Stories from Fitness Technology

The Best at-Home Spin Apps That Turn Your Living Room Into a Cycling Studio

Zoe Weiner

Zoe WeinerApril 8, 2020

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Photo: Stocksy/Rob and Julia Campbell

The modern spin class has gone through quite a number of different iterations. What started out in the dimly-lit back room of your local gym transformed into a luxury boutique experience, thanks to studios like SoulCycle and FlyWheel. And now, you can reap the same benefits that used to require trekking to a studio right in the comfort of your living room via at-home spin class apps.

Over the last few years, the fitness world has exploded with digital offerings, and spin studios have kept up with the times by launching apps and online experiences of their own. Now that social distancing has become the (temporary) norm, many instructors have brought their offerings—for free—to Instagram, Facebook Live, and even dedicated apps. So hop on your at-home bike and your phone or tablet, and get ready to tap it back with spin class apps that feel just like the real deal.

Peloton (Normally $13/month, currently free)

When Peloton launched its home spin bike in 2014, it made getting a pro-grade cycling class in your living room easier than ever. But thanks to its app (which launched in 2018), users can now have access to the workouts without having to drop $2,295 on a bike. The app can be accessed from any phone or tablet, and comes complete with live and on-demand spin, running, and strength-training workouts. The one major benefit of Peloton? Its dedicated community, which will keep you motivated through every ride.

Variis ($40/month)

Equinox released Variis, its first-ever digital app in March, 2020, giving people the option to bring SoulCycle into their own living rooms for the first time ever. The app includes 30- and 45-minute spin classes from SoulCycle instructors across the country, plus running workouts from Precision Run, strength training sessions led by Equinox trainers, as well as yoga, meditation, and recovery classes. For now, the app is only available to Equinox members (as a part of their membership) or those who purchase the at-home SoulCycle bikes ($40/month), but there are plans to expand the offerings later this year.

AARMY (Free on Instagram Live)

When Akin Akman was forced to close down his AARMY studio amidst COVID-19, he immediately brought his famed spin classes online by way of Instagram Live. His workouts are known for their high-intensity and expert-level choreography, and are not for the faint of heart. He’s currently coaching free daily sessions on the @AAMRY Instagram page (which are available for 24 hours after they go live), and has plans to launch a more formal paid digital platform later this year.

Lost Cycle (Free on Instagram Live)

Similar to Akman, Ontario-based trainer Courtney Grafton has temporarily brought her spin teachings to Instagram Live to help ease the difficulty surround working out during social distancing. She streams live classes daily, and often supplements them with a post-cardio core-strengthening session. Classes usually take place at noon, and remain on Instagram for 24 hours.

CycleBar GO ($20/month)

When its studios shuttered for quarantine, CycleBar brought its offerings online by way of the CycleBar Go app. You can participate right from your phone or tablet in full-screen video for an all-encompassing, immersive experience anywhere,

CycleCast ($10/month)

CycleCast, which has been around since 2015, offers 25-, 30-, and 45-minute cycling workouts led by world class instructors. The app syncs up with your Apple Health or Google Fit data, so that you can keep track of your rides and performance in the longterm.

Zwift ($15/month)

If you want your indoor spin session to feel like an outdoor ride (or at least, the gamified-version of an outdoor ride), Zwift has got you covered. There are over 1,000 different immersive rides to take you through the streets of places like New York City, the Swiss Alps, and the Mayan Ruins, and you can follow training plans designed by coaches or just go through a casual spin on your own. There are also over 200 live events every day, so you can race against real people through the English Countryside and beyond.

Get your boutique studio fix with these streaming workouts. Plus, how the fitness world is giving us all the communities we need right now

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