How to Make a Fitness App? Strategies for Success in a $5 Trillion Market

The article was updated on April 23, 2024.

Wellness is a vast worldwide segment that generated $5.6 tr in 2022. The industry is expected to show further stable growth and climb to $8.5 tr by 2027. With around 28% of Americans being gym members, 21% resolving to be more physically active, and fitness app adoption skyrocketing to be worth almost $10 bln by 2028 (compared to less than $7 bln in 2024). There’s never been a better time to stake a claim in this money-making niche.

The fitness app market is currently pumping out good profits, as today’s exercisers increasingly seek tailored, practical healthcare and fitness maintenance solutions. Many utilize fitness applications as a convenient option to monitor their workouts, establish goals, and get bespoke programs. Fitness applications will continue to acquire popularity by facilitating access to pro exercise and dietary guidance from any location.

That is why fitness app development is currently in high demand as both, leading brands and startups, in the fitness and wellness sphere are investing in mobile development to gain a unique competitive edge.

This article condenses our expertise in building fitness apps, as well as our understanding of the market specifics. So, whether you want to stay on top of the current trends or you are ready to build your own sport and health app, this article is for you.

Let’s dive more deeply into the realm of applications, where sweat meets tech. Globally, users are now placing a much higher priority on their health and physical fitness, which has amplified the “appetite” for apps that track diet, practice meditation, and provide guidance to get into or stay in shape.

So, the segment at the moment presents various apps catering to many fitness flavors – from different trackers and calorie crushers to dancing, yoga, and specialized platforms. After studying these fitness app types, it will be easier for you to enter the industry with a new solution that motivates users and produces tangible results.

Running and cycling apps

They cater to outdoor enthusiasts, providing GPS-bottomed route planning and allowing athletes to navigate new paths. If this is the variety you are contemplating building a fitness app for, let users track their pace, elevation, and path length while also accessing features like audio cues, social sharing, interval training, and setting goals.

Plus, these apps can also monitor how many calories a user has burned and give an overall progress picture.

Examples: Runkeeper, Strava, Runtastic, Nike+ Running



Gym apps

These types of fitness apps are usually free from GPS features. A plethora of exercise libraries with detailed instructions and demonstrations, customizable exercise plans, progress tracking, and integration with wearables distinguishes them.

Using these apps, sport enthusiasts get the convenience of a gym membership and the expertise of professional trainers in one solution.

Examples: Gym Workout Tracker, Jefit, 8fit

Personal trainer apps

When creating a fitness app of this type, come up with a digital platform that lets users access highly personalized fitness guidance. Such applications usually offer an array of workout plans, virtual coaching sessions, nutrition tracking, exercise regimens (in both audio and video formats), and performance monitoring.

Plus, with these apps, the audience can have the possibility to schedule private classes with local trainers.

Examples: Aaptiv, Sworkit, Endomondo

Activity tracking apps

While activity monitoring capabilities are frequently found in many sports and health applications, some independent apps provide similar functionality separately.

Moreover, they are among the top fitness apps and are in demand. They evaluate many elements of physical activity and health-related behaviors, including step counting, workout journaling, calorie tracking, and more. They usually involve integration with smartwatches to obtain activity information and follow health statistics.

Examples: Google Fit, Apple Health, Garmin

Read also: Developing Apps for Fitness Integrated with Wearables


Yoga apps

Apps for yogis use an approach similar to the one above. When building your own fitness app for this target audience, provide a collection of pre-planned programs for different levels of difficulty.

Your users must be able to access instructional videos, follow structured routines, and track their advancement. The applications often integrate features like community forums and meditation guidance or pair yoga practice with general physical exercise.

Examples: Daily Yoga, Asana Rebel, Yoga Studio

Asana-Rebel-app Asana-Rebel-app(1)

Healthy diet apps

These applications let users track nutrition in the same way that fitness-tracking apps record physical activities. They provide meal planning, calorie monitoring, grocery lists, nutritional analysis, and individualized diet and recipe suggestions according to personal objectives, dietary requirements, and preferences.

Examples: Lifesum, Lose It!, MyFitnessPal

Read also: Top 7 Calorie Tracking Apps and How to Develop One


Meditation apps

These target mental wellness seekers, providing mindfulness, relaxation, and stress alleviation sessions. Users can explore various meditation techniques within the app, from breathwork to visualization. Such applications often feature soothing sounds, tutorials, customizable timers, and progress tracking. This is obviously what you’ll have to do when making your own fitness app for this niche.

Examples: Calm, Insight Timer, Headspace


Smart coach apps

This fitness app type usually boasts tailored workout plans, expert guidance, and – traditionally – progress monitoring. The platforms are commanded by AI and can analyze much more than users’ fitness basics and purposes.

Using 3D pose estimation, motion tracking, and machine learning, they can scan users’ postures, recognize the equipment used, and provide workout feedback. Additionally, some smart fitness programs can identify the type of equipment used and suggest the appropriate weight.

Examples: Fitness AI, Fitbod, Evolve AI

Dancing apps

Here, fitness mobile app development centers on platforms for pro dancers and enthusiasts to connect through live or recorded instructional videos and choreography tutorials for diverse dance styles.

Some apps focus specifically on partner dancing, while others offer a more general experience for solo dancers or kids. Users utilize an ample set of other features, such as updating music playlists, events (dance competitions), progress-tracking tools, and more.

Examples: STEEZY Studio, Pocket Salsa, Learn Dance At Home

Outdoor adventure applications

Fitness app development for the niche serves those who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and trail running.

They provide helpful features such as maps, trail conditions, weather forecasts, safety beacons, and check-in functionality to enhance outdoor experiences and promote safety. Some apps offer wildlife identification guides and allow for geotagging points of interest.

Examples: AllTrails, The Dyrt, Komoot

the-dyrt-app the-dyrt-app(1)

Group fitness apps

When studying how to develop a fitness app for this tier, pay heed to connecting individuals with on-demand or live group classes, allowing them to engage in virtual workouts led by instructors. Users must have the opportunity to join lessons remotely alongside fellow exercisers and benefit from a group exercise environment.

The apps offer numerous disciplines, such as strength training, cardio, dance, and more. They also allow individuals to connect with a community.

Examples: Nike Training Club, Peloton, iFit

Specialized fitness apps

This fitness application development is for specific user demographics and health goals. Such solutions focus on pregnancy-safe routines, senior-appropriate exercise, weight loss support, rehabilitation guidance for injuries, and more.

They address niche needs with customized workout and health programs, ensure personalized instruction, and support communities.

Examples: Prenatal & Postpartum Workout, PT Timer: Stretch & Exercise, Workout for Older Adults


Must-have features of any fitness app

While the above-listed app types have certain specifics, they also have a number of common features. Moreover, you can combine key features of several app categories to create a fitness app.

Having analyzed a number of the most popular apps from various categories, we were able to identify the basic features for any sport and health app. These include the following:

  • Personal account. This includes user info (age, gender, height, and weight), an activity log, personal settings, and custom goals.
  • Hardware integration and compatibility. For the best user experience, make sure your app works with the most popular fitness wearables (e.g. Fitbit and Apple Watch) and can sync data with Google Health and Apple Health.
  • Goal setting. It’s one of the integral parts of a fitness app that lets users plan ahead and set fitness goals.
  • Health tracking and logging. Whether you integrate with a wearable to track the user’s vitals during the workout or simply allow them to make a log of their diets and workouts, health and activity data are core elements of any fitness app.
  • Personalized workout/plan suggestions. Take advantage of user info and logs. Build an algorithm that can learn from the user’s specific needs and preferences. This can be used to suggest tailored plans/content for them.
  • Geolocation. With this feature, users can create different routes for walking, running and cycling, as well as see and track the distance when they run or cycle with the map provided by the app.
  • Community features. Help your users connect with other people using your app, share their achievements, and consult with specialists in real time.
  • Content. Let users access educational content on health and fitness (video or audio materials) within your app or simply allow them to listen to some music while they work out.
  • Notifications. A must-have engagement element of any app. They can serve as friendly reminders, prompting users to work out more or provide timely alerts on upcoming workouts.
  • Barcode scanning. A convenient and fast way to add info about food and nutrition. ShopWell has a handy barcode scanning feature to help you get the info on the products you are about to buy.

Looking to create your own fitness app?

With our expertise in building fitness apps, as well as our understanding of the market specifics, we at Eastern Peak can help you build a successful and feature rich fitness app and gain a unique competitive edge.

Contact us

How to stand out in the fitness app market?

With over 8,000 apps currently available, the fitness market is a highly competitive sphere. So, in addition to basic features listed above, you should always try to add a unique twist to your app to make it stand out among the competition.

For example, consider the following opportunities to improve your fitness app:

  • Live streaming might be a valuable addition to a fitness app. You can attract famous athletes or fitness coaches to stream their daily workout routines. A good example of this approach is represented by Flive app.
  • Social features. As mentioned above, a social aspect of a fitness app is a crucial element to have. It allows users to actively engage one another, and is a good user retention strategy. Focus on creating sharable content, such as goals achieved, personal records, custom music playlists, motivational posts, and allow users to interact with each other’s content by liking or commenting.

Please note: make sure to keep the shared content of your users relevant to your platform. Otherwise your app might turn into a spammy Instagram clone full of pointless selfies or hidden ads.


  • Gamification. Leaderboard, personal achievements, badges, and in-app currency can help you create a healthy competition among your app’s users, motivating them to stick to their workout routines and improve their results. In-app currency that can be offered in return for certain actions (friend invites, sharing, and personal achievements) can be converted to certain physical or digital goods.

Pact has found an interesting way to keep its users on track. The fitness app allows its users to earn actual money for staying fit.

  • User-generated content is another good engagement tool. Allow users to contribute to your community so that they feel involved. For example, users can add routes and trails to their running/cycling apps, provide ratings and complexity comments.
  • Customization. In addition to the pre-set training programs and plans, allow users to customize their routines and set specific goals. A good idea would be to employ machine learning capabilities to allow your app to learn from the user’s preferences and routines, which, in turn, automatically tailors the provided content to better meet the user’s expectations.
  • Target a specific audience or niche. Some of the niches underserved by traditional fitness apps are group training, personal programs for older adults, people with chronic diseases, medical rehabilitation patients, and outdoor activities (kayaking, hiking, and paddling).
  • Add a more personal touch. It is important to keep in touch with your users 24/7 to answer their questions and provide support. You can have actual professionals answering their questions, providing insightful recommendations, motivating and helping them make sense of their results. On the other hand, a more efficient way to handle customer service, often used by fitness app developers, are chatbots and AI.

For example, Lark offers AI-powered personal coaching through a familiar chat interface.


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How to make money with your fitness app? Proven monetization strategies

As with most other app categories, fitness applications can be monetized using several strategies. These include the following:

  • Paid apps. Some of the most popular fitness and training apps are paid (prices can vary depending on the app type, available content, and target platform).
  • In-app purchases. These usually mean some kind of digital goods, like additional content, meal recipes, workout music, etc.
  • Premium subscription plans. Also known as freemium, this option allows you to unlock additional features to augment the basic free app. These might include advanced fitness plans, and personal coaching services.
  • Ads. Be careful with this monetization strategy! Don’t make the ads too annoying and don’t let them destroy your app’s UX. Related services and goods that users can consider useful work best for this purpose.
  • Sponsored content. As an option, you can partner with other fitness providers (local gyms and sports professionals) and distribute their content within your app.
  • eCommerce. Outside of your app, you can offer branded goods and fitness products (custom fitness trackers and gear).


How to create a fitness app that works?

You are now armed with a precise picture of the most popular types of applications driving growth –  knowing what functionality to look for to attract and keep exercisers coming back and how to make your product profitable provided the fitness app market growth in the upcoming years. With consumers demanding handy solutions, abundant opportunities indeed exist for entrepreneurs seeking an exciting niche.

Consider developing a fitness app for crowded segments like workout apps and underserved ones around specific needs or outdoor activities. The potential rewards of empowering people to lead healthier lifestyles make the journey more than worthwhile.

However, as with any business that involves software development, having a reliable and experienced technology partner can help you gain an additional competitive edge. A good-looking, high quality app built by professional fitness app developers always has more chances for success than poorly developed ones.

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 fitness 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 the project
  • 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

Having built dozens of successful mobile apps for businesses and startups around the world, we at Eastern Peak can help you bring any of your ideas to life. Our sphere of expertise is not limited to fitness apps, so we can apply the skills and experience which we have gained in other business domains to help you create a profitable and popular mobile app.

Book a free consultation with one of our project managers by submitting a contact request to learn more about business model benefits and pricing. Contact us now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make my own fitness app?

The fitness technology industry presents many opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups. When creating your own fitness app, carefully identify your unique value proposition and develop a sustainable business model. Consider competing apps and required features to engage users. Your success depends on delivering tangible benefits to improve health and lifestyle.

How much does it cost to create a fitness app?

Features, complexity, design, and development time all affect the cost to develop a fitness app. Depending on your preferences, you may opt for a basic analyzer or a feature-rich platform with cutting-edge capabilities.

To determine the budget, conduct in-depth research, find out an underserved demographic or activity niche, evaluate your objectives, and then get an accurate cost estimate from an app development company.

What turns a fitness app into a successful one?

User experience, functionality, marketing endeavors, and target audience engagement are some aspects that primarily determine whether your fitness application is sought-after by users. Plus, it is crucial to employ efficient monetization techniques and user retention tactics. Frequent updates are a no less essential component of maintaining your success.

Are fitness apps profitable?

After building a fitness app, its positive results hinge on the techniques you use for user acquisition, retention, and monetization. Focus on marketing, explore diverse profit streams, keep refining your app in line with user feedback, and stay updated with industry trends to compete in the market on par with or ahead of other applications.

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