The hardest part of exercise is finding the time to do it. Motivation is a big part of it as well, but I think there are many of us who want to exercise but can’t fit it into our schedules. Is there an answer for us? Fortunately, yes. Exercising doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, and these apps prove that.
Disclaimer: These quick workout routines are simply meant to get you up and moving around. They aren’t meant to replace a full workout session complete with cardio, strength, and endurance training. But if you want to ease into exercise, or if you just want to get your blood flowing, these apps are fantastic.
Stretching is often overlooked by those new to exercise, but it’s fundamentally important for improving flexibility, increasing blood circulation, repairing poor posture, reducing risk of injury, mitigating muscle soreness, and relieving tenseness from muscles (which can help with stress). Stretching Exercises is a great aid to get you stretching well.
This app comes with 30 different stretches that target every muscle group, including arms, legs, back, hips, neck, and even ankles. There are also 7 routines meant to target specific groups, such as the “Computer Break”, “Just Woke Up”, and “Stress Release” routines. The exercises are videos and they are timed, making them easy to follow and imitate.
As useful as it is, the app is overly simplistic. The description claims that users can create custom routines, but I haven’t been able to figure out how. The exercises also have an audio countdown of beeps, but they can be irritating and I can’t find any way to disable the beeping. In fact, the lack of any options is a real downer.
The 7 Minute Workout, as mentioned in our post on easy exercises to do at your desk, is a wonderful routine that targets almost every muscle group in the body. The difficulty can be adjusted so that beginners and veterans of exercise can both benefit from it. The 7 Minute Workout app makes it easy to get the quick workout you need.
By default, this app takes you through one set of 12 different exercises that each take 30 seconds to complete with a rest of 10 seconds between each exercise. In the options, you can adjust each of those numbers (sets, time per exercise, and time per rest). There is an audio countdown for each exercise, but it can be disabled in the options.
For the most part, this app is near perfect. It’s simple but not lacking in any crucial way. I only wish that it allowed users to rearrange the workout to whichever order they prefer, but that’s more of a luxury that doesn’t impact the app’s usefulness.
Just like 7 Minute Workout, 10 Daily Exercises is an app designed to get you up and moving each and every day. Will it make you as strong, toned, and fit as a true exercise regimen would? Probably not. But if you have a hard time getting up from your desk or couch, you’ll benefit from this app.
The 10 exercises cover a wide range of muscles, including abs, arms, legs, and some minor cardio. In the options, you can set the desired rest time between each exercise and you can set a notification to remind you that it’s time to exercise. You can also set the workout difficulty, which scales the number of reps in each exercise. There’s even a calendar that tracks the days on which you exercise.
The fixed nature of the difficulty scaling might be an annoyance for those who need something easier than “Easy” or something more vigorous than “Hard”.
Daily Workouts wants to be a personal trainer to those who don’t have a personal trainer of their own. This app is a bit more advanced, which can be good or bad depending on what you want out of an exercise app.
There are over 50 exercises grouped into 5 workouts targeting the abs, arms, butt, legs, and cardio — as well as a full workout that covers everything. For specific workouts, you can choose to run a 5-, 8-, or 10-minute version, while the full workout can be run in 10-, 20-, or 30-minute versions. Each exercise has a video instruction and the exercises differ from day to day to vary your workout.
The interface is enough not to be an interference, but it’s not exactly pleasing to the eyes. While the free version is fine, there’s a premium version that can be purchased for $3.99 USD to unlock further exercises, more workouts, create your own workouts, and shift into landscape mode.
Compared to the other apps on this list, Workout Trainer is a full-fledged exercise assistant packed with more features than you’ll likely need. It might be a bit daunting at first, but it’s incredibly useful and worth a shot whether you’re a complete newbie or a fitness fanatic.
It starts off with a brief survey of your fitness needs, then presents you with a list of exercises that you might like. You can “favorite” the ones you prefer and Workout Trainer will devise routines for you. Home screen widget reminds you to exercise. Plus, the community around Workout Trainer can be helpful in cultivating motivation.
You’ll need to create a free account to use this app. The interface is, unfortunately, a bit cluttered. The free version is powered by ads which can be removed by upgrading to premium for $6.99 USD per month (yes, it’s a subscription). Premium version includes special programs, “Workout of the Week” challenges, custom workouts, and more.
What Do You Think?
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore or a time sink anymore. You don’t even need to walk away from your desk. Do you have a spare ten minutes in your day? Then you can make use of these apps and improve your health with a bit of daily physical activity, even when you’re stuck in the office for hours at a time.