March 01, 2022

The Best Apple Watch Workout App For You: Our Top 5 Favs [Update 2022 JUNE]

Yulya Glamazdina

Marketing Manager


Join us as we explore our Top 5 favorite Apple Watch workout apps across 5 categories: best overall app, best home workout app, best app for hikers and runners, and best free app.

As a bonus, we’ll give you 5 tips for what you can add to your app to help people reach their fitness goals.

Anyone that runs, swims, cycles, or does any sort of workout will find it way easier to track their activities using a smartwatch or wearable. And that’s why the wearables market is so popular among fitness enthusiasts and the average person trying to stay healthy.

After researching and testing, we identified the best Apple Watch workout app for five categories: best overall, best home workout, best for hikers and runners, best for the entire family, and best free app.

To start, let’s see why people love the Apple Watch and what health data it’s capable of tracking.

Why the Apple Watch is so popular and has the best workout apps

The Best Apple Watch Workout App The first-generation Apple Watch was introduced in 2015, but it was far from an instant hit. Fitbit had a bigger market share at the time and included features the Apple watch didn’t have. However, Apple remarketed and improved the subsequent Apple Watch models and now boasts an estimated market share of over 50%. The smart ecosystem that Apple has created lets you sync all your data, including health data, between apps with the help of HeathKit. Apple Watch also comes with an Apple Workout app — which gives you a plethora of out-of-the-box features and workout types.

Now let’s look at what the Apple Watch can track.

What types of health & fitness data can the Apple Watch track?

Before we get into the Apple Watch’s tracking capabilities, we’d like to remind you that watchOS has complications, notifications, and supports Siri.

Complications are small UI elements you can add to the watch face to display important data like distance covered at a glance. For example, Siri can read notifications to you during workouts through AirPods and Beats headphones. What’s more — if you’re developing an app for Apple Watch, you can even allow users to ask Siri for information or give her a task to do, like starting or stopping a workout. Apart from the obvious tracking features such as distance, calories burned, daily steps, elevation, and heart rate, Apple Watch includes:

  • Sleep tracking
  • Advanced heart rate monitoring (irregular rhythm, high/low heart rate)
  • Mindfulness app
  • Blood Oxygen app
  • ECG app
  • Menstrual cycle tracking
  • Fall detection

The built-in Workout app can track 18 different workout types, including walking, running, cycling, HIIT, hiking, yoga, dance, pilates, Tai Chi, wheelchair, and many more.

Next, we’ll dive into our top 5 favorite Apple Watch workout apps and why we love them so much.

Our 5 Favorite Apple Watch Workout Apps That Help People Reach Their Goals

In case you didn’t know, you need an iPhone to activate an Apple Watch. With this in mind, it’s obvious that to be among the best workout apps — yours will have to work well across at least two Apple devices — iPhone and Apple Watch.

Also, as we go through our top 5, you’ll see that each app has a unique selling point. And as a bonus, we’ll give you five tips to help you make your app stand out among the sea of workout apps.

Best overall workout appl: Fitbod Workout & Fitness Plans

Fitbod is a workout and fitness plan app unmatched in features and personalization options. Beginners will find the 400+ HD exercise demonstration videos useful, while more advanced gym-goers will enjoy mixing up their routines with Fitbod’s personalized plans. Fitbod Workout & Fitness Plans

Unique selling point: Personalized plans

Fitbod is free to use and comes with workouts you can follow. But the real selling point is the custom plans that the app builds for you based on previous workouts (reps, sets, and weight). The app also has demo videos to show you how to do the exercises properly, and is great for beginners to advanced.

Best app for home workouts: Home Workout - No Equipments

Home Workout - No Equipments is one of the best home workout apps available, with a 4.9/5 rating on Google Play and Apple stores. Its simple yet effective approach to home workouts has helped thousands of people stay fit. Home Workout - No Equipments.png

Unique selling point: Hundreds of exercises and loads of content

The Home Workout app is tailored for, you guessed it, working out at home with zero equipment required. It offers 100+ workouts and 500+ exercises with video and animated guides. In addition, the app offers custom workouts, daily charts and reports, a walking/running tracker, and much more.

Best app for hikers & runners: WorkOutDoors

WorkOutDoors isn’t as well-known as Strava or Nike Run Club, but we believe it’s the best app for avid outdoor runners, hikers, and walkers. The app is extremely customizable, allowing you to choose the screen layout, configure data screens, and choose which metrics (from 300+) you want to see on your Apple Watch. WorkOutDoors

Unique selling point: Vector maps

WorkOutDoors is the only workout app for Apple Watch with functioning vector maps (see screenshots above). The maps are customizable, show paths and trails, have zoom/pan and auto-rotation, and tons of more features to explore.

Best app for the entire family: Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club is a great alternative to Apple’s Fitness+ because it has a free version with nearly 500 workouts, wellness and nutrition guides, and it works flawlessly with Apple Watch. Nike Training Club Unique selling point: Workouts for people of all fitness levels

The Nike Training Club app for Apple Watch is more than just a workout app. It combines workouts, programs, health/wellness tips (recipes, sleep, guided meditation) for people of all ages and fitness levels. Also, the app includes yoga, core & strength, home workouts, and quick fitness for people on the go. We believe this is one of the best workout apps for women and has kid-friendly workouts you can do as a family.

Best free app: Strong Workout Tracker Gym Log

Strong Workout Tracker is a no-frills workout tracker you can use to track your weightlifting progression. The app gets our stamp of approval as one of the best free workout apps because it has all the features you need — tracking, video instructions, a range of cardio and strength exercises, and advanced statistics. Strong Workout Tracker

Unique selling point: Advanced workout logger

The app’s advanced workout logger allows users to add custom workout routines (limited to three in the free version) and tag sets as a warm-up, failure, or drop set. In addition, it includes warm-up and plate calculators so you don’t have to do any guesswork or risk getting injured while pursuing your goals.

5 Tips for how to make the best workout app for Apple Watch

After researching and trying out dozens of workout apps and reading stories from people struggling to stay motivated with their fitness goals, we’ve learned a few lessons.

Here are our suggestions for how you can improve your Apple Watch workout app:

#1 Emulate the best-of-the-best apps — reinventing the wheel can take precious time out of your budget and bog down the development process with (possibly) unrealistic goals. That’s why we recommend emulating the highest-rated apps out there, like the ones on our list.

#2 Create a web app — Viewing workouts on a small screen can be difficult, so it would be cool to have a web app where you can view watch workouts, view advanced stats, etc.

#3 Utilize integrations — We’ve mentioned the importance of integrations in our other articles — Best Fitness Apps of 2021 and 9 Best Diet Apps — and the same goes for workout apps. Integrations are a must-have considering how seamless Apple’s HealthKit makes sharing data between apps.

#4 Target a niche group — To stand out, you can design your app to have workouts and features according to age, gender, fitness level, etc. Who knows, maybe your app can be the best workout app for men.

#5 Offer additional content— Working out is only one part of the equation to getting fit. Unfortunately, we encountered just a handful of workout apps that offer advice on nutrition and wellness. We believe content targeting more than just the workout itself will help your users reach their goals.


Who uses workout apps?
What's the best Apple Watch workout app?
What can the Apple Watch track?
How does the Apple Watch count exercise?
Can the Apple Watch work without an iPhone?
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