TOP Fitness Apps for Exercise, Calorie, Progress and Performance Tracking

TOP Fitness Apps for Exercise, Calorie, Progress and Performance Tracking

Fitness apps are excellent tools to help you measure your goals, maintain motivation, and have a nice overview of your progress. Among their main features are access to a library of workout videos, recording workouts, and tracking gradual progress. These technologies continually improve and offer broader possibilities each year, and there are new fitness apps coming out each year. As a result, navigating them can be challenging, and finding one that suits your specific needs may be difficult.

For some, an app that counts steps and records approximate burned calories is sufficient. More sports-oriented individuals may need an app that can recognize ongoing activity and measure several important metrics, including pulse during training. Others may prefer an app with stored GPS coordinates and visuals of running routes, information about elevation, or the distance covered. All of this should, of course, be fully synchronized with smartwatches for the most accurate data and convenient use. In this article, we’ll look at how to choose a fitness app that’s right for you.

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Are Fitness Apps Useful?

Many people who have never tried any fitness apps may be sceptical about them. They may wonder whether these tools work and are useful. In short, the answer is yes. They have many interesting features that will fit well into the mosaic of your fitness routine. Some offer, for example, a personal trainer in your pocket with whom you can be in regular contact. Others stand out with their series of training videos to learn proper exercise techniques.

The best fitness apps add structure and progress measurement tools to your active lifestyle. In favour of these apps, a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that fitness apps focused on monitoring progress, which can track movement, increased participants’ average physical activity levels by 2,000 steps per day. Even a basic pedometer on your smartphone can motivate you in this regard. With it, you can compare yourself with your friends, see who has managed to take more steps per day, week, or month, and mutual rivalry can drive you forward. [1 – 2]

Fitness Apps for Home Workouts

What Types of Apps Exist?

Navigating through apps nowadays can be quite challenging because their range is truly wide. Basic categorization can help, though. Depending on their purpose, sports apps can be divided into three types, even though specific classifications can be challenging due to their wide-ranging features. At their core, we could separate them into [3]:

  • Fitness Apps: These generally include workout videos, plans, and instructions for various exercises, along with journals, challenges, or useful articles.
  • Nutrition Apps: These help develop dietary habits in line with specific goals. They make it easier to track calorie intake, control weight, or monitor hydration.
  • Tracking Apps: Practical tools composed of various functions. They can count steps, monitor sports activities, and offer useful analyses. They are usually synchronized with smartwatches or fitness trackers, allowing them to count laps in the pool or calories burned.
  • Combined Apps: These offer various functions under one roof, including a trainer, calorie tables, articles, exercise tips, and more.

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Benefits of Using Fitness Apps

Now that we’ve categorized the apps, let’s explore what you can expect from them and the benefits they offer. It’s important to note that their functions may vary, but the foundation usually remains the same.

What Sports Apps Bring to the Table

From sports apps, you can expect, for example [4 – 6]:

  1. Goal Setting and Progress Tracking: Most apps allow you to define specific goals, such as a certain number of steps per day, a target running distance, or the amount of calories to burn. These apps, coupled with smart accessories, calculate these metrics, giving you an easier overview of whether you’re approaching your goal. This function helps maintain motivation, push boundaries, and celebrate achievements.
  2. Physical Activity Tracking: Some applications, in conjunction with watches or fitness bracelets, can distinguish various sports activities. For instance, when they detect swimming, they will automatically start counting laps, or during running, they will measure the covered distance. This, once again, is a great tool in connection with your goals to measure your progress.
  3. Heart Rate Tracking: In conjunction with smartwatches or bands, this is another useful function. It allows you to monitor your heart rate during exercise. The app usually stores and analyzes this data, providing recommendations. This feature helps you track your fitness level and progress over time.
  4. Coaching: Specific fitness apps are able to hide personal trainers in your pocket. They offer their own workout videos, various tips, or the opportunity to learn the correct exercise technique. The advantage is that you usually don’t need any expensive equipment for these workouts. All you need is the desire to train and the basics, like a mat or sportswear. This approach is an ideal starting point, especially for beginners, who may be shy about the gym and prefer to exercise comfortably at home.
  5. Health Data Analysis: Advanced apps, combined with expensive watches or smart rings, can measure various health functions. The already mentioned heart rate tracking is standard, but additional features such as EKG, blood oxygenation, or sleep monitoring are also available. These functions can be useful not only for athletes but also for anyone interested in their health.

Selection of the Best Motivational and Progress-Tracking Apps

We’ll categorize individual apps for better orientation.

Fitness and Tracking Apps

1. Freeletics

  • Bodyweight exercises, audio coaching, nutritional lessons, personalized training

Freeletics is a comprehensive solution for those seeking to exercise with their body weight or selected equipment such as kettlebells, dumbbells, or a flat bench. It also includes running and features its training system based on High-Intensity Training (HIT) and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) methods, grouped into 30-minute workouts offering over a thousand different variations. The app creates a tailored training plan based on the goals you set in the entry questionnaire, whether it’s building muscle, losing weight, or improving overall fitness. Each workout can be customized, making Freeletics suitable for both beginners and advanced athletes.

The latest version of the app utilizes artificial intelligence, works with data, and provides various recommendations based on your goals. It also includes audio coaching to teach you how to maintain self-discipline and motivation. Depending on the subscription, Freeletics also offers lessons in nutrition to comprehensively approach the path to your better self. [7]

Fitness and Tracking Apps

2. FitOn

  • Workouts, motivation, fitness recipes, meal plans

FitOn is a hub for a wide range of workouts and training courses, including strength training, yoga, HIIT, cardio, Pilates, and even dance. Some sessions are led by well-known faces and celebrity trainers like Julianne Hough, Cassey Ho, or Kenta Seki. FitOn also features various leaderboards that can motivate you, and it can measure various metrics, such as heart rate.

3. SWEAT with Kayla

  • Workouts, recipes, physical activity tracking

The SWEAT with Kayla app is particularly popular amongst women, as it is backed by the popular fitness influencer Kayla Itsines, inspiring millions of fans worldwide. With her own app, she has created a hub where you can find numerous fitness instructors offering specialized exercise programs. The main features are primarily focused on women and include over 40 workouts, recipes, physical activity tracking, and community tools. [10]

4. Adidas Running: Walk & Run App (Runtastic)

  • Tracking, personalized training, workout programs, motivational playlists

The Adidas Running: Walk & Run App, belonging to Adidas, is a popular running app encompassing all the favourite running features, including GPS tracking, personalized training, time tracking, and community options. With Runtastic, you can easily track every running route and progress over time. It provides specific statistics for comparison with other runners, helping to maintain your motivation.

Customized workout programs, a built-in music player for motivational playlists, and audio signals are also part of the app. These audio signals can kickstart your run or regularly update you on each kilometer, along with the achieved time and burned calories. Runtastic is free in its basic version, which you can enhance with a premium membership for additional features. [11]

5. Fitify

  • Workout videos, healthy recipes

Exercise anytime, anywhere. This is the mantra of the Fitify app, offering a personalized experience and a tailor-made workout plan. Its pace adapts to each individual, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users. The app includes detailed workout videos led by professional trainers and comprehensive instructions for proper exercise execution.

Their offer is quite diverse as well, with Fitify featuring over 900 workouts, including HIIT, yoga, and strength exercises. You don’t need any special equipment, but if you have some, it might come in handy. Equipment like TRX suspension set, a set of resistance bands, or at least an exercise mat can be effectively utilized. The app also includes a virtual cookbook with over a thousand healthy recipes.

Training App and Kettlebell Exercise

6. Strava

  • Tracking, social and premium features

Strava is one of the most popular running and cycling apps, offering a wide range of features, including GPS tracking, goal customization, and social tools. This allows you not only to track your own progress and every running session but also to compete with friends and other runners worldwide. Community features include options similar to Instagram, where you can follow friends and react to their posts in the form of photos.

An advantage of Strava is that its basic features are completely free. Professional runners may appreciate the paid membership, which adds additional features such as in-depth race and performance analysis. The paid version also includes Strava maps, helping you find ideal running routes in your area. [15]

7. Glo

  • Yoga classes, instructional videos, meditation, pilates, and fitness

The Glo app offers daily yoga classes and workouts led by experienced instructors designed for home exercise. It hosts over 3,000 instructional videos covering various types of yoga, from vinyasa and hatha to yin. It is designed to cater to everyone, whether you’re a busy mom needing an energy boost in the morning or even a complete beginner. The best part is that you can try Glo for free through a 7-day free trial version. If you enjoy the concept of exercising with instructional videos, two types of monthly subscriptions are available. [16]

8. Nike Training Club

  • Personalized tools, workout videos

For a more personalized approach to exercise, the Nike Training Club app could be an ideal choice. This app provides users with the benefits of personal training and premium content entirely for free. This grants you access to multi-week workout programs tailored to specific goals. The app includes instructional videos and personalized tools to tailor a workout routine to you.

Right after the first launch, the app will ask you about your preferred type of training and how often you can exercise per week. Based on your answers, it recommends several four to eight-week programs consisting of 10 to 60-minute workouts. These programs cover a variety of exercises, including yoga, bodyweight exercises, or core strength training. [17]

9. Centr

  • Workout videos, nutrition advice, meal plans

Fans of Superman, Thor, and the bodies of other Hollywood stars may be intrigued by the fitness and wellness app Centr. It was created directly under the guidance of Chris Hemsworth and his team. Contributors of this app include Chris’s personal trainer Luke Zocchi, actress and Chris’s wife Elsa Pataky, and a professional instructor from the Navy SEALs, a former professional boxer, MMA fighter, or trainer who prepared actors for roles like James Bond or Batman.

Centr, under their guidance, offers effective workouts from HIIT and strength to pilates, combined with nutritional advice, meal plans, and healthy recipes. The app can be an ideal choice for anyone admiring the athletic bodies of Hollywood actors and looking to change their lifestyle or work harder toward their fitness goals. Training plans are designed to help build strength while maintaining motivation. [18]

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  • Home workouts, personal trainer, training plan

If you expect an experience similar to exercising with a personal trainer from an app, you can try FUTURE. The app offers personal workouts ideal for home conditions, allowing you to exercise according to your own schedule, seamlessly integrating with your commitments during the work week. FUTURE connects you with a personal trainer at the beginning and creates a workout plan based on your goals and initial fitness level. You can communicate with the trainer through live chat (in English) and discuss your questions, achievements, or adjustments to the training routine as needed. [19]

11. Aaptiv

  • Audio and video workouts, motivational playlists, statistics, training programs, pulse tracking during exercise

If you don’t want to constantly watch your mobile, TV, or monitor screen during exercise, try the Aaptiv app. It specializes in video and audio workouts that instruct you perfectly through sound. The trainer explains the execution of individual exercises in detail along with a musical background. You can choose your own music or connect Aaptiv to your Spotify account to enhance your workout with your favorite tracks.

The app practically combines your preferred style of movement with your favorite music genre. At the beginning, it asks you for a few preferences and suggests a tailor-made workout. It offers not only bodyweight exercises but also other physical activities such as indoor cycling, running, or climbing. Statistics, training programs, and pulse tracking during exercise are also included. [20]

Training with a Running App

12. Tabata Timer and HIIT Timer

  • Tracking interval training

Clever fitness apps don’t have to be loaded to the brim with features. An example of this is the Tabata Timer and HIIT Timer. It’s a simple app that reliably takes care of all the needs of interval training. It can be used for exercising Tabata, HIIT, with kettlebells or bodyweight, for interval running, or sprints. Furthermore, it is available for free and offers interval tracking for various physical activities. It’s also adapted for beginners who can later adjust intervals to match their pace. You can even save your own interval presets that are accompanied by audio signals. [22]

Nutritional Apps

1. MyFitnessPal

  • Nutritional tracking, health and training features

MyFitnessPal is backed by the well-known brand Under Armour and serves as a nutrition tracker. It helps you set goals, whether it’s muscle growth, weight loss or counting calories. It also has a training diary feature and includes nutritional tables. You can set your own macro goals and track not only your sports activity but also your intake of fluids. Originally a nutritional app, it gradually expanded to also include training features, offering not only traditional options but also various activities, including Zumba or kickboxing. MyFitnessPal even keeps in mind daily activities like gardening or cleaning, tracking calories burned during these activities. It also includes step tracking, community forums, sharing achievements, and various tips.

2. Yazio

  • Nutritional tracking, caloric tables

The Yazio app is a great tool for anyone who finds counting calories challenging. It stands out with its user-friendly interface, which is simple and can be handled by anyone. Its intuitive interface aims to turn the boring process of counting calories into an engaging and educational experience that helps you get closer to your goals. The core of Yazio is a calorie and macronutrient calculator with a barcode scanner, fluid intake tracking, intermittent fasting timers, and challenges to help you stay motivated. The pro version also offers a daily nutrition guide tailored to your specific goals. [12]

3. MyNetDiary

  • Nutritional tracking, caloric tables, community forum

Another popular tool for counting calories is the MyNetDiary app. It allows you to track not only what you eat but also how much you exercise. The app has a database of hundreds of thousands of foods, providing very accurate caloric tables. Part of its user experience is a community that motivates each other. On the MyNetDiary community forum, you may even encounter a certified dietitian who often advises users in case of any questions. This app was even part of a study in 2013 that declared MyNetDiary the best weight loss support tool. According to the study authors, this app contains the most diverse strategies and information related to weight loss, based on scientific evidence. [13 – 14]

Nutrition Apps


  • Meal plans, weekly challenges, virtual trainer

The nutrition app NOOM is particularly popular among people on a diet and those who love a healthy lifestyle. It offers personalized meal plans, weekly challenges, and access to a virtual team of trainers. In addition, it includes practical lessons that help users understand how food choices affect their health. Educational tools are complemented by the ability to track your progress and training plans that add physical activity to your balanced diet. A free trial version is available, but later use of the app is subject to a monthly fee. [21]

Nutrition Apps Make Counting Calories Easier

Combined Native Apps from Manufacturers of Accessories

Many manufacturers of fitness accessories now offer their own native solutions in addition to third-party apps. These typically work best with their brand’s product, and compatibility with other brands may be limited or functional features may be restricted.

1. Garmin Connect

Owners of sport watches or smartwatches from Garmin can rely on the Garmin Connect app. It is a comprehensive tool that serves as the home for various fitness and health data. It can track sports activities and create workouts. Various challenges are also available, allowing you to challenge your friends to specific activities. Health data analysis, step counting, distance and pace tracking, synchronization with the popular running app Strava, and rankings of other users are also features available in this app. [23]

2. Samsung Health

Samsung also offers its own solution in the field of fitness and health called Samsung Health. It comes pre-installed on various models of Galaxy smartphones. Its advantages include support of a wide range of languages and a user-friendly interface. The app on the smartphone can count steps, track distance, and estimate the amount of calories burned. When connected to Galaxy Watches, it can also handle tracking of sports activities such as running, cycling, swimming, circuit training, or hiking. Additionally, it offers body composition measurement, sleep tracking, and the ability to monitor fluid intake. [24]

Smart Watch with Fitness App

3. Huawei Health

For owners of smartphones and smartwatches from Huawei, there’s the native app Huawei Health. At its core, it’s very similar to the Samsung app, but in this case, it’s designed for products from this Chinese manufacturer. Here you also have the ability to count steps, track various sports, health functions, distance travelled, or calories burned. [25]

4. Apple Fitness+

Apple device users have access to the Apple Fitness+ app. It is available for iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and Apple Watches. It includes 12 types of workouts, including HIIT, yoga, or even meditation. Furthermore, it caters to a wide range of users, with exercises suitable for beginners, intermediate, and even professional athletes. Individual workouts last from 5 to 45 minutes, and the app can create a customized training program directly for your needs. You can try it for free for the first month, but later it requires a paid monthly membership. [26]

5. Fitbit

Akin to Apple Fitness+, the Fitbit app operates on a similar principle and is designed for the wearable accessories produced by the company, which manufactures smartwatches and fitness trackers. Unlike Apple Fitness+, the basic version of Fitbit is free and can track sports activities, measure heart rate, and monitor the menstrual cycle. The paid version additionally offers workout videos, fitness recipes, and a sleep cycle feature that tracks your sleep habits. [27]


The world of fitness apps is bigger today than ever before. From the wide range available, everyone can choose according to their preferences. Basic apps offer tracking of sports activities, distance travelled, time measurement, and approximate monitoring of burned calories.

More demanding users will certainly appreciate a broader range of features, including workout videos. Paid apps then provide a comprehensive solution with personalized training plans and meal plans. In addition, they include tools to maintain motivation and various additional features. You can also opt for apps from companies such as Garmin, Fitbit, Apple, Huawei, or Samsung if you own their accessories. This way, you’ll get handy tools to make your journey toward your fitness goals easier.

Which fitness app is your favourite?


[1] Physical activity levels increased by smartphone apps and fitness trackers –

[2] HARRY BULLMORE, MORGAN FARGO AND BRIDIE WILKINS - 25 best fitness apps to download in 2023, for home & gym workouts, running, yoga & more –

[3] Vladlen Shulepov - Fitness Apps in 2023: Benefits, Types and Key technology –

[4] Benefits Of The Heart Rate Monitor App –

[5] The Benefits of Using Fitness Technology and Trackers in the Gym –

[6] Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Fitness Apps –

[7] Freeletics –

[8] FitOn –

[9] MyFitnessPal –

[10] Sweat App –

[11] Runtastic –

[12] Yazio –

[13] MyNetDiary –

[14] Sherry Pagoto, Kristin Schneider, Mirjana Jojic, Michele DeBiasse, Devin Mann - Evidence-Based Strategies in Weight-Loss Mobile Apps –

[15] Strava –

[16] Glo –

[17] Nike Training Club App –

[18] Centr –

[19] –

[20] Aaptiv –

[21] Noom –

[22] Tabata Timer and HIIT Timer –

[23] Garmin Connect –

[24] Samsung Health –

[25] Huawei Health –

[26] Apple Fitness+ –

[27] The Fitbit App –

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