Sports training at home can be split into two categories: either with a personal physical trainer or physical training with an online sports coach.
Fitness classes focusing on stretching, muscle building, toning or cardio can easily be followed on your computer at home!
Superprof wants to show you the best health and fitness apps, and the best personalized coaching videos that the internet has to offer!
The Best Health and Fitness Apps
Since the 1980s, sports coaching has really evolved. You can now practice sports and general fitness with a trainer at home, or even with a personal training app!
But what are the benefits of using an app for exercise such as running? There are a few ways that apps can be a great way to work out:
- Get your health and fitness levels up - if you’ve suffered or are suffering from a condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma, a good quality app can keep track of your performance and information related to your disease so you can easily monitor your fitness and easily share your progress with your doctor.
- Save money - a personal trainer can obviously be quite pricey! This is why a free app is a great alternative to help you get in shape. Whether it’s for cardio fitness, yoga, or even to stop smoking, there’s an app for you!
- Achieve your goals – once you’re sure of what you want to do and achieve, whether it is to strengthen your upper body, sculpt your abs or increase your lung capacity, you can use several different apps to help you on your way to success.
Health and fitness apps can collect data in real time, so they work alongside you to keep track of your movements and progress.
These days, it’s easy to check how many steps you've done throughout the day with your smartphone, as well as how much calories you've burned and how good your sleep has been. So why not use your phone to challenge yourself a bit too?
It's well and good talking about it in theory, but in practice which applications should you choose?
We’ve made you a small selection of the best applications compatible with IOS and Android:
Zombies, race: we love how playful it is! For those who have a hard time getting into the sport and sticking to it, this app makes it really easy, without having to take yourself too seriously! All you need to do it hold your headphones, choose a mission and follow the instructions. Once you’re caught up in the game you’ll want to complete more and more missions, making you fitter and fitter!
Runtastic: a great point of reference for running fans! This app offers personalized training according to your own goals that you’ve set yourself.
Strava: the ideal app for cyclists! A large number of users will allow you to compare your results with them from all over the world, and you can experiment with different courses to set yourself new challenges.
Domyos Live: a real plus with this app is that it allows you to follow live classes for free! You can take classes such as Pilates, zumba, HIIT or yoga, for example, that takes place all over the world, simply by staying at home – and it’s free!
Nike + Training Club: as one could expect from this sports giant, Nike offers an app with hundreds of training plans which are clearly explained by coaches and sports stars! You can also access the history of your efforts to track your progress.
Freeletics: a real virtual sports coach at hand whenever you need for exercise wherever you are, whether you’re out and about, abroad or at home!
But is a health and fitness app compatible with a personal trainer too? Or will the smartphone end up replacing the coach? Well not to worry, because you can easily combine personal training and apps – you might even find that your trainer actually advises you to use certain apps to keep you on track outside of your personal sessions.
In fact, it’s unlikely that an app could ever replace a personal trainer, as there’s nothing quite as effective as the expertise and human interaction that a trainer can provide.
Online Alternatives to Personal Training
So why should you do your workouts online?
- Good availability – what if you want to do a bit of cardio training at 10pm? Well, thanks to the internet, it’s possible! You have 24/7 access to your favourite courses and classes at the click of a mouse.
- They’re free - many online coaching videos are available for free, which certainly is not the case for a personal trainer. Websites such as YouTube are a great way to get started and find classes for free.
- You can experiment with all sorts of methods - do you want to test an American training method? Or a Spanish dance class? No need to pay for plane tickets, just check-in at your computer to choose between classes from all over the world!
- Keep up with the latest sport trends - stay up to date with all the warm-up, stretching, cardio and weight-lifting trends that are taking the internet by storm.
But it’s not just about the technical benefits of online training – there’s also loads of health benefits to celebrate as well:
- Get in shape and fight against obesity: do ab exercises or cardio training to keep you in shape and lose weight.
- A safe practice: exercising at home can be safe and low-risk, as opposed to using a lot of gym equipment. It’s not completely risk-free though so be careful when choosing your videos and online coaching methods and be sure to properly follow instructions to avoid hurting yourself.
- Improve your lifestyle: increase your stamina and improve your diet with nutrition apps too! Regular exercise massively increases health and stamina, and will help with better sleep and mood too.
We recommend two free sites that offer loads of help and advice for fitness and weight-loss: www.12minuteathlete.com and www.health.com. Have a look at the advice, blogs and workout techniques and see for yourself!
Do be careful, however, because online training and real personal training are not the same thing.
Firstly, during your online workouts you are a passive athlete, a simple performer; with a personal trainer, on the other hand, you can talk to your teacher, ask questions and develop the exercises according to your own goals and abilities.
But of course, it comes at a cost!
The Best Sports Coaching Videos Online
Most sports coaches have started follow the trend of digitalization, and have taken to uploading their sessions to YouTube. There are so many great fitness channels available on YouTube these days, and it’s free to watch!
There are some really out-there fitness techniques available to experiment with online, making some YouTubers overnight sensations!
But be careful and make sure you remain vigilant when trying new exercised! Most of the "coaches" that we find on YouTube have little or no training and are not approved by any official health and fitness organisations.
So make sure you learn about the possible dangers of certain exercises before following any YouTube tutorials, especially when they involve using your back or any injured joints you might have. Always take any medical issues into account before trying something new!
Here are some great videos you can follow for both fitness and weight-loss:
- For abs: are you motivated? Fitness Blender offers a plethora of exercise videos that are specially designed for a safe and efficient workout. This ten-minute ab workout is short but very effective!
- To develop your muscles: follow Six Pack Abs, a channel which offers a number of strength training programs for biceps, triceps, backs and pecs.
- For cardio training and fitness: If you want to lose weight, burn calories and get fit, check out Pop Sugar Fitness for an intense half-hour workout to target your entire body!
Make sure you have a look at what YouTube has to offer, because there really is something for everyone. Whether you want a gentle, relaxing stretching session to a more intense cardio or dance workout, you’re bound to find something you enjoy.
Working out at home has several advantages, starting with the fact that you do not have to move! Whether it's your sports coach or an online course, you just need to put on some clothes and find enough space to move around in.
In the circumstances of having a home trainer come to you, it’s not so easy to back out of training! Unlike a subscription to the gym where it’s easy to get discouraged and not go, the coach will come to your home, so a great workout is a guarantee!
You can use easily use outdoor and indoor space to work out. We recommend you to follow Kellen Lemos on Instagram, she offers short fitness sessions that you can do at home using your own furniture!
If you are motivated enough, online fitness training can be as effective as gym or personal training! It is even more effective if you can measure and track your progress with a diary or fitness app.
If you find yourself lacking motivation or wanting to give up after a few sessions, then it might be necessary to start a real coaching course with a personal trainer or in a group so that you can’t bail!
What are the Most Recognised Fitness Programs?
Other than the apps and online coaching that we’ve already showed you, there are plenty more fantastic trainers for you to follow, which you can easily find with a simple search online.
Even just scrolling through social media sites should inspire you! We particularly love Instagram and Tumblr for the latest in fitness trends and programs.
If you’re not already familiar with it, one of the fitness trends taking with world by storm is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Most gyms now offer HIIT classes, and there are loads of videos and guides online to choose from too.
So What is HIIT All About? HIIT can be any intense exercise which is performed in intervals. It can be running, weight-training, cycling or ab work which is performed intensely for short periods of time, interspersed with small rest phases.
Runners will know this exercise pretty well already, since running often requires them to sprint for a short period, then to jog for a short period, and continue this exercise to build stamina and endurance.
You can do your HIIT workout for as long as you like, building up your efforts and stamina as your fitness progresses. Aim to start off with a solid 20 or 30 minute workout if possible, switching between different exercises to keep it interesting and engaging!
It can get quite confusing and very tiring having to count the seconds of your intervals when doing a HIIT workout. We recommend you find an app, such as Decathlon Coach or Interval Training, that can count your intervals for you and keep your HIIT on course.
So, in a nutshell:
- Smartphone apps allow you to follow a training program, whilst saving and monitoring your personal data so that you can improve your performance and see how far you’ve come.
- Online fitness classes and courses are more economical than a personal trainer.
- Be careful! Not all online coaches are qualified to instruct or advise exercise, which can be dangerous and cause injury. Be sure to warm up properly and don’t push yourself too hard.
- You’ve got to be very motivated to work out at home, as it’s easy to bail on your plans if you can’t be bothered. For some people, a personal trainer or a group coaching course is the best way to get you motivated and active!
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