UI/UX Design Principles and Best Practices Fitness Apps Should Follow

People today suffer from a sedentary lifestyle, spending many hours in front of the computer. That is why, from time to time, each of us decides to get our body in shape. In the quest to get into shape and be healthier, we all start with gusto. Some pound the pavement with jogs, others pump iron at the gym.

Between early morning jogs and late night gym sessions, millions flock to fitness apps hoping for help sticking to their health goals. The numbers prove it – in early 2024 over 14 million downloads showed people were ready to grind. But how can you design a fitness application people won’t ditch like an expired gym membership? Are there ways to get them back moving rather than hitting the “Uninstall” button?


The secret is when designing a fitness app, balance what works with what looks good and feels great to use. Focus on functionality, aesthetics and the overall experience. Build a platform that transforms ho-hum workouts into must-see TV and users will stick with your app longer than with a popular show.

This article explores fitness app UI and UX design principles and best practices applications should follow to hook users and achieve your long-term business goals. Thought-out, visually appealing, and user-centric fitness app design with seamless functionality hold the power to transform people’s experience, unlocking a world where fitness and business goals are not just achieved but exceeded.

Why fitness apps design matters

A well-planned design is an investment that pays off through lifelong customers and word-of-mouth promotion. For fitness apps, UX/UI design should not be an afterthought but a key driver of success.  With a human-centered approach, you can come up with a platform that stands out, delights users, and lets you thrive for years.

Here are the reasons why design is vital for this type of application.

User active participation

Get your customers fired up to participate. An intuitive, convenient portal makes a fitness app more inviting as users easily navigate features. Clean layouts, clever clicks, and strategic use of multimedia snag attention and encourage action. When people feel engaged, they explore more, taking advantage of all the platform offers.


When designing fitness apps, usability is no less crucial to customer cheer. If essentials are obscure to obtain, users quickly get frustrated. Prioritize simplicity and logic – all elements should be effortless to find and use. Clear terminology, consistent navigation, and minimal distractions let lifters focus on fitness, not figuring out the app.

User drive and determination

We can say with confidence that thriving apps thrive because they motivate users – through design as well. Elements like progress bars and virtual rewards for wins spur people’s psychological motivators.

Celebrating milestones, no matter how modest, incentivizes athletes to keep crushing it. Social sharing also allows sports fans to gain motivation from one another. When health and fitness app design makes motivation a driving force, users are inspired to stick with routines.

Brand image and differentiation

Your branding needs to pop, too. Give your app a memorable style so it stands out from the competition. Make it feel high-end and trustworthy with slick visuals, easy-to-navigate content, and fun interactive features. Leave a great impression and people will be more eager to commit their time and money to utilizing it.

Accessibility and inclusivity

When creating a fitness app, don’t leave users with special needs out just because of some limitations. As keen UX design takes into account all customers’ skills, make sure your app is accessible to them, whether they need bigger text, voice controls, or color contrast. An inclusive design shows you care about helping the whole community meet their health objectives.

Retention (that’s equal to your overall success)

Doing all of the above is vital because your ultimate goal is customer retention. This is what allows your app to have consistent usage and a reliable income flow, which means true success of your business.

Make your app a total inspiration machine packed with helpful tips and tricks. If people stick with you for the long haul, they’re more likely to spread the word and pay for premium perks. And that’s how you’ll thrive while others fade into the background.

Looking to develop a fitness app?

With our expertise in building fitness apps, as well as following fitness app design best practices, we at Eastern Peak can help you build a successful and feature rich fitness application and gain a unique competitive edge.

Contact us

6 UI design best practices for a fitness app

Our experience proves that harnessing the simplicity of a clean, minimalistic design and engaging users deeply with interactive elements woven seamlessly into every workout session is what puts you on the way to crafting an app that users will love.

Adhere steadfastly to principles of visual hierarchy and let the caliber of your visuals serve as constant motivators for each sports fan – and you “pump energy” into your app for lasting growth.

So, how to design a fitness app so that it could achieve its goals? Let’s explore some insider fitness app UI secrets in more detail.

Keep your app neat and minimal

Declutter navigation and save the bells and whistles for later. Only keep the essentials like “Home,” “Workouts,” “Gains,” and “Settings.” No need for a million menus, just the basics to get started. A neat design means newbies won’t get lost in the weight room.

Make it interactive

While a minimal design is ideal, that doesn’t mean the interface should feel static or dull – add some “muscle” with interactive elements. Gesture menus, slider controls, and touchy-feely charts can engage users better than any boring instructor. Even subtle animations between screens make a fitness app feel more dynamic.

Focus on visuals

A picture is worth a thousand words. In fitness app design, particularly focus on visuals. Inspirational pics, illustrated form guides, and stats infographics are way better motivators than any cheesy coaching. Icons can replace words for a cleaner look too. Just be selective – only use visuals that enhance the user experience.

Implement visual hierarchy

Implement some visual hierarchy as well – spotlight both key actions and info. Make important buttons pop with size, color, and contrast. This orchestrates a seamless journey for users, like a personal trainer gently guiding them to personal records.

Opt for side or bottom-positioned navigation bars

For navigation, try side or bottom bars – these positions are the most familiar and intuitive. If your users can’t find their way around, they’ll end up more confused than pumped. In your fitness mobile app design, keep navigation visible and quickly accessible for the most optimal user experience.

Make the app responsive

If your app looks cramped on the phone or has features cut off on the tablet, fans can quickly get frustrated and delete it. To avoid this, during the fitness app design process, make sure your app’s interface fluidly adjusts to different devices. While a responsive fitness app requires more upfront work, you’ll save hours of headaches in the long term, tweaking layouts for new devices and screen sizes.

If you follow these tried-and-true fitness app UI design tips, you’ll avoid many of the mistakes that inexperienced entrepreneurs make.

Let’s now scrutinize UX design peculiarities, which are exactly what helps users get stuck on the application.


Proven UX design strategies for fitness apps

For applications of this type, success hinges not only on a sleek interface and overall aesthetics but also on the user experience you deliver. After all, in a world bursting with options, users want a UX that is off the charts.

Here are some proven UX design principles for a fitness app that can amplify its performance.

Your athlete-centric design

It all starts with doing your homework. Get to know your customers:

  • uncover habits,
  • identify hurdles, and
  • grasp motivations.

This app isn’t about you, entrepreneur, it’s about them. Design with their drives, desires and dreams as the MVP.

Personalized touch

We all want our own personal best. So, when creating a fitness application, tailor

  • workout plans,
  • recommendations, and
  • reminders to each user’s goals and gains.

Make your users the star and they’ll stay loyal to your app long term.

Eye on the prize

Humans love achievement. Empower yours to set goals and then track triumph with precision. When designing a fitness application, visualize their advancements with

  • intuitive charts,
  • graphs, and
  • achievement badges.

For your sports stars, every small win counts.

Social connectivity

People are social creatures by nature, so why not tap into that? Integrate social features that allow users to

  • share workouts,
  • compete with friends, and
  • join fitness communities.

While creating fitness apps, entrepreneurs should never miss out on a little healthy competition or a supportive community cheering users on. Nothing fuels motivation more than these.

Feedback and support

No one likes feeling lost in the wilderness (of fitness). Be your sports lover’s guiding light. To make certain they’re not just exercising but exercising safely and effectively, include

  • instructional videos,
  • workout tutorials,
  • practical tips etc.

In short, illuminate your sports enthusiasts’ experience with invaluable support and ensure they stride confidently towards their goals.

Onboard with ease

First impressions matter. So, don’t overwhelm your users with a labyrinth of features right out of the gate. According to the design principles for a fitness app, onboarding should be a breeze with:

  • clear directions,
  • guided tours, and
  • tutorials.

Make this process so straightforward that even your grandma could use it.

Design for all

Last but certainly not least in how to design a fitness application that will reach the widest audience: ensure your app is accessible to all. Follow accessibility guidelines to accommodate users of all abilities by

  • providing alternative text for images,
  • enabling keyboard navigation, and
  • offering adjustable font sizes.

Inclusivity isn’t a buzzword; it’s a fundamental aspect of a good design.

In the landscape of digital entrepreneurship, those who prioritize user experience always come out on top. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a beginner, it would not be amiss to emphasize once again: when designing health & fitness apps, the path to success is paved with a seamless UX.


Examples of creative fitness app designs

Now, let’s dissect some prime fitness apps and unravel the strategies keeping them at the forefront.

Workout Trainer

An example of how to create a fitness app design that delivers – Workout Trainer:

  • Effortless onboarding. Users create a free account to kickstart a journey and input their training preferences, from intensity to time and goals.
  • Content hierarchy. It is at the application’s core, offering a vast workout library categorized for easy navigation and selection.
  • Personalized coaching. Athletes can choose their trainer’s avatar, whose voice guides them through workouts with personalized instruction.
  • Flaunting the skills. The platform allows users to share accomplishments on social media or by email with detailed stats right in the app.
  • Extras. Additional features like calendar integration, milestone rewards, and more – overall, the application showcases its commitment to the athlete-focused design.


The application Freeletics leverages advanced algorithms, social connectivity, and personalized guidance to provide an interactive and engaging experience:

  • Catchy onboarding. This app sizes sports fans up right away with an assessment to craft the perfect plan for their skills and goals.
  • Customized “Just for You”. All exercises evolve as users do, based on their unique abilities and preferences.
  • Tracking the athlete’s superpowers. Advanced algorithms monitor user’s gains, tweaking workouts to keep challenging them.
  • Team up for the win. The application has built a friendly community that motivates users to share successes and find encouragement for even the toughest days.
  • Instant cheer squad. During exercises, the app delivers real-time feedback and motivational assistance, pushing sports fans to perform at their peak.


Designing fitness apps: The bottom line

As you develop your fitness app, bear in mind from the start that design is crucial for a great application. We recommend finding the sweet spot between form and function – this determines how well the app functions, how motivated and supported your users feel, and how your brand is perceived.

Creating a fitness app that speaks directly to your users through the UI/UX practices outlined in the article is the recipe for sustained user interest and business growth.

How to get started?

The product discovery phase is the best first step you can take to lay a solid foundation for the development of your app. It includes a functional specification, UX/UI design, and a visual prototype that will give you a clear vision of the end product. On average, this phase takes 4-6 weeks.

The product discovery phase can help you:

  • define a full scope of work and develop a roadmap for building an app
  • set a realistic budget for your MVP and plan your resources
  • test the waters with your audience using a visual prototype
  • craft a convincing investment pitch
  • get to know your team

If you dream of making a splash in the segment and leaving a lasting impression on health-conscious users, contact Eastern Peak. We are here to guide you in making a fitness application that stands out and delivers results.

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