There are plenty of apps in the online arena that will help you to get your exercise on the go via your favorite mobile device (smartphone or tablet). And while some are better than others (Zombies, Run! turns a boring jog into a fun game where you have to complete goals like getting to the grocery store and back without being eaten by zombies, while FitnessBuilder provides exercise options for the gym, the office, or even a hotel room), you’ve almost certainly never seen one that puts the fun in functionality like iMuscle. It’s not hard to see why this app won a “Best of” nod from Apple in the medical category last year, and here’s a taste of what you can expect when you download it.
You will immediately notice that this app is different from others in the exercise category because the tutorials do not feature a person, but rather a muscled, graphic representation of a person. And when we say muscled, we mean that the actual muscles are exposed (look Ma, no skin!). Don’t worry; it’s not gruesome. It’s more like the sort of depiction of muscles you’d see in a science text. Now, you might be wondering why this is the case. And the reasoning behind it is simple. Many people are working out not only because they want to lose weight or get fit, but because they’d like to work on problem areas and sculpt particular muscle groups in the body. So what better way to start than with a mapping of your muscles?
To begin you will select a muscle group by rotating the 360-degee model until you find the area you want to work on. Each muscle is marked by a pin that you can tap to learn the name of the specific muscle as well as get a listing of primary exercises related to that area of the body. In addition to movements that target that specific muscles you will also be able to select a secondary tab that offer you exercises in which that muscle is used but not primarily targeted, as well as stretches that will help to ensure you don’t hurt yourself. From there you simply select an exercise (there are more than 450 to choose from) to see an animation that will show you how to properly practice. You can also access a chart listing all the muscle groups involved and you can even get textual instructions for prep, execution, and added comments (generally regarding safety).
Once you have become familiar with some of the exercises offered you can easily create a custom workout with your own routine. And the tracking features allow you to see your progress over time in terms of both strength and endurance (see the evolution of your workout through the amount of weight you use and the several reps, for example). Plus, you can search by muscle or exercise name, save and share your workout on multiple mobile devices, and even add several users. It doesn’t take an online MHA to see that this is a great way to approach exercise, and at the low price of $1.99 iMuscleoffers a lot more than several more expensive apps.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.