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Going to the gym isn't my favorite thing to do. However, it's one of those things that we do because it's good for us. We feel better and hopefully, the lasting results of us going day after day will show. This summer with the kids being home, I've fallen out of the three times a week gym routine and even my daily walks aren't as frequent and it's starting to show. Although, I've never really been a fan of fitness DVDs, I was willing to try out a few iPhone and iPad apps to lead me through a few fast exercises from home. Here are four apps that I found that will motivate you and keep your fitness routine on track.
I love a good cardio workout. I love to sweat as it makes me feel very productive for the day. If that sounds like the kind of workout you usually go for, this app is for you. Power 20 is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) app that features three workout levels for you to choose from featuring plyometric exercises. Plyometrics are fast and powerful movements designed to raise your heart rate for optimal cardio benefits to improve your endurance, strength, balance and muscle tone. Exercises include planks, squats, lunges and pushups. You also can choose the scene of your workout from the gym, to the beach, to a private yacht. Each time you pass a workout, a new workout can be unlocked making sure that the workout is never boring and instructions are clear so you can have proper form while performing the exercises.
I really liked the workouts and it definitely provided a good sweat session. After the first couple of workouts, I was sore which showed me that I definitely needed to do lunges more frequently but that the workout was working. However, the different scenes like the private yacht were a little cheesy for me but it kept me motivated through the workout as I thought about wearing a swimsuit on the beach.
If you are a regular at yoga class, this app is a great one for you to try at home. The Yoga Studio app features 30 ready-made video yoga classes and has a library of over 280 poses with detailed instructions and advice on each pose. You can customize and create your own video class if you feel you need a class that is more advanced or less complicated. You can also choose from a 15-, 30- or 60-minute class depending on the amount of time you have to dedicate to your workout. The app also allows you to schedule your class in your calendar so that you can carve out the time for your workout, motivating you not to skip it. Each yoga class is customized right down to you deciding the class atmosphere by selecting the background music, ambient sounds or creating your own playlist from your own music library.
I am not normally a huge yoga fan but I do love a good stretch session. I liked that I could create my own video very easily in 15-minute increments as a complement to any other workout I was doing for the day. I think an expert yogi would love the pose library and could probably be challenged with some of the pose blocks that the app has. The app is also great for travel as you don't need a Wi-Fi connection to run it once it's downloaded on your phone.
Get It^Yoga Studio, $4, at iTunes.com for the iPhone and iPad.
FitStar Personal Trainer
A great mix of cardio and strength training, this app is for the person that likes an all-around body workout with your own personal coach. Hosted by NFL star Tony Gonzalez, FitStar features custom workout videos based on the information you input into the app about your personal fitness goals, body type and fitness capabilities. The app allows you to work out and progress at your own pace so that you stay motivated and challenged. Videos show you each move while the host, Tony, does the coaching and you can add friends to your FitStar to compare workouts and share challenges. You can also add your own custom music playlist and stream through Apple TV to play on your TV at home.
This app has great videos with good instruction. Coach Tony doesn't bark at you, which was what I was expecting, but rather motivates you when you think, "Is there more?" While you do have access to a lot of videos, if you wanted to do more there is an upgrade to the premium version of the app for $5 per month. The free version was plenty for me and they also offered other videos to complement the regular workouts like 10 minute Abs and a Date Night workout which was only 12 minutes long.
Get It^FitStar Personal Trainer, FREE, at iTunes.com.
If you don't like doing the same workout twice, this app is the best option for you. DailyBurn is an app that offers over 100 full-length fitness videos from dance aerobics to yoga to cardio sculpt. To watch the videos you do need to have an internet connection and you can connect other fitness tools like the Fitbit via Bluetooth to enhance your workout and keep you motivated. This app can also stream through Apple TV and each workout is taught by a certified fitness instructor. To get started you input your fitness goal and capabilities and from there the app recommends videos for you to start with. If you don't like any of them, not to worry, keep searching until you find one that works for you.
I love being able to get an intense workout in 20 minutes or less and the ones the app picked for me were great to start with like Inferno and Core. I do wish you didn't need an internet connection to watch the videos as we had camping plans that didn't involve being wired for the weekend and I actually missed doing the workout video.