Apple Watch supports a huge selection of workout types, but most of the popular ones, like running and swimming, you probably can’t do right now thanks to the coronavirus lockdown. Fortunately, if you delve a little deeper, you’ll find plenty of Apple Watch home workouts you can choose from that require little or no special equipment.
So why not take the opportunity to master a whole new kind of exercise? Here are 20 Apple Watch indoor workout options you can do at home right now.
This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items. Read our reviews policy.
How to add Apple Watch workout types
Apple Watch automatically sorts workout types in a list, showing the ones you do regularly at the top and putting other popular options below. The trouble is, most of these are the kinds of exercise you can’t do right now, thanks to the COVID-19 quarantine. So keep on scrolling to the bottom to find the Add Workout button. Tap on this to access a much longer list of more than 70 additional workout options.
Some of these are not practical right now. For example, unless you live on a ranch, I’m gonna take a wild guess and say Equestrian Sports are out of the question. But after carefully combing through the list, I’ve picked out 20 Apple Watch workouts that you can probably do right now while sheltering in place.
Top 20 Apple Watch home workouts
1. Strength Training
This is something you’d normally do at the gym with dumbbells, barbells and resistance machines. But there’s nothing to stop you from doing strength training at home — even if you don’t own any weights. Check out my post on how to do an effective workout at home for details.
2. High Intensity Interval Training
HIIT workouts give you a short, sharp burst of exercise that often proves more effective than a much longer, lower-intensity session. This typically involves outdoor running, cycling or swimming. But it doesn’t have to. You can do almost any exercise this way. Check out my post on HIIT workouts with Apple Watch for more details.
3. Indoor Cycling
You don’t need to invest in a brand-new exercise bike for this. If you own a regular bicycle, you can use it as an indoor exercise bike with a training bike stand. These are compact and reasonably affordable, with prices starting at less than $100.
Originating from ballet training, barre is a low-impact, full-body workout that emphasizes strength, flexibility, balance and grace. A barre is the railing you see along the walls of dance studios. At home, you can probably make do with a stair railing or towel rack. For instructions on how to get started, check out Kage Douglas’ live barre demos on Instagram.
5. Core Training
Most core-training exercises rely on body weight rather than special equipment. That makes them ideal for doing at home. For more details on core training, check out my post on how to build six-pack abs with Apple Watch.
6. Mixed Cardio
Cardiovascular workouts tend to involve movement, like running, cycling and swimming. Which is not ideal when you’re stuck indoors. But there’s plenty of cardio you can do while standing (or jumping around) on the spot. Just be considerate to the neighbors if you live in an apartment block! For mixed cardio home workout ideas, check out my post on Apple TV fitness apps.
Maybe you’re not ready to do a turn on Dancing With the Stars just yet. But in the privacy of your home, no one can see you cha-cha-cha. So now’s the ideal time to conquer your two left feet without shame or stigma. Why not burn some calories while mastering your favorite Fortnite emotes in real life? When the quarantine lifts, you can impress all your friends by flossing like our very own Fortnite expert, Killian Bell.
8. Fitness Gaming
If you own a Nintendo Wii or Switch, you already have a home workout solution just waiting for you to get sweaty with it. If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to dust off your the old wiimote and play some Wii Fit. Or get physical with Fitness Boxing on your Switch. Whichever you choose, you can log it with the Fitness Gaming option on your Apple Watch.
Tom Brady puts the longevity of his football career down to “pliability” or, in layman’s terms, flexibility. Developmental static stretching exercises are ideal for doing in the warmth and comfort of your own home. Who knows, before the quarantine is over, you could be effortlessly performing the splits. Check out Sworkit’s dedicated flexibility training app to get you started.
You may not have a pommel horse or rings at home, but there are still plenty of basic gymnastics you can master without any special equipment. Gymnastics are great for building strength and flexibility. And if you have enough space at home, you could learn some new party tricks, like cartwheels and handstands. You’ll find plenty of gymnastics how-tos on YouTube to get you started.
11. Jump Rope
There’s no excuse to skip your daily workout. Especially if you own a skip rope. This is not only a great form or cardio exercise, it also trains you to be light on your feet, which is why it’s so popular with boxing coaches. If you don’t already own one, why not treat yourself to a Tangram Smart Rope that counts your jumps with an incredible built-in LED display that magically floats in midair? The accompanying iPhone app syncs your workout to Apple’s Health app automatically.
No, you don’t need a sparring partner. Kickboxing and mixed martial arts provide a great cardio workout option you can do at home. Just make sure you don’t break any windows or cherished ornaments. Check out Coach Kozak’s Hasfit cardio kickboxing videos for workouts targeting all ability levels, including beginners.
13. Martial Arts
If kickboxing is not your jam, there are plenty of other martial arts to choose from. Fire up YouTube on your Apple TV and do a search for “beginner martial arts” and you’ll find loads of workouts you can follow along at home.
14. Mind & Body
If all this coronavirus business has you stressed out, perhaps the workout you really need is for your mind as well as your body to help you relax. In which case, the Mind & Body workout could be for you. Check out my post on Apple Watch breathing exercises to get started.
Pilates is a great way to improve your core strength, balance and posture. While special equipment is sometimes used, all you really need to get started is a yoga mat or other suitable surface to work out on. Check out the Pilates Anytime app for iPhone and iPad to get some workout ideas.
Before the quarantine, people used to pay good money to use the stairs machine at their local gyms. So, if you have a staircase in your home, count yourself lucky. You’ve got an essential piece of gym equipment right there. Walking or running up and down the staircase provides great cardio exercise while also building strength and stamina in your legs. Just take care you don’t fall.
17. Step Training
Not to be confused with the staircase, for step training you need a sturdy bench designed especially for this type of workout. Order a Reebok Step online, and use it with a beginners step workout on YouTube for an intensive cardio session.
18. Tai Chi
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that combines self-defense training with exercise and meditation to provide a complete mind-body workout. Check out the Taichi Temple iPhone app for a step-by-step approach to learning the fundamentals.
Fancy yourself a luchador or the next WWE superstar? Then maybe a wrestling workout is for you. All you need is a partner. Frankly, this is one of the more surprising Apple Watch home workouts. And if don’t have any experience, maybe it’s best not to try out a top-rope Canadian Destroyer on your mom. But freestyle wrestling provides a great strength-and-conditioning workout. Check out Zane Retherford’s home workout videos to get started. And who knows, if you really take to it, maybe you’ll get a last-minute invite to next year’s Olympics.
Yoga provides a complete mind-body workout. In addition to helping you develop balance, flexibility, posture and strength, it will also leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Check out my review of the Asana Rebel Apple TV app for details on its excellent selection of yoga workouts.