Top 7 Best Fitness VR Apps in 2021
Having fun while doing physical exercise is probably one of the best and most marketable value propositions of VR headsets. Since the start of the pandemic, lots of people have dipped their toes into the world of VR fitness and found themselves unable to go back to plain old workouts.
If this sounds enticing to you, then check out this list of the best fitness apps that you can experience using VR. Whether you’re looking for reasons to buy a VR headset or you already own one, this list will almost certainly have something that will interest you.
BeatSaber isn’t just one of the VR fitness apps – it remains one of the best VR experiences to date. With an engaging gameplay loop and new music being released periodically, BeatSaber is the kind of VR game that you will find yourself returning to every now and then.
As a fitness app, it may seem easy to underestimate how tiring BeatSaber can be. However, moving your arms around for the entire three minutes of a song is actually a very good workout. You will get tired, but you will still want more. This is a rare combination that BeatSaber manages to deliver perfectly.
BeatSaber is one of the most popular VR games of late and is available on all major VR platforms. If you only have space for one more title in your VR library, this is it. Nobody regrets getting hooked on BeatSaber.
FitXR is a more traditional VR fitness app. It is based on boxing, dance, or HIIT classes except they are delivered within a VR environment. Each class has you moving your arms and legs around to follow on-screen cues, resulting in a performance-based score. The experience is very engaging and delivers a more all-around physical workout.
FitXR is an excellent option if you prefer having fitness classes in the comfort of your home. New classes are added to the app’s library every day. You can even compare scores with your friends or do simultaneous workouts with them. FitXR certainly adds an element of socialization to your workouts – something that lots of people enjoy.
FitXR is available on Oculus headsets. It requires a monthly subscription that gives access to new daily workouts as well as a vast library of on-demand workouts.
Supernatural is one of the more recent rhythm-based VR fitness apps where new exercises are published daily. What makes Supernatural different is that you get to do your workouts in one of several gorgeous locations around the globe. This helps enhance immersion and puts you in a state of relaxation and focus.
Each workout in Supernatural is guided by an expert coach and classified according to difficulty. The app now has a huge library of curated workouts ranging from relaxing stretches to intense choreography. It also helps that Supernatural has a really good soundtrack to accompany the workouts.
Supernatural is free to download but its full features can only be accessed through a paid subscription. If you’re looking for an alternative to going to the gym, then this fitness app is worth considering.
If your goal is to train like an athlete, then the REAKT Performance Trainer app is perfect for you. This app is designed to exercise both your physical prowess and reaction speed. Through a series of exercises, you can improve your hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and decision-making skills. The result is an overall better performance – physically and mentally.
To help monitor your progress, the app provides a real-time assessment of your performance after each exercise. Your score is then ranked against the other users of the app and even against pro athletes. Seeing these numbers can be a bit daunting but it also helps motivate you to push your limits.
The workouts and environments of REAKT Performance Trainer were designed to help you maintain focus. This means that they aren’t exactly fun – the guiding voice for the workout is robotic and not very engaging. These aren’t exactly deal-breakers but might not be what some people are looking for.
VZFit is an app designed to add a touch of VR to cardio-based exercise equipment such as stationary bikes and elliptical trainers. Using data from Google Street View, the app lets you explore virtual environments while doing your exercise. Going through the streets of famous cities or even the snow-capped Alps certainly sounds a lot more exciting than just watching TV in your living room.
VZFit doesn’t just take you through the images of Google Street View, of course. Each workout can be done with an audio guide that helps you keep track of your performance while motivating you. You can also stream music while using the app. If you have other friends using VZFit, you can set up voice chats with them so it will feel like you’re all riding together.
Although OhShape might look just like any other VR rhythm game, it might one of the best apps for doing a full-body exercise. Inspired by the Japanese “Hole in the wall” game show, OhShape will have you moving your entire body around to conform to shapes and avoid blocks that move to the cadence of a catchy soundtrack.
OhShape is not specifically designed as a fitness app, so it might not be for you if you’re trying to target certain fitness parameters. However, it’s one of the best VR experiences if you just want to get moving. The closest point of comparison would likely be BeatSaber, although the gameplay of OhShape is different enough to warrant its own discussion. It’s unique and fun – there’s not much more than you can ask for a fitness app.
Creed: Rise to Glory is a fairly old game but remains one of the best boxing games in VR. If you’re a fan of the Rocky franchise, then going through the narrative of the game and encountering familiar faces is enough incentive to grab this title. It’s also a very good app to get your blood pumping quickly.
As you would expect, Creed: Rise to Glory has you play the role of a boxer going through drills and facing up against opponents. These are extremely tiring, although you should expect your arms to get worked out more than any other body part. The experience is so fun and addictive that your hooks and jabs will get better in no time.
The multiplayer feature of Creed: Rise to Glory is one of the best parts of the game. This means that you can face off against your friends in a virtual boxing ring or randomly start a fight with strangers. This gives the game added value even if you have already finished the campaign.
Tips on doing VR workouts
While doing home workouts is not a new concept, doing it with a VR headset may be unfamiliar ground to some people. To keep yourself and the stuff in your home safe, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Invest on accessories
VR headsets and controllers are pretty robust, but you will be subjecting them to lots of movement and sweat when you do workouts. We suggest at least getting grip covers for your controllers and a silicone cover for the headset. These will reduce the exposure to sweat of your VR gear and keep them sliding and slipping while you move around.
It would also be a good idea to place an exercise mat on the floor to give you good footing. Working out on a rubber exercise mat is also a good way of defining your play area. Should you move out of bounds, there will be instant tactile feedback from your feet.
Take frequent breaks
Taking a break while working out is essential, of course. However, working out in VR has the unique danger of possibly causing nausea or motion sickness. This is normal if you’re new to VR. If you’re not feeling comfortable, then stop right away to take a seat. It also helps to have wind blowing on your face. Motion sickness in VR is something that will become less noticeable with more practice.
Adjust your settings accordingly
Most VR fitness apps have adjustable difficulty settings. Make sure to adjust this based on your physical capabilities. It’s a lot easier to over-exert yourself if you’re having fun, but you may end up having to go on an extended break to let your body recover. Take it easy for the first few sessions until you get a better feel for what your body can handle.
Make enough space
Having too little space is always a big danger in any kind of VR experience. When you’re working out, your constant fast movement can be hazardous to any nearby person or your stuff around the house. Make sure to designate a wide playing area with enough allowance at all sides and to let everyone in the house know not to go into the area unless it’s very important.
A lot of us want to get into the habit of regularly working out, but it really is easier said than done. Even people with all the fancy equipment and expensive gym memberships struggle with just making that first step.
VR is just an attempt to add an element of fun into doing your workouts. Yes, buying a VR headset (plus the titles) is pretty expensive as far as exercise equipment goes. However, you will likely find a lot more uses for that VR headset for general entertainment or even to attend virtual events and meetings.