So once you get into a regular routine of working out, there may be days when you just can’t make it to the gym.  My instagram feed is full of mamas getting their sweat on at home lifting their babies, jumping over their babies – there was even one from @BWMCFitness getting her work out in whilst giving her kids a bath!  These moms only show us that despite how busy we are, if we want to work out – we can.  Work out from home.  NO EXCUSES, right?

Whilst I find moms that can work out at home with their kids climbing all over them inspiring, I am not one of those types of moms.  I enjoy my gym time.  It is my time to work out without having to worry about kids fighting or falling over something. The only person I have to worry about at the gym is me.  Recently I was ill.  I had done too much and didn’t get the rest I required.  This led to a few days off from any sort of exercise.  The thing I have learned over the past few years is that if you leave it too long, it becomes harder to get back into your routine.  Once I was feeling better, I knew I should have headed back to the gym. A few more days passed and I still didn’t go. Excuses creeping in.  Finally I decided to give one of those work out apps that I had downloaded about a month ago a try.  Better to get 20 minutes in than nothing at all.

I decided to try SWORKIT which stands for Simply Work It.  Like most of the exercise apps available, this app is free to download, with more specialised exercise options for a fee.  What I like is that you have the option to create an account, but if you choose not to, you still have access to the workouts.  This app has a variety of free workouts from 4 categories:

  • Strength
  • Cardio
  • Yoga
  • Stretching

Within each category are about 4 different free exercise workouts.

I selected a Strength Full Body Workout.  How its works is you can select how long you want to work out for from 5 minutes to 60 minutes.  You do each exercise for 30 seconds with a 5 second transition period between each exercise and a 30 second rest after 5 different exercises.  Each exercise is called out with a video demonstration so the user knows exactly what they are expected to do.  At the bottom of the screen is a timer that counts down the 30 seconds.  About 10 seconds before the exercise ends, the next exercise is called out.  During the 5 second transition period, you can watch the video demonstration whilst getting ready for the next exercise.

Is it hard? Is it fun? Does it work? Yes, Sort of, and Yes.

Is it hard?  When I first started out doing the workout, I thought – This is too easy. Since I had missed the gym, I thought well at least it is something, right?!  Well that thought of it being too easy only lasted for about 5 minutes.  I even skipped the first 30 second break (which you can do by selecting the fast forward button at the bottom of the screen). By the time the second 30 second break came around – I TOOK IT!  The demonstrators on the video do the exercises at a slow, steady pace which is perfect if you are a newbie to working out.  If you want to amp it up – just think of it as an HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout and do as many repetitions as you can in the 30 second exercise period.  This will definitely allow you to get in a great workout!

Is it fun?  That depends on your goal for the day.  I prefer working out with people.  I don’t like working out on my own and only do it when necessary.  I also did the workout with no music – which is not fun.  What I did not know at the time is that the app can work alongside your music.  I should have just turned on my iTunes but I didn’t so the entire workout was quiet with me checking the 30 second timer count down as I exercised.  There were times when I was distracted and wanted to stop but because I was determined to get a work out in, I kept pushing forward (plus I thought Hmm…I can write a blog about this which gave me more motivation to keep going).  I only selected a 20 minute workout so once I got to the half way point, it seemed necessary to continue. I found the variety of exercises impressive – so it never got boring.  I should mention that I have since used it with music which makes it much more enjoyable.

Does it work?  Most definitely YES!  With several of the exercises I found that I was going into muscle failure (diamond push ups? Really?!)  This is one of those things that what you get out of it is what you put in.  If you want to slack off, it won’t be a good work out.  If you put the effort in, you’ll be breaking a sweat in no time.  For this particular workout STRENGTH FULL BODY Workout, the exercises you can expect to see variety: squats, sit ups, arm circles, plank, high knees, rotating sit-ups, jump squats – you get the idea.  With the exception of the diamond push ups, I thought all the exercises were suitable for both beginner and advanced level. When the app finished, it informed me that I had burned 159 calories in 20 minutes.  Not bad.

As with most apps these days, I had the option to share my news with the world.  This is what happens when you work out on your own.  You have no witnesses until you share on social media.

Twitter

After the workout I had a browse through the entire app.  I think I have had really good beginners luck with using this fitness app because the variety of exercises is amazing.  There are the four preset options as mentioned in the beginning but you can also select from a variety of other workouts.  You can even create your own.  You have the option to connect Health App or to MyFitness Pal if your want to add your Sworkouts to your other exercises.

Would I recommend this app?  YES.  I recommend this app for everyone no matter what your skill level.  The workouts I have mentioned are all available even if you don’t set up an account, however, should you choose to set up an account it only takes moments with a social sign in (I used Facebook).  It is super easy.  For those who feel technically challenged, this app is simple to follow.  It starts right away and you won’t spend time trying to get figure it out.  After you’ve finished, it keeps a record of your workouts.  You can earn rewards, view how many workouts you have done and how many calories you have burned.  I am personally not a calorie counter but it is nice to know especially when you are just starting out.

For the more advance exercise enthusiast, this app is perfect for days when you can’t get to the gym.  You can create a custom workout just for you.  You don’t have to as there is a variety of pre set custom workouts for all types. If you are a runner, there exercises for core and stretching which can improve your runs.  There are kid workouts, golf workouts, ab workouts – the list is long.  This app suits everyone.

Sworkit is available from Google play or iTunes store.  Download it!  But remember once you do – you will have NO EXCUSE.  But believe me, you won’t regret it!

Do you have a go to app for exercise?  Tell me what it is so I can check it out.  I am new to the exercise apps so am looking for recommendations.  Thanks.