Best Healthy Lifestyle App: the be.come project

Created by Bethany C. Meyers, this accessible, body-neutral fitness platform sends you a 25-minute movement routine, featuring a mix of Pilates, yoga, and dance, each week that you’ll do repeatedly over the course of seven days to build strength and confidence. All of the routines are zero-impact, bodyweight-driven, and modifiable so you can meet yourself where you’re at each day. After a 10-day free trial, the cost is $35 per month.

The Be.come Project

the be.come project App, $35/month

Expert Review: “Instead of using an exercise app to lose weight or try to maintain weight loss, the experts featured on the be.come project app believe movement, on any level, is the goal. It's about loving and appreciating the body you have and moving to feel good." — Alessi

Best Streaming Workouts (Free): Fit by Mik

There's no better way to jump back into a workout routine than with something that can be done in the privacy and comfort of your living room. Fit by Mik workouts, led by Mikayla Czubak, a certified fitness instructor with a degree in kinesiology, are easy to follow, use minimal equipment, and range from 15 to 30 minutes — no counting reps required. 

Fit By Mik

Fit by Mik YouTube Channel, free

Expert Review: "Like a lot of people, I got really into running and long walks during the pandemic, but my weight training routine has been slow to come back. Workouts that don't require the mental energy of creating a weight-lifting plan and tracking reps are where I'm at for the time being, and Fit by Mik has become one of my favorite workouts. Czubak's workouts are fun, and I know I can commit to 20 minutes even on my lowest motivation days. The challenge series also takes the guesswork out of it with a whole month of programming." Shannon Bauer, Shape senior commerce editor

Best Streaming Workouts (Subscription): Peloton

Even without any Peloton equipment, you can still access their classes using the Peloton app. Along with the basics (yoga, strength, cardio, stretching, and barre), you'll also find guided audio programs for running and walking outdoors and addicting visualization charts to keep you motivated and consistent. After a 30-day free trial, you'll pay $12.99 per month.

Peloton - Fitness & Workouts

Peloton App, $12.99/month

Expert Review: "I use the Peloton app almost every single day — yes, for strength and HIIT workouts, but also for yoga, stretching, and meditation. The instructors are both incredibly informed and so charismatic, they make you feel like they're actually talking to you. Plus, I love that you can preview playlists before starting a class — nothing worse than not vibing with your workout tunes." — Geil

Best Workout Variety: Obé Fitness

Obé's live and on-demand selections include more than 20 types of classes, from barre to dance to mini-trampoline (yes, really). You can narrow down the options based on class length (from five to 60 minutes), fitness level, equipment, music, and more. After a seven-day free trial, pay $24.99 per month or $169.99 annually.

Obé Fitness

Obé Fitness, $24.99/month or $169.99/year

Expert Review: “Obé classes are my at-home workout of choice when I feel motivated to exercise but not brave enough to drag myself to the gym. That’s because the instructors are witty and uplifting, and I always end a class in a better mood than I started it.” Renee Cherry, Shape associate editor

Best Meditation App: Insight Timer

With more than 130,000 free guided meditations, Insight Timer offers meditations for every category you can think of — anxiety, calm, stress relief, tough work days, and more. You can also explore themed playlists, which group meditations by category to take any decision fatigue out of the equation. While the app is free, Insight Timer offers a Member Plus option to support access to free meditation; this membership costs $60 per year and comes with extra features such as offline listening, high-quality audio, and an advanced audio player.

Insight Timer

Insight Timer App, free

Expert Review: "This app has so many options for both long and short meditations across virtually every meditation style and method — you'll literally never run out. I love that it gives you a little background info on each instructor and an option to donate or tip the deserving instructors." — Rihal

Best App for Quick Workouts: Fitbit Premium

The app offers more than 200 workouts spanning modalities, including HIIT, mobility training, and yoga, and has a 15-minute-and-under video series that makes it a breeze to squeeze a workout in during your lunch break. You can also follow along with workouts from partners such as Les Mills and Daily Burn without needing to purchase additional subscriptions. You can choose to pay for Fitbit Premium on a monthly basis ($9.99/month) or annually ($79.99 per year).

FitBit Premium

Fitbit Premium App, $9.99/month or $79.99/year

Expert Review: “What I love about the Fitbit Premium app is that there's a ton of body diversity featured across the instructors, and there are even wheelchair workouts, so it's super inclusive. The 15-minute series also features different types of workouts from partners such as obé, so if you've been curious about trying others out, you can here!” — Alessi

Best App for Body and Mind: Fabletics FIT App

For a well-rounded approach to health, the Fabletics FIT app goes beyond the usual workouts to include meditations, challenges, on-demand classes, and 30-day programs. If you're already a Fabletics member, your membership to the FIT app is free; otherwise, it's $14.99 per month.

Fabletics FIT App

Fabletics FIT App, $14.99/month

Expert Review: "I love the variety of instructors and workouts available on the Fabletics FIT app. Plus, there's very good representation among the diverse instructors, including plus-size, male, and Spanish-speaking instructors." — Rihal

Best Boxing App: FightCamp

Boxing newbies and pros alike can benefit from this app, which offers instructional programs that lay out the basics of the sport and advanced tracks for experienced athletes. Try one of the app’s 1,000-plus boxing and kickboxing workouts, compete against other members, or sync the platform with the brand’s trackers to see your punch count, speed, and total output on the screen. The app costs $39 per month, not including the cost of equipment (such as the trackers or the punching bag).

FightCamp Home Boxing Workouts

FightCamp App, $39/month

Expert Review: “FightCamp breaks down boxing into different, easy-to-follow programs so you can get the footwork down, then move into adding punches, and eventually work your way up to combos. This is the first app that I've seen that really emulates what it's like to be in a true boxing class where you have a coach telling you what you need to do in order to grow your skillset.” — Alessi

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