COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown led to an unprecedented boom in the fitness app market and stimulated the further growth of innovative fitness technologies. In 2022, the global fitness app market size reached $1.5 billion in value, and it is expected to hit $4.8 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.6% from 2023 to 2030.
During the pandemic, the number of fitness app downloads grew by 46% since people were instructed to stay home and limit their social connections in order to stop the spread of COVID.
The COVID-19 pandemic wasn't the only factor driving fitness to go mobile and digital. With the rapid evolution of virtual reality, IoT, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, fitness apps can now offer far more than just home fitness exercises. They also offer personalized training plans, track activity, monitor diet, and provide personalized fitness coaches.
Although the fitness app segment, as a whole, sustained its impressive performance in 2021 with 2.5 billion downloads, the year 2022 has tipped the scales. As gyms are making a comeback and consumer behavior is shifting, some types of fitness applications were struck by a low blow in 2022.
Let's find out what fitness app ideas still hold high potential and what has fundamentally changed for each fitness app type in 2024.
8 booming fitness app ideas to use in 2024
On-demand fitness apps
On-demand fitness apps provide access to pocket workouts. Thanks to modern technologies, people can choose between brick-and-mortar fitness studios and home workouts or mix them together to create a customized workout regime.
Examples of on-demand fitness apps
The Aaptiv app provides access to 2,500+ professional-led audio workouts, including yoga, strength, outdoor running, boxing, rowing, and more. Its workout library is constantly updated, with more than 30 new workouts added weekly.
Studio is an on-demand cardio app that works with any cardio equipment. The app provides access to 3,000+ audio cardio classes for any fitness level. With Studio, members can also access a wide range of fitness classes, including indoor cycling, strength, treadmill, boxing, rowing, and yoga.
The Studio app gathers heart rate metrics and data from users' cardio equipment to maximize their fitness gains. Further, the app includes a real-time community leaderboard to facilitate competition between the users and encourage faster and better performances.
AI-based fitness apps
AI has a wide range of use cases. When it comes to the fitness industry, AI-powered apps provide users with many benefits, including a more personalized fitness experience, more fun and engagement, convenient home workouts, and so on. AI-driven video assistants can replace human trainers and automatically adjust workout sessions for better results.
Examples of AI-based fitness apps
RunMotion Coach is an AI-based digital coach that adjusts running sessions according to the user's fitness level and goals. App members can get a complete training cycle, including physical and mental preparation, nutrition, training, and recovery. Additionally, RunMotion Coach is the first digital coach to provide a chatbot that delivers running and motivation tips.
Volt is an AI-powered training platform that builds long-term workout plans based on the performance data collected. While most fitness apps track what athletes have already done, Volt coaches athletes on what to do, providing hyper-personalized workout recommendations, adjusting each workout from set to set, and adapting exercises over time as the user progresses.
One-on-one fitness apps
Personal fitness apps help take workouts to the next level to achieve thriving results. Planning workouts, diversifying daily training, and building a dream body can be challenging even for professional athletes; that’s where personal fitness apps come in handy by offering one-on-one workouts with experienced fitness instructors.
Examples of one-on-one fitness apps
Flexit’s application provides one-on-one training sessions with top personal trainers. The app engages users by mixing and matching various fitness styles, including boxing, cardio, HIIT, and yoga workouts. In addition, Flexit also has nutrition and diet guides, physical therapy, pre- and post-natal support, and mediation.
The Future app brings unique, one-on-one digital training personalized according to the user's fitness level and goals. A Future coach is a real person that provides on-call support to the member on their fitness journey. According to Future, 94% of members talk to their coach about nutrition, stress, sleep, and injury. Coaches message users often, build a new training plan each week and respond in real-time as the user needs adjustments or has questions.
Meditation and mindfulness apps
Meditation and mindfulness apps can help people reduce stress, combat anxiety, hone their focus, and improve sleep. During the pandemic, the demand for meditation and mindfulness apps dramatically increased, according to The New York Times Magazine.
Examples of mindfulness and meditation Apps
InsightTimer provides access to a free library of 80,000 guided meditations, with 10+ meditations added daily. Users can browse through thousands of meditations and build daily habits. Also, when users have any questions, they can ask the app’s discussion groups.
Headspace is a mindfulness and meditation app designed to alleviate stress through therapeutic music, yoga, and breathing techniques. The app boasts an impressive library of 500+ guided meditations on everything from stress to better sleep.
Diet and nutrition apps
These apps help track calories and nutrition, just like any activity tracking app. Diet and nutrition apps meal planning and enable users to maintain a balanced diet.
In 2022, the focus of diet apps has shifted from dieting to optimal, healthy eating habits. More and more people opt for healthy meals than restrictive dieting. Consider adding a healthy eating habits tracker to encourage your app’s members to take care of their health.
Examples of diet and nutrition apps
Fooducate is an app that helps users enrich their diet with nutrients and maintain healthy eating habits. This app uses a particular algorithm to grade foods based on their nutritional value. The more nutritious the food is, the higher grade it gets.
Members can easily add foods by scanning a barcode or searching them by name. Then, users will be asked to enter how much of the food they have eaten, and Fooducate automatically calculates its calories, carbs, protein, and fat. The app can also track physical activity, sleep, and mood.
MyFitnessPal is a great tool for those who are losing weight. It’s extremely easy to use and keep track of calorie and nutrient intake. Instead of scanning or searching the app for a specific food, MyFitnessPal uses the phone’s camera to log the entire meal. Apart from a calorie counter, the app can help users stay motivated and enrich their diet with healthy meals from a free recipe library.
Yoga has become a favorite daily workout for a majority of people. Practicing yoga offers various benefits, including stress relief, improved flexibility, better focus, and weight loss. Further, mobile apps enable users to practice yoga at home or on the go.
Examples of yoga apps
Daily Yoga is an excellent fit for both beginners and seasoned yoga practitioners. The app features over 500 asanas and 70 yoga programs and keeps track of users’ exercises.
Moreover, Daily Yoga has an active yoga community where app users can make new friends, share their yoga moments, and ask questions. Also, thanks to the app’s rich music library, users can choose background music for their yoga and mindfulness sessions.
MyYogaTeacher helps people become healthier and happier through practicing yoga. This app provides sessions with Indian yoga teachers trained in the birthplace of yoga. There are more than 70 teachers for group classes, one-on-one sessions, workshops, and teacher trainings.
Move-to-earn apps reward users for exercising and are developed using the latest blockchain-based technologies. Also, thanks to NFT, users can own and sell the things they have earned in move-to-earn apps.
Examples of move-to-earn apps
Genopets is one of the first move-to-earn NFT games. Genopets rewards users for exercising and allows users to transform real-life movements into tokens. The app integrates with wearable and health data sources to keep track of users’ activity.
In this app, a Genopet is an NFT animal that you can play with, like in a role-playing game. With their earned tokens, users can upgrade their Genopets and craft valuable items to win battles.
Stepn is the first Solana-based move-to-earn app. It allows users to earn crypto by running, walking, and jogging. Since Stepn features in-app purchases, users need to buy NFT sneakers to record their running stats when they register.
Also, in this app, each NFT token lasts for a fixed time. For example, one walker sneaker has 10 minutes of energy. During this time, users can exercise and earn native GST tokens.
Connected fitness apps
Connected fitness apps bridge the gap between technologies and fitness. They allow users to get the gym experience without leaving their homes. AI, ML, and IoT technologies level up connected fitness apps.
During the pandemic, Internet-connected fitness gear and apps have become increasingly popular. According to Consumer Technology Association industry forecast, the market for Internet-connected exercise equipment was worth $3.8 billion in 2021.
In 2022, however, investor enthusiasm for this market cooled. The slowing demand for connected fitness offerings made the revenues of the largest players crater. After years of success, key players, including Peloton, Hydrow, Zwift, and iFIT, are slashing costs and jobs.
Yet, despite this downward trajectory, we're still looking at the bright future of connected fitness apps. At least 30 funding rounds with $290 million of funding in total in 2022 attest to the resilient potential of the connected fitness space.
Moreover, most companies in the field are now revamping their business model, offering smaller, more affordable products to supplement hybrid workouts. This will allow market players to live side by side with traditional fitness instead of competing with it.
Examples of connected fitness apps
Vitruvian packs 400 lbs of resistance into a 65 lb platform by using motors to generate force. When combined with the Vitruvian app, the platform provides excellent resistance training sessions that sport lovers can complete in their homes while being connected to a whole community of like-minded individuals.
The Vitruvian app provides access to multiple classes and allows users to create and share custom workouts. In addition, this app gathers and analyzes performance data, provides personal records, and adjusts the platform settings to get the most out of their workouts.
Oxefit is an ecosystem of smart systems for strength training. Relying on AI analysis and computer vision, Oxefit iterates on data-driven fitness insights to customize and plan your workouts. Along with advanced training modes, users get access to 200+ strength exercises, including unique cardio workouts, digital pilates exercises, and other routines. Paired with the Oxefit app, this platform allows users to create a personal profile to develop custom workouts and access on-demand fitness content.
Tips for developing fitness apps in 2024
While several fitness apps are being launched every day, the fitness market still has room for new apps that will revolutionize the fitness industry. In addition to the functionalities of the apps mentioned above, there are unique twists you can add to your fitness app, including:
Build a community
Having a social element is a crucial aspect when developing a fitness app. Not only does it allow users to engage actively, but it also motivates more people to participate competitively. You can add community elements to your app, including goals achieved, motivational posts, and leaderboards, to allow users to interact with this content and share their results on social media.
Add gamification elements
Leaderboards, personal achievements, and valuable prizes can help you engage and retain users. But have you considered gaming elements like the ones found in Zombies, Run! and transforming an average run into an exciting adventure?
In Zombies, Run!, users get various missions via headphones and collect supplies for their base when using the app. Every time users are chased by zombies and they’ll need to speed up to survive. Gamification like this can make fitness routines more efficient and exciting.
Personalize fitness experiences
In addition to pre-set plans, consider allowing users to customize their experience and set specific goals. Here, AI, machine learning, and computer vision come in handy. For example, FitnessAI takes advantage of AI technologies to provide custom workouts with optimal sets, reps, and weights.
Synchronize with wearables
Nowadays, fitness enthusiasts have multiple devices that help them track and improve their fitness. When building a fitness app in 2024, it’s vital to sync all the data from other fitness apps and fitness bands, glasses, insoles, and clothes.
Keep mental wellness in mind
In 2022, 78% of Americans exercised to whip their mental and emotional well-being in shape instead of focusing on just physical health. Following this trend, Nike, Calm, Peloton, and other industry leaders have doubled their effort to offer low-impact workout routines such as yoga, stretching, and pilates.
Based on this preference shift, we recommend including exercises and programs that flex mental muscles as well as adding more recovery programs for users.
How to build a fitness app
First and foremost, you should set your vision for the future product. This includes the app type, a basic set of features, the target audience, and other lead-ins. Once you set your sights on the application, you need to give it a reality check to test the product-market fit. Along with market demand, you should also validate your business idea by creating a proof of concept (PoC). A PoC is also a great exercise to explore the financial potential of your product.
After testing the waters, you can proceed with establishing the application structure and building wireframes. We recommend putting a great emphasis on your application design, as it’s crucial for the fitness app category.
After that, your app development team will move along with building a minimum viable product of your application that includes only basic features. An MVP helps identify the most in-demand features of your application and reduce the development effort.
Your development team then rolls out the MVP in the wild and gathers real-user feedback to later iterate on the app version.
Undoubtedly, there are far more activities that will occur in your development process. To learn more about the fitness app development process and costs, read our step-by-step guide.
The fitness app market has had its ups and downs over the last few years. While specific applications have lost their dominance, the market still favors newcomers with bold and fresh ideas.
There are no set rules for building a successful fitness app, but there is various functionality that you can add to your fitness app to win over users. At Orangesoft, we've been building apps for over ten years, and we can help bring your app idea to life. Contact us to book a session and discuss your ideas.