20 hours ago
The 5 best apps to get you a bikini body
August 4th 2014 / 1 comment
From fitness and nutrition to yoga and music, we've collated the 5 best apps to help you slim down and tone up for your perfect beach body
MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular apps around, and it's not hard to see why. In the most basic terms, it's a free calorie counter - keep a diary of what you've eaten using their handy tool and you can keep track of calories on the go, no matter where you are. So far, so simple.
Add to that the fact you set up a profile of your current weight and height together with your goals, as well as look up your meals in their database to find the calories (because who actually knows how many are in that sandwich?), and we're pretty sold on the whole thing. Better still, it's all for free.
Of course calorie counting and logging your lunchtime gym workout is all well and good, but give it a few days and you're bound to look back at Christmas with fond memories and slip back into bad habits. Enter, the MyFitnessPal community.
Packed full of of forums, tips and support, you can feel assured that everyone else is not in fact having their cake and eating it too while you munch on salad, plus find out how to fix anything from achy legs after your run to how to make a meal less calorific.
MyFitnessPal, free, available on iTunes
6 Pack Abs
A series of exercises, workouts, challenges and meal plans created by actor and fitness model Adrian James, this app is designed to help you slim down and tone up in just eight weeks. Using it two or three times a week, choose between three different levels of difficulty, or alternatively combine all levels for a more integrated and thorough workout.
There are a whole host of features to ensure that users are able to clearly follow the programme and not get tempted to fall off the wagon. Ranging from video demonstrations to accompany the ab exercises and a detailed list of handy hints and tips that advises users on everything from staying hydrated and packing in the protein to banishing booze and watching out for sneaky sugars.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a seven day meal plan with essential nutrition tips to help you adopt an all round healthier lifestyle. Super simple and easy to use this app is essentially ‘how to lose weight and tone up for dummies’. Plus, not a single piece of sweaty, dirty or complex piece of gym equipment is required - it’s just you and your abs taking on the world one excruciating sit-up at a time.
6 Pack Abs, £1.99,available on iTunes
The ideal antidote to stressful, deskbound days, expensive gym classes and fitness DVD fatigue, Pocket Yoga is your wise and highly flexible guru on the go. Developed with the world-renowned School of Gaia Flow, this enlightening app can guide you through 27 different yoga sessions, all tailored to different practices, difficulty levels and durations.
Whether you're starting the day with an energetic thirty-minute blast or switching off with a more relaxed hour-long ritual, Pocket Yoga's detailed voice and visual instructions will guide you through every pose and position. The soothing instructor will even tell you when to breathe, so that you can concentrate on more important things like getting your feet up by your ears.
A dictionary of yoga poses features over 150 illustrated images with Sanskrit to English translations and assigned difficulty levels, so that you don't run before you can walk and get yourself in a bit of a tangle. The app will help you work your way to vinyasa nirvana though, as it logs all of your previous yoga sessions to track your progress and promote consistency. And if squinting at your screen while in Downward Dog is stretching your eyes a bit, you can also follow the sessions on a larger TV screen by connecting it wirelessly via Apple TV or using AV cables.
Oh, and did we mention that Miranda Kerr loves it? We would bend over backwards to achieve anything resembling her angelic frame; daily Pocket Yoga is our new mantra.
Pocket Yoga, £1.99, available on iTunes
Using a unique tempo level system, this app categorizes your music library into levels based on different tempo intervals. As a result, when you’re exercising at a particular tempo or speed the app will play the best music that fits to your pace, creating a more fluid and exhilarating run.
If your music library is a little dodge (ahem, we're looking at you Bieber), don’t worry as this app has got you covered with TempoRadio powered by SoundCloud. This feature allows you to discover and download a whole host of epic new running songs. However, for those of you more tune savvy, Tempo Run can also categorize your existing music library into different tempo levels 1-10, with 1 being a walk, 5 being a jog, and 10 being a sprint so that you can sync your steps to the beat of your music.
Not just a master of music, this app also allows you to keep track of all relevant running statistics such as distance, time and calories burned, allowing you to monitor your progress.
This app is the personal trainer / awesome exclusive DJ you never had. Plus, anything that can ease the utter agony of running and improve our technique gets a massive thumbs up from us. Indeed, the perfect run is only a download away.
TempoRun, £1.99, available from iTunes
7 minute Workout
Using nothing more than a chair, a wall and your own body weight, the seven minute workout aims to provide the maximum benefits of working out, in the shortest time possible.
Using the principles of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), the workouts last just seven minutes and guide you through 12 sets of different exercises, each lasting 30 seconds, with a ten second break in between each move. It may sound like a walk in the park, but don't be fooled, if you give it all you’ve got, then it feels more like a seven hour workout. Covering both strength and fitness the exercises range from jumping jacks and squats to push-ups and the plank - it's a full body blast.
With precise and clear exercise illustrations, visual timers, interchangeable spoken instructions and even tactile feedback this app is super clear and easy to navigate. It's also just like a video game whereby you begin with three lives which you lose if you wimp out of a workout. If you lose three hearts in a row it’s game over.
The ultimate aim is to complete the seven month challenge: seven minutes every day for seven months. If seven minutes starts to become too painless then you can increase the circuits to 15, 23 or even 40 minutes, but we'll get to that later.
7 Minute Workout, Free, available on iTunes