Gym closed? These are the best games for working out at home

Zombies, Run!
Zombies, Run! (Image credit: Nick Sutrich/Android Central)

Going to the gym is important. After all, exercise is one of the most important ways to stay happy and healthy. But it's not always convenient to go, and sometimes the gym might even be closed when it's most convenient for you. That's why at-home workouts are so great! Whether you've got an Xbox, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Oculus Quest, or even just a smartphone, we've got a number of suggestions that could help you keep yourself in shape and stay sane over the next few weeks.

Ring Fit Adventure

If you're the proud owner of a Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has something truly special for you. In the same vein of Wii Sports and Wii Fit from a few years back, Ring Fit Adventure utilizes a rather interesting and unique set of mechanics that turn exercise into an adventure that'll keep you coming back again and again.

In our review of Ring Fit Adventure, we noted how the game takes players through extraordinary quests that constantly inspire and develop the drive for improvement with daily challenges that increase in difficulty over time. What I particularly like about Ring Fit Adventure is that you get physical breaks throughout the action, owing to the fact that this is very much a video game that drives players to physically recreate the actions their on-screen avatars are taking part in. Whether it's collecting trophies or battling giant end bosses, Ring Fit Adventure is a wild ride that's well worth the price of entry.

Ring Fit Adventure

Ring Fit Adventure

Ring Fit Adventure's unique controller makes the entire experience possible. It's one of the best workouts you can get at home because it's an adventure that'll keep you coming back.

Get more immersed in your workout

It's no secret that VR is the most immersive kind of technology we humans have today. Strapping that headset on your face immediately takes you out of the chaotic world we live in and transports you to a far-off virtual land. It's also the absolute best way to work out at home, as it provides a way to involve your entire body in the workout via a natural interface that anyone can understand and use without the learning curve that many video games present. You can grab a Steam gift card or PlayStation Network gift card from your local Best Buy or pick these up on the Oculus store if you have an Oculus Quest or Oculus Rift.

Beat Saber

Source: Beat Games (Image credit: Source: Beat Games)

Beat Saber (Steam,Oculus, PSVR) is the undisputed king of VR in every way. It's not only the best-selling VR game ever, but it's also known by more people than any other VR game in the world. When considering regular workout things, think of Beat Saber as a good alternative to two things: cardio, and arm day. After just a few minutes of slicing blocks to the music in Beat Saber your blood will be pumping, you'll be sweating, and in no time at all, you'll find your arms are nearly useless for any other task.

Pistol Whip Full Throttle Update

Source: Cloudhead Games (Image credit: Source: Cloudhead Games)

Pistol Whip (Steam, Oculus, PSVR coming soon) by comparison, works the lower half of your body in addition to helping you get a bit more flexible. In Pistol Whip, you'll be shooting and melee smacking enemies by the dozens while dodging, ducking, and flexing your way around the mass array of bullets that hail toward you through each of the levels. At this time, there are 13 levels to play through, with two additional levels coming before June. Think you can dodge bullets faster than Agent Smith? Prove it.

Dance Central Oculus Quest

Source: Oculus Studios (Image credit: Source: Oculus Studios)

Oculus-exclusive Dance Central is a similar concept to Ubisoft's Just Dance series, but it's even better. Why, you ask? Simply put, the detection of movement is far more natural and accurate than what Just Dance offers, and a lot of that has to do with the tools available. All modern VR headsets can track your head and hand movements in the room you're in, giving you full and true freedom of movement to bust a move without busting your butt. It's even got a nifty built-in calorie-burning calculator that'll let you know just how much butt you've been kicking.


Source: PlayStation (Image credit: Source: PlayStation)

BoxVR (Steam, Oculus, PSVR) is a fitness title that's specifically focused on working our your arms to a beat. BoxVR differentiates itself from other rhythm games by adding in a personal trainer mechanic. Real personal trainers have put together workout routines that can be played at any time, and these can range from quick 7-minute sessions to hour-long workout marathons. Whether you're looking for some quick cardio before you start your day, or a way to work off the stress eating you may have been doing recently, BoxVR is easily one of the best ways to work out at home.

Dance until the break of dawn

Just Dance

Source: Ubisoft (Image credit: Source: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft's Just Dance series has been going strong for about a decade now, and every year comes complete with gameplay tweaks and a whole new tracklist. Just Dance 2020 is the latest entry into the series and features over three dozen songs to master, with the option of a subscription service that adds in hundreds of additional songs, so you can get your groove on all night long.

Ubisoft has maintained an impressive development schedule with this series and has released Just Dance 2020 on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and, if you can believe it in 2020, the Nintendo Wii. Each platform supports several different input types, which means you can actually dance your heart out if you have the PlayStation Camera and Move controllers on the PS4, the Switch Joy-Cons, or Wii controllers. A smartphone can also be used for detecting motion if you so prefer.

Check out the best ways to experience Just Dance 2020 in our guide here.

Just Dance 2020 boxart

Just Dance 2020

Just Dance takes the industry's longest-running rhythm dancing game into the next decade with a selection of three dozen songs, and you can subscribe to Ubisoft's music service for never-ending fun.

When a smartphone is best

Peloton App

Source: Peloton (Image credit: Source: Peloton)

Not everyone has a console or a VR gaming system, but nearly everyone has a smartphone that can be used to help you work out at home. Whether by necessity or preference, there are a few great smartphone apps that'll get your blood pumping and your abs burning in no time.

Peloton has taken a look at the events happening worldwide and decided to lend a helping hand by making the Peloton app free for 90 days. Before you begin wondering, no, you don't need a Peloton bike in order to use the Peloton app. In fact, the bike portion of the Peloton experience is only a fraction of what you can expect from the Peloton app, as personal trainers will help you stretch and workout at home in more ways than just putting the pedal to the metal. The yoga and pilates classes are particularly great for burning some energy while simultaneously relaxing, all in the comfort of your living room.

Peloton App


Peloton is more than just an exercise bike; it's an entire world of fitness, now at your fingertips thanks to the handy smartphone app. Try it free for 90 days and see if it changes your world.

Zombies Run App

Source: Six to Start (Image credit: Source: Six to Start)

This last one is designed to get you out and about so you can get some fresh air and sunshine, but it's also an experience that isn't going to be loved by everyone because of the subject matter. Zombies, Run! is a unique experience that brings the zombie apocalypse right to your neighborhood by combining a rich story and narrative with location-based tracking. Think of it as Pokemon Go, but with the intent of getting you jogging and running to pump up your heart rate.

You'll be venturing out to collect materials to bolster your thriving base and keep you safe from the zombies, but watch out, because there are zombies around every corner. As you walk around your neighborhood you'll hear the story played through your headphones. Zombies will appear along the way, and the only way to get away is to run as fast as you can. This smartphone app tracks your location and speed and can calculate distance traveled and calories burned. It's a great way to break up the monotony of taking the same path every day!

Zombies Run Logo Crop

Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run! is a unique game for your smartphone that brings the realm of the undead right to your neighborhood. Collect supplies as you run around to fortify your home base, but watch out for the hordes of zombies at every corner!

You've got this

Don't let the malaise of staying indoors get you down. No matter if you've got a cutting-edge VR system, a gaming console, or just a smartphone, there are great ways to keep your mind sharp and your emotions high while you wait things out. But these apps and games don't just have to be part of your social distancing plan; they can be used at any time and, really, you should incorporate them into your regular routine. Exercising at home the fastest and easiest way to keep you healthy and happy.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu