The Digital Workout Apps and Platforms That Got Our Editors Sweating at Home in 2020

There's no need to wax poetic about how 2020 was . . . challenging, to say the least. As our worlds were turned upside down, and gyms and boutique fitness classes closed their doors, we had to pivot and become innovative with how we wanted to move our bodies and break a sweat.

As a fitness editor, I desperately miss the boutique classes I used to frequent. I loved trying different workouts and training styles, getting motivated in a room full of other sweaty people, and leaving my house to go exercise in a bigger, nicer facility with more equipment. Alas, as I way overpaid for a set of 12-pound dumbbells and turned my 400-square-foot apartment into a de facto gym, other POPSUGAR editors were finding ways to do at-home workouts they actually enjoyed.

I asked POPSUGAR editors across the board which online fitness apps and platforms they relied on this year to get their sweat on, and their answers surprised me. Sure, plenty of people signed up for Peloton or relied on YouTube (enter shameless plug for Class FitSugar here), but there are so many excellent workout apps to fit any type of training style or modality you are into. The best part? All of these can be done in the comfort of your own home while taking up little space, and many require minimal equipment. Scroll through and get inspired to add some of these workout platforms to your 2021 training plan!

Monster Live

"I have been a huge fan of Monster Cycle ever since I got hooked on the monthly emo night rides with instructor Leigh Barton, and loved how inclusive and fun the indoor cycling workouts were. So when the pandemic hit and Monster Cycle's doors shut, I rented an indoor cycling bike from the studio and started streaming classes at home (including emo night!).

As the pandemic wore on, Monster Live offered more than just indoor cycling classes: Pilates taught by Ky Digregorio and more yoga and strength classes. I didn't work out in 2020 nearly as much as I would have liked to, but I always enjoyed the live Zoom classes from Barton and Digregorio, and always felt welcomed, yet challenged.

Although Monster Live is sunsetting its classes at the end of 2020, Barton and Digregorio partnered up to create a new workout platform launching Jan. 1, 2021: NuSweat. The platform will offer live cycling, yoga, Pilates, strength, and recovery classes. I'm looking forward to signing up for this platform and doing live classes from knowledgeable instructors who get to know you personally, can deliver personalized tips and advice (including modifications), and offer fun, alternative themes (fingers crossed for more emo nights!)." — Christina Stiehl, senior editor, Fitness

Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club

Voices editor Riyana Straetker has been a fan of the Nike Training Club app for iOS and Google Play, especially because it's free. "I've used both the one-off workouts (which cover a range of areas of focus, length, etc.) and programs (a workout plan by a trainer that follows a set schedule, they range in focus and length as well) and I'm a fan of both!" she said.

"Lately, I've been really loving the programs because there's no thinking. I know I'm getting a range of balanced workouts and I can genuinely feel myself getting stronger as I progress through them. They're apartment-friendly and usually only require dumbbells (also great) and now everything is free! The app is sometimes glitchy, and I wish there were more variety in their programs, but I really don't want to pay for an app so I'm happy to deal with what they have."

Alo Moves

Assistant Fitness editor Maggie Ryan liked workouts from Alo Moves, which is a paid, subscription-based platform you can access online or via an app for iOS or Google Play. It features yoga, strength workouts such as HIIT, barre, Pilates, and more, and mindfulness and meditation videos.

"What I love about Alo Moves: the variety of workouts and the top-notch instructors. When I need a challenge, I'll do a barre or HIIT workout; when I'm looking for something more calming or stretch-focused, I go straight for my favorite yoga classes. And I've pretty much fallen in love with every instructor I've met on this app," Ryan said.

MadFit's YouTube Workouts

Chanel Vargas, editorial assistant for Trending & Viral Features, has been doing YouTube workouts from Maddie Lymburner (known as MadFit) since shelter-in-place orders took place in March.

"I like her workouts because they're typically broken up into 10, 15, and 20-minute videos that I can mix and match to create different routines depending on how I'm feeling on any given day and how intense I want my workout to be. Plus, as a beginner, I'm grateful each move is broken up into digestible time fragments (30-45 seconds)," Vargas said. "Also, the combination of the modern background music she chooses and her motivational words interspersed throughout workouts feels like working out with a friend rather than with a professional trainer (which she isn't)."

Tracy Anderson Online Studio

Fashion director Hannah Weil McKinley had been doing workouts from Tracy Anderson's Online Studio, which is a subscription-based platform offering beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts.

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Orangetheory At-Home Workouts

Senior Family editor Kate Schweitzer kept up her Orangetheory Fitness routine with its daily at-home class offerings.

"One of the best parts of my day used to be going to Orangetheory Fitness for the 5 a.m. classes before my day became a grind of getting kids out the door for school, and thankfully, I still manage to keep that routine (OK, I get up a touch later!) by doing OTF at Home in my living room. It's definitely not the same – I can't say I miss the rowers, but I do wish I had a treadmill here with me! — but it is as close to the Orangetheory experience as I can get these days. It's free and all on YouTube, so I can stream them anywhere. In the summer when I was brave, I'd even do a few at the park and cap it off with a run home!"

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5 Minute Arm Workout — Sculpt and Shrink

Associate Trending editor Victoria Messina got moving this year with free YouTube videos, including this five-minute arm workout by Pilates For the People.

Getty | Kathrin Ziegler


Assistant Fitness editor Sam Brodsky and Fashion editor Sarah Wasilak relied on Peloton workouts this year to keep them sweating. Although Peloton is known for its indoor cycling classes, the platform — which you can pay to subscribe to and stream classes online or on the app for iOS or Google Play — also offers strength classes, Pilates, yoga, and more.

"I'm a huge fun of the Peloton app — I've done the strength and HIIT classes since 2019 — and knowing I could sweat out my stress with the help of some kickass trainers was great," Brodksy said.

Yoga Flow SF

On top of the POPSUGAR Fitness Instagram Live workouts, POPSUGAR president Lisa Sugar took yoga classes from her friend and yoga instructor Leslie Gleser, who offers live-streamed yoga classes via Yoga Flow SF. "It's amazing and has definitely gotten me through this year!" Sugar said.