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Topend Sports Newsletter: 21 October 2015

In the News: Best Free Fitness Apps According to Sport Scientists

How do you know which fitness training phone app to choose?

A recent research article by Modave et al. (2015) from the University of Florida looked at the huge range of free fitness apps to see which ones meet the guidelines set by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and surprisingly found that most of them did not.

They compared the apps based on a weighted score of how they met the guidelines for aerobic, resistance and flexibility training.

The study did not compare any paid apps, or the full range of apps on the Android store (though many are on both). Of the 30 apps they compared, these are the top 3 (with links to the iTunes and/or Android store):

  1. Sworkit Lite Personal Trainer: The top scorer in all categories, and considered to be the best of the bunch.
  2. The 7 Minute Workout (by UOVO): Provides aerobic and resistance workouts, but very little flexibility. No fitness program elements or progression. 
  3. StrongLifts 5x5: Provides fitness program progression, but mainly focuses on strength training.

If you are using a different app to one of these, it does not mean that it is bad. The most important thing is to get some exercise. 

Read the full article:

Modave F, Bian J, Leavitt T, Bromwell J, Harris III C, Vincent H. Low Quality of Free Coaching Apps With Respect to the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines: A Review of Current Mobile Apps. JMIR mHealth uHealth 2015;3(3):e77


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