What Should I Know About VR Apps For Sports And Fitness?
Do you really hate going to the gym? Does the idea of going for a jog in the morning before work fill you with dread? Would you rather be at home playing video games? Then the latest VR apps for sport and fitness could be just what you’ve been looking for. There are now numerous titles out there which have been designed with fitness in mind. These games are fun to play and can help you to forget that you’re actually working out since they’re so engaging and entertaining.
If you’d rather be betting on sports rather than playing them, it can be hard to find the motivation to hit the gym. That’s why the latest VR titles could be the perfect solution to encouraging you to become physically active. While some games are designed as an actual workout, others trick you into getting physical with their interactive elements that have you toning your upper and lower body before you know it!
VR is the latest trend in gaming, and it’s rapidly becoming a hot trend in the health and fitness arena too. If you’re ready to harness the potential of this exciting new technology, read on and discover this guide to VR apps for sports and fitness and learn more about how you can improve your overall well-being by investing in some of the most up to date headsets and software. It’s never been easier, quicker or more fun to get in shape in the comfort of your own home!
The Best VR Apps for Fitness and Sports
VR Fitness Experiences For All Ages
Virtual Reality Fitness Experiences
Virtual Reality Fitness Solutions
The VR Fitness Companies
Virtual Reality at The Gym: An Immersive Fitness Experience
Losing weight is fun in VR
VR Fitness / VR sport FAQ
If you’re keen to experience the benefits of VR apps for sports and fitness, there are plenty of options for you to pick from. Whether you’re brand new to gaming or whether you’re an experienced gamer who wants to put your favorite hobby to better use by utilizing your headset to help you get fit, these 20 titles won’t disappoint and will help you to get off the couch and get moving. Whether you want to try boxing, sword fighting or dancing, there’s a game here for you!
Box VR invites players to get sweaty and active, punching to the rhythmic beat. If you’re looking for a great way to condition your upper body, this is the game for you. It works out your chest, shoulders and arms, and meanwhile you’ll be dripping with sweat and getting your heart pumping for a cardio workout that rivals any you’d enjoy at an exercise class. You won’t just be boxing, you’ll also be able to see just how many calories you’ve burned during your workout. Available on Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality and HTC Vive, this title has even earned three VR Fitness Insider awards!
If you want to work out without really realizing that you’re doing it, Beat Saber is the game for you. This rhythm-based game involves you dodging oncoming objects and slicing cubes all to an energetic and pumping soundtrack. It might sound easy, but it’ll soon have you sweating and if you’re wearing a fitness tracker, you’ll be amazed by just how active this game makes you! With eleven songs to choose from, this title offers different levels so you can pick the one that best suits your fitness level. Start out with easy and progress to challenging for a truly impressive and fun way to get fit. This title has been rated as being comparable to tennis in terms of fitness by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise, so you can be confident that you’ll be doing your bit for your overall wellness.
This VR active boxing title has players punching their way through a sweaty and active workout session. There are nine opponents to battle, giving you both a conditioning and cardio workout simultaneously. Speed Bag, Focus Mitt Training, Reflex Alley and Grudge Match are all options for this game which ensures you can enjoy hours of exercise for a full body workout. Use your room to its full advantage and get moving as you weave around, punching and firing up your fat burning to its full potential. This title has been rated as being comparable to rowing in terms of calorie burning.
4.The Thrill Of The Fight
Another popular boxing sim for VR is The Thrill Of The Fight. Just 20 minutes per day of this punching game can help to tone up your upper body while all the turning you need to do to block punches can have a noticeable effect on your abs and obliques. This title has won the Best VR Sports Sim award from VR Fitness and has been rated as being equivalent to sprinting in terms of effort required.
5. Sprint Vector
Do you want to improve your upper body condition and give your heart a workout without really realizing that you’re working out? Sprint Vector is the game for you. This competitive VR title offers 12 different exciting and fun track maps for you to find your way around. You have to move your arms faster to move more quickly, but you also have to be aware of oncoming obstacles and unlock projectiles which you can then fling at your competitors. Your upper body is getting most of the workout, but your lower body strength will get some conditioning too since you’ll be relying on your core strength to anchor and stabilize yourself.
Do you love dodgeball? Then Sparc is sure to hit the spot. Similar to virtual dodgeball, there are two balls in this game which bounce around, get thrown and need to be blocked. You’re only equipped with your dodging skills and a shield making this rapid-fire game a perfect mix of lower and upper body conditioning. Play alone or with friends on your PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
7. Sword Master VR
This title for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive may appear to be all about the upper body workout, but you’ll be surprised by how tired your legs are when you’ve finished a game! This first-person combat title sees you slicing at enemy fighters with your sword while you block your competitors with your shield. Meanwhile, you need to lunge and squat to get well out of the way of your opponent’s blows. This game has been rated as requiring a similar amount of effort to a workout on the ellipticals!
8. Superhot VR
This is another first-person shooter title which, at first glance, doesn’t appear to have too much effort involved. However, once you get into the game you’ll realize that all that shooting and sucker punching takes its toll on your muscles. Your upper body gets a workout through hand to hand combat while your legs and core are targeted when you slow down time and dodge bullets and missiles. This is a good choice for anyone who doesn’t want their activity to be too strenuous. Rated as equivalent to a moderate pace walk, this is a good choice for those who have a lower fitness level to begin with.
Do you want to seriously burn some fat? Then you should give Audioshield a try. This music driven, high-energy game dials up your fat burn to 11 as you block and punch, coordinating your controllers so you beat the orbs that fly towards you at a range of speeds, in different locations and in a variety of combos. Your upper body will enjoy an effective workout, and you can give yourself an additional boost by holding a lunge or squat while you hit the orbs. This title has been rated as being the equivalent of cycling or using a rowing machine.
This bow and arrow first person shooter lets plays fire arrows at demons and samurais which shoot right back at you. The gameplay has been compared to Hunger Games style training, and you’ll use your lower body to anchor yourself firmly in place while your upper body gets a strenuous workout. There’s only one thing to be aware of with this exercise – if you only use your dominant arm you’re going to get a very uneven workout. This game has been equated to swimming laps of the pool in terms of energy expenditure.
11. Hot Squat
If you want to tone up your butt, Hot Squat is the title for you. This challenging drop game is designed to firm up your booty if you play it regularly and with its easy gameplay, it’s an entry level workout for anyone who is brand new to VR fitness experiences. You can take things up a notch by using this game while wearing a weight vest too! Squat and stand through numerous virtual obstacles and make sure you hold your position until you’ve reached the other side. This game has an intensity level equivalent to a game of tennis.
12. The Fastest Fist
Another boxing simulator, the Fastest Fist has you sparring against your virtual training. Warm up with shadow-boxing then punch through the remainder of the rounds using hooks and jabs that will condition your upper body admirably. Dodging will also give your lower body a workout and also gains you extra points. This title is equivalent intensity to a round of tennis.
If you just can’t get enough boxing simulation games, Soundboxing will be a great addition to your gaming collection. This music driven virtual reality title lets you punch with the beat, kickstarting your fat burn thanks to its energizing music and rhythm. Coordinate your punches by using your controllers to hit the orbs which fly towards you as accurately as possible depending on their varying combinations and speeds. You can even create beat maps of your own to accompany your top workout playlist. The more effort you put into your punches, the more effective your upper body workout will be, while holding your lunges and squats as you hit fires up your lower body too.
If you’re serious about your workout, you’re going to love Bitslap. This HIIT workout (high intensity interval training) takes VR to a cardio heavy new level as you hit cubes. Try to beat the sequences as even more cubes appear, creating havoc. Hitting and punching the cubes in the correct order is vital if you’re going to maintain your score, and you’re going to be working your upper body to a high level. Meanwhile, squatting and reaching in a wider stance to hit the lower cubes works out the lower body too. This game has a similar energy output as using an elliptical machine.
This title is primarily aimed at improving your upper body condition, but it’s still possible to work the lower body too by dodging and squatting – something you’re going to need to do if you’re going to avoid a serious blow to the head from your opponent! This VR combat game has you brawling with your competitor not to mention using a raft of weapons including war hammers, swords and spears to fend off attacks. You can even play in an endless mode for more intensity. This is yet another title that is similar in intensity to working out with an elliptical machine.
16. Echo Arena
If you want to work out as part of a team with other people Echo Arena is a brilliant competitive workout. While it may have a steep learning curve, this speedy game will trick you into thinking that you’re having fun rather than exercising. You’ll play in zero G as you try to score against your opposing team. If you’ve ever played Lone Arena, this is a multiplayer version of this popular title which takes gameplay to a brand new level with the option to play in groups of up to 15 people.
17. Raw Data
If you want to forget that you’re working out, Raw Data could be the ideal fitness VR game for you. Whisking you away to a crazy future where you need to kill murderous robots to survive, this title allows you to choose between four characters, each of which has their own playing style and arsenal of weapons. Play alone or with a friend in co-op mode. You can even play head to head with other players. This fast-paced first person shooter is going to keep you hot and sweaty!
18. Rom: Extraction
With its fast-paced, fun gameplay, this game has great graphics and is infinitely playable while almost making you forget that you’re working out. This arcade shooter has been designed specifically for VR, giving you the chance to use a range of advanced weapons while you also control time to mow down more murderous robots. Dodging enemy attacks works out your lower body while attacking your enemies tones your upper body too.
If you want to keep things simple but effective, Holoball could be just the challenge you’ve been looking for. Its speedy action makes it a breeze to get hot and sweaty with Pong-like action that sees you hitting balls and trying to score. Similar to original pong, you’ll be wielding your paddle as your weapon, and as you progress through the difficulty levels you’re sure to get a good cardio workout.
20. Racket Fury
If you’re a fan of table tennis, you’ll love Racket Fury. This title doesn’t just give you a great workout it helps to hone your accuracy and table tennis skills too! This game has a seriously accurate physics engine so you can play four different tournament cups or practice to your heart’s content while boosting your skills. Every tournament may start out with a simple robot opposing you, however the more you win, the more challenging your opponents will become. Available for most VR platforms, this title is best played on the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift and gives you an excellent upper body and cardio workout.
Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of VR in terms of fitness experiences is that it’s suitable for use by people of all ages. The youngest children can access VR equipment and start exercising in a kid-friendly virtual environment, while older users can enjoy gentler exercise in an exciting and creative virtual space.
VR represents a great opportunity to bring the family together to have fun while they also get fit and healthy. Old and young alike can enjoy many of the latest virtual reality titles that make you feel as if you’re having fun but actually get your muscles and your heart working for better health maintenance.
There are many games which offer a fun-filled gameplay experience without too much technical movement and violence suitable for every family member to enjoy. We’ll take a look at some of those in a moment, however before we do so, it’s important to recognize that there are a few safety requirements to keep in mind when you’re considering family VR fitness experiences.
It can be all too easy to forget about spatial awareness when you’re in a virtual world. You need to draw or map out the limits of the space which you intend to play in. This will make sure that nobody gets injured and no property gets damaged, even if players old and young jump, spin and move their arms around wildly! Make sure to give your players lots of room between sofas, walls and any other fragile objects! Remember that younger players can get very enthusiastic and could cause themselves or someone else harm if they aren’t contained safely!
When it comes to safety, it’s also important to consider older players too. Elderly people can still enjoy the benefits of fitness games in VR, but the proportions may need to be constrained a little. By choosing games which involve standing in place, it’s possible for older people to enjoy the full experience without having to exert themselves excessively and causing themselves an injury.
Choosing the right games is very important too, so some of the best to consider include:
- The Lab – this is a simple VR app which helps people of all ages to get to grips with virtual reality and to learn how to move and control themselves safely in a virtual environment. There are lots of mini-games included in this title which help you to get active including a space shooter game and an archery one.
- Racket NX – this game involves smashing the ball as hard as possible using a digital racket. In order to win, you have to hit the ball into the glowing pathways and targets which score depending on the strength of your hit and how direct the hit ones. With an integrated timer, rounds are fast and furious making this a mid-intensity game which challenges accuracy and timing while also giving the shoulders and arms a workout.
- Rec Room – this free play game offers lots of diversity as well as plenty of fun sociable experiences. Some of the games require a little skill, but with so many options it’s possible to find something to suit every player’s level regardless of their age. Rec Royale and Disc Golf are two popular experiences but Laser Tag and Dodgeball are also favorites. There are experiences of all lengths from long to short so every player can enjoy non-violent entertainment.
- Fruit Ninja – when you’re playing with small children, Fruit Ninja is sure to be a hit, but it’s equally entertaining for older people too. With arcade and attack modes to pick from, players can see who can survive for the longest time or who can achieve the best score. All you need to do is slice up the fruit and avoid the bombs – it might sound simple, but it’s fast paced and energetic. More importantly, it isn’t too violent, so even small children can enjoy the gameplay.
- Sprint Vector – this title could be a little too physical if you’re playing with elderly family members, but for most people, this title will be wonderfully active and exciting. With its multiplayer matches, everyone can stay hyped about winning, while the fun hidden tech which allows you to fly and drift keeps things exciting all the way through. This is a physical, high energy game but for those who need to take time out, it’s fun to watch too so nobody will get bored.
- Beat Saber – even kids will love the diverse challenge that Beat Saber offers. Rhythm and hand-eye coordination are vital and while it might be frustrating for some, it’s certainly going to give you a cardio workout. With different levels to pick from, you can find a workout to suit every member of the family.
- Holodance – if you’ve got kids who love to dance, Holodance is a great option for all the family. It isn’t easy but it’s certainly engaging thanks to its true dancing nature. You punch the incoming orbs, dance in an exotic virtual world and take down the drones – essentially, it’s gamified freeform dancing and it’ll work every part of your body.
Already, manufacturers have been cashing in on the potential of virtual reality fitness experiences. By harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology and pairing it with existing fitness equipment, they have begun to create a range of amazing interactive experiences that make working out more fun than ever before. Some of these experiences are designed for in-home use, while others are targeted more at the commercial gym market. However, the one thing that they all have in common is that they aim to make it easier to become motivated and stay motivated by exercise. Here are just a few of the latest VR fitness experiences to hit the marketplace.
Black Box VR
The Black Box VR experience offers a full body workout with 30-minute long virtual reality experiences. By utilizing an HTC Vive headset paired with a bespoke resistance trainer machine, this set up is relatively small but is highly innovative.
Participants enter a virtual arena in which they can compete either against avatars or against other real people. The Black Box VR model is to open specialized VR gyms nationwide with each gym member entering their very own space to enjoy a gamified workout which also tracks their progress continually. There are even plans to develop a version of this equipment for home use at some point in the future.
The Holofit training environment combines interactive workouts with video gaming so participants can enjoy a huge choice of fun workout options. This interactive platform utilizes cutting-edge video gaming technology to completely reinvent the workout space so that it becomes more appealing and engaging. Targeted mainly at younger people, this platform offers the user virtual landscapes for more interesting workouts, projecting vital stats onto a video wall to boost motivation and to provide players with greater insight into how well they’re progressing towards their fitness goals.
Holofit also offers a group workout environment for a more social physical experience. This gives players more support when it comes to improving their fitness, stamina and strength while also immersing them fully in an intense workout session. This holographic space even integrates guidance, recording, interaction, feedback and visualization for a more challenging yet engaging experience.
There are several training courses offered by the Holofit platform allowing for a range of workouts to be carried out. Fat burning, muscle building, stability and flexibility training and comprehensive programs are all available to help individuals to maximize their potential.
VR Fit – Virtual Reality Gyms and Exercise
VR can make working out more motivating and interesting. Now, M2Me Co. Ltd has designed an IoT sensor which converts regular fitness equipment into virtual reality equipment. Known as VRFit, this technology offers a complete virtual gym that pairs a game system and VR for more motivating workout sessions.
VRFit is a more affordable model when compared to many of the other virtual reality workout options out there. The sensor is cheap and can even be connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone. Its rechargeable battery means that there’s no need for complex separate wiring, and the sensor can be used with a wide range of equipment from rowing machines and steppers to elliptical machines and stationary bikes. It can even be used for sit ups, jump rope, pushups and squats for maximum versatility.
VRFit allows users to compete with others in a virtual world while experiencing interesting and engaging surroundings. This helps to keep even the least motivated player on target and interested.
Virtual reality fitness solutions have been designed to allow users to enjoy a game-like workout experience even when players aren’t participating in traditional fitness activities. This motivates and engages users to achieve their unique health goals by simply enabling them to enjoy themselves and have fun with the gamification elements.
VR fitness solutions are an engaging way for people to get healthy and work out, whether they’re serious athletes or casual gamers. One of their top benefits is that the gamification elements used trick you into working hard, boosting your endurance and performance over time without feeling as much pain or effort.
VR fitness solutions also remove body consciousness from the gym environment. VR helps those who lack the self-confidence to set foot in a gym to work out as they can have an avatar that boosts their self-esteem. Also, inside the headset, nothing in the outside world matters.
The latest generation of VR games offer whole body aerobic workouts. Not only do they boost cardio, they can also gamify the whole fitness training process, making people work muscles all over their body. This, in turn, doesn’t just boost physical fitness, it also helps to improve mood and mental health. It’s well known that physical activity boosts the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. When paired with the fun gamification elements of VR fitness workouts, it’s possible to get a double mental health boost.
VR fitness represents a great way for people of all ages to get fit and stay healthy in the long term. Several companies are now cashing in on the potential of this exciting and burgeoning new industry and are developing software to enable as many people as possible to lose weight and stay fit. Some of the biggest and most prominent VR fitness companies out there at the moment include:
- Black Box VR
Top 10 VR Fitness Trends To Experience In 2020
2020 looks set to be the year that VR fitness takes off in a big way. Here are 10 of the top VR fitness trends to watch out for:
- More fitness-focused titles being released for a greater range of VR headsets for use at home.
- More VR gyms being opened up around the country.
- Greater developments in VR accessories and add-on equipment for a more realistic immersive workout experience.
- More interactive and social VR elements in fitness-focused games including the opportunity to challenge each other.
- VR fitness apps and equipment being introduced into schools to encourage children to get active.
- Streamed VR workouts that bring a fitness class into your own home.
- The combination of VR with more wearable sensors for better data collection to inform future workouts.
- More gamification elements being introduced into fitness-focused VR titles.
- VR being introduced into mainstream gyms.
- Avatars that help those who lack the self-confidence to go to the gym feel more able to exercise.
We all know that we need to stay fit to stay healthy, however it can be difficult to motivate yourself to actually get up off the sofa and go to the gym. That’s where VR can help. The big draw of the VR experience is that it creates a fully immersive feeling for the user. In a virtual environment, the user actually feels as if they’re somewhere else and with the gamification elements, they are challenged to compete against others and themselves and to move physically without really realizing just how physically active they are being. As a result, boredom isn’t an issue – something which is a major deterrent when it comes to going to the gym or for a jog. Essentially, VR at the gym makes it feel like fun to get fit rather than a chore, and when you’re having fun you want to do it more. It’s never been easier to get active and stay active in the long-term!
Although many people may think that VR is all about playing and having fun, in fact it can have major implications for weight loss. If you choose the right games, you can shed the pounds without even realizing that you’re working out. Even at-home gaming titles can help you to work up a sweat and drop a dress size. The key is consistency. You need to work out for the same amount of time using VR as you would work out at the gym or at an exercise class. You also need to pair it with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Nevertheless, it’s a lot more fun to lose weight in VR than to pound the sidewalk with a daily jog or to spend an hour pumping iron in the gym, and for those who are more used to gaming than physical activity, it represents a brilliant in-road to an active lifestyle.
What is the next big thing in fitness?
Virtual reality is set to be the next big thing in the fitness industry. From apps and games for at-home headsets to fully functioning gym equipment, VR is revolutionizing the way we work out.
Are there going to be virtual reality fitness centers soon?
There are already some fitness centers which are setting up around the country which are focusing their services on VR equipment.
What are some health application ideas for HTC Vive?
Some ideas for health apps for the HTC Vive include:
- Using VR to study the human body and biology
- Using VR to work out in a more interactive and engaging way
- Using VR to undergo therapy such as CBT
- Telemedicine applications which allow doctors to physically inspect patients remotely
Is virtual reality more than just for fun?
Although VR is mostly associated with games in fact it can be used for many other purposes. Architects, for example, are using it to showcase how buildings will look once they are constructed, and pilots in training are starting to use VR as a teaching tool. VR can also be used to get fit and to stay healthy.
What’s the best way to experience virtual reality technology?
There are many different forms of VR technology on the market today, however there are a few popular headsets which are currently representing the best way of experiencing virtual reality. The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are two great choices with lots of available titles.
What are some future applications of virtual reality?
Virtual reality looks set to change the way we do things in many aspects of our daily lives. In the future, we may never need to set foot in a gym again thanks to cutting edge VR fitness apps that can be used at home. There may also be no need to travel since VR brings the world within easy reach. Virtual museum tours and theatrical experiences mean that culture will be more accessible to everyone in the future.
What are best VR Fitness games?
The best VR fitness games will always be down to personal preference. However, for those who want to get fit without realizing that they’re working out, titles like Beat Saber are hard to beat. For those who are serious about working out titles like Box VR will tick all the boxes.