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Best Fitness Games For Working Out Inside (Besides Ring Fit Adventure)

We may be stuck inside, but these workout games can help you exercise inside and work up a sweat--especially if you're waiting on a Ring Fit Adventure restock.

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Millions of people in the US and across the world are currently under some kind of stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In most places, gyms are closed, and even running outside can feel a bit sketchy if you live in a densely populated area. For those stuck inside, at-home workouts have become a crucial way to maintain both physical and mental health, and fortunately, there are quite a few video games that serve this exact need.

One of the biggest workout games in recent years, Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch, is currently sold out everywhere as interest around at-home workouts increases and many physical games face production issues. Nintendo's latest workout game is a fitness-themed RPG where you team up with a sentient pilates ring to track down and defeat an evil body-building dragon called Dragaux. Available only as a physical set, Ring Fit Adventure includes a Ring-Con used to perform its strength exercises as you fight enemies, row through rivers, zip-line through the sky, and more. You also get a nice cardio workout from jogging (in place) through its colorful landscapes.

Ring Fit is a fantastic workout option for gamers stuck inside, working many different muscle groups, and if you can get your hands on a copy for a reasonable price (it normally sells for $80), it's absolutely worth it. However, if you didn't buy Ring Fit Adventure before the popular Switch game sold out everywhere, you're not out of luck. There are other video games that make for good indoor workouts, helping you get off the couch, stretch your legs, and take a break from that Netflix show you're currently binging. That's why we've rounded up some of the best games to help you exercise indoors while we're all social distancing.

Please note we've included several VR games on this list, which require you to have a VR headset, as those games tend to be the best at getting you up and moving. Most VR headsets come bundled with motion controllers, but if you have PSVR, you'll want to pick up a pair of Move Motion Controllers if you can. See our list of the best VR headsets for more details on the headsets we recommend.

From Just Dance to Beat Saber, out picks for the best workout games fitness-oriented games will get your heart racing and leave you feeling like you've just hit the gym. We've also indicated where you can buy physical and digital versions of each game where available.

If you're looking for more to do while staying inside, make sure to check out our guide on how to build a gaming PC.


Fitness Boxing

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Platforms: Nintendo Switch

After the massive success of Wii Fit back during the Nintendo Wii days, it was only a matter of time before Nintendo debuted an exercise game on the Switch, and before there was Ring Fit Adventure, there was Fitness Boxing. Released back in January 2019 (in time for New Year's Resolution season), Fitness Boxing is a rhythm game that doubles as a fitness video game, as you twist and punch along to the beat of modern pop songs. While it may seem to work only your arm muscles, boxing is a full-body workout that also targets your abs, legs, and shoulders; plus, it's a fantastic cardio workout that'll get your heart pumping fast. Nintendo's Fitness Boxing is a great intro to the exercise for those who are stuck inside. The Switch game teaches you how to perform key moves like jabs, hooks, and uppercuts, which each has their own symbol that'll appear on screen during a song. You'll have to perform these moves to the correct beat of the song, and there's no skimping either--if you don't maintain proper form with your punches, the game will call you out (indicating that your punch missed or was only "OK" rather than "Perfect"). You'll also have to throw some force into your punches for them to count--no half-hearted movements.

While its song list leaves something to be desired, Fitness Boxing gets the job done. Its boxing sessions are satisfying and appropriately intense, and you can even customize your workouts, selecting which areas you want the workout to focus on and how long it will last. You don't need any equipment for Fitness Boxing beyond your standard Joy-Cons, and you can download the game digitally since physical copies are hard to find right now. There's also a free demo with three days of workouts you can try out before buying and see if it helps you achieve your fitness goals. -- Jenae Sitzes

Buy it digitally: Nintendo Eshop | Amazon | GameStop


Just Dance

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Platforms: Wii, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia (Just Dance 2020)

The Just Dance series has been around since 2009 and continues to be a fun way to burn calories, break a sweat, and improve your flexibility. I’m currently playing Just Dance 2018 a few times a week as my main form of cardio exercise while in self-isolation, and I’ve found playing the game for just 30 minutes burns up to 200 calories. The motion-based dancing game focuses on following choreography to hit songs. While you can play Just Dance alone, the game also allows for multiple players. Using either motion controllers (like the Switch's Joy-Cons) or your own smartphone with the Just Dance Controller app, players mirror the on-screen dancers' movements and score points based on accuracy. The latest game in the series, Just Dance 2020, was released in November 2019 and includes 40 tracks to move to from artists like Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Blackpink, and Cardi B.

Each version of the game has its own collection of songs. And while I eventually got tired of the songs that came with Just Dance 2018, I found it worthwhile to upgrade to Just Dance Unlimited to access more music. Available starting with Just Dance 2017, the subscription-based service lets you choose from a library of over 500 songs, including songs from previous games and new exclusives. A new copy of the game comes with 1-month of free Just Dance Unlimited access, so it’s worth taking advantage of the trial if you're new to the series. -- Chastity Vicencio

Buy it digitally: Nintendo Eshop | Xbox Live | PlayStation Store | Amazon


Zumba: Burn It Up

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Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Just Dance isn't the only dance workout available on Nintendo Switch. Zumba: Burn It Up released in November 2019, offering Switch players an intro to the hugely popular Latin-inspired dance workout. Zumba incorporates upbeat music and choreographed dances, but you don't need to be a great dancer or have perfect rhythm; this workout is just about moving your body and having fun. Still, it's a fantastic cardio workout that also works your core and boosts flexibility.

Zumba: Burn It Up brings the exercise dancy party to your living room with over 30 songs from artists like Cardi B, Ciara, and more. The game features real-life Zumba instructors, who will energetically lead you through the routines, and Switch Joy-Cons track your movement (you'll want to strap them securely to your wrists). Zumba routines can get quite complex; however, you can choose your intensity level for each session, and some songs are slower than others. Like Fitness Boxing, Zumba: Burn It Up's song list is a bit lacking, especially compared to the hundreds of songs you can unlock with Just Dance Unlimited. But at the end of the day, Zumba: Burn It Up is a great option if you're looking for a serious workout, not just a game that involves moving, and if you love Zumba or have wanted to try it out, this is a fantastic way to enjoy the exercise from home. -- Jenae Sitzes

Buy it digitally: Nintendo Eshop | Amazon


Arms

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Platforms: Nintendo Switch

One of few first-party Switch games to really utilize motion controls, Arms is a stylish fighting game featuring a large cast of unique characters. At its core, Arms is a 3D 1v1 fighting game that doesn't take itself too seriously, and as the title suggests, arms are key here. Each fighter has different mechanical arms and abilities, from fluttering ribbon arms and spring-loaded arms to arms with guns for hands and more.

Yes, Arms may be easier to play with a Pro controller than with Joy-Con motion controls, but if the aim is to get up and moving, Arms provides just that through its variety of game modes. Arms supports online lobbies of up to 20 people, but you can also play local versus matches and multiple battle mode minigames like basketball and volleyball. You can also get a nice workout playing the solo Grand Prix mode, which pits you against 10 computer-controlled characters to see if you have what it takes to secure the championship belt.

The Switch exclusive earned a 7/10 in GameSpot's Arms review for its fast-paced combat and quirky personality. We knocked it a bit for its surprisingly steep learning curve, but once you get the controls down, it's a lot of fun. -- Steven Petite

Buy it digitally: Nintendo Eshop | Amazon


Beat Saber

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Compatible VR headsets: Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality

If you have a virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR, there's no workout game than Beat Saber. Colored blocks fly toward you, and you swipe at them with the lightsabers in your hands--simple.

Sure, it might seem relatively low impact when you're starting out, and as a rhythm game, it lacks the features that a dedicated workout experience might offer. But it's worth getting invested; the better you get at Beat Saber, the better a workout it is. You might start on normal difficulty, or even hard, and higher levels of play will seem completely out of reach. But the game's learning curve is really more of a friendly slope, thanks to readily available options like no-fail mode, song slowing, and practice mode. If you have the discipline to constantly set your sights on the next toughest challenge that initially seems unbeatable, you'll find yourself constantly improving. Once you start nailing songs on expert difficulty and toying with expert plus--not to mention modifiers that make songs more difficult, like extra speed or disappearing arrows--you'll find yourself pouring sweat and out of breath in no time.

Beat Saber also just released FitBeat, a new, free fitness track with standard, 90-degree, and 360-degree levels that leans even more heavily into the VR fitness game angle. FitBeat introduces some of Beat Saber's most challenging workouts yet, so there's no better time to dive in. -- Michael Rougeau

Buy it digitally: Steam | Oculus Store | PlayStation Store


Sprint Vector

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Compatible VR headsets: Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive

Sprint Vector offers a fairly strenuous VR workout thanks to its constant use of motion controls. While your racer is technically strapped into "vector blades," Sprint Vector's first-person perspective makes it feel like you're going on a brisk run. The sci-fi courses are littered with sharp turns and changes in elevation. In addition to the standard tracks, there are obstacle courses that add even more variables to impede your progress. So even though the majority of the experience requires you to pump your arms back and forth, you also have to perform more elaborate maneuvers to turn quickly and fling yourself atop high rise platforms. The courses promote parkour-style movements, forcing you to exercise both your body and mind.

Even after just one race, you'll feel the effort with Sprint Vector. And after a few, your forehead might get a little sweaty under the headset; your arms may start to feel like jello. Thankfully, Sprint Vector's fast-paced racing action is engaging enough to stick with the initial difficulties that come with mastering the control scheme. After a while, gliding on these futuristic rollerblades will feel like second nature. You'll need plenty of space to play Sprint Vector, as it's a room-scale experience, as well as two motion controllers regardless of your platform of choice. -- Steven Petite

Buy it digitally: Steam | Oculus Store | PlayStation Store


Rec Room

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Compatible VR headsets: Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality

Though Rec Room won't give you the same level of workout as some of the other games on this list, it feels like a really great game to recommend while social distancing. Rec Room offers a free-to-play VR space to socialize with friends and play some fun minigames using motion controls. As of now, Rec Room has laser tag, dodgeball, disc golf, 3D charades, paintball, co-op quests where you square off against skeletons and werewolves, and even its own spin on battle royale dubbed Rec Royale.

Rec Room is currently in early access, but as you can tell, it has a bevy of activities to enjoy alongside buddies from the comfort of your own living room. So if you're looking for a lighthearted game that will get you moving and at least somewhat replicates the feeling of being with friends and loved ones, Rec Room is definitely worth checking out. -- Steven Petite

Buy it digitally: Steam | Oculus Store | PlayStation Store


Dance Central VR

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Compatible VR headsets: Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest

The Kinect may leave a bad taste in the mouth of some gamers, but I was actually quite fond of its motion-tracking capabilities. One of my all-time favorite games, Dance Central, was also an excellent example of its best features put to great use. The Kinect tracked your entire body as you reenacted dance moves from popular songs, making for an intense workout while also having a lot of fun and, honestly, just feeling cool. Unfortunately, the Kinect has fallen to the wayside, but there's a newer option for playing Dance Central in 2020. If you have an Oculus Rift or Quest, then you can play Harmonix's latest entry in the Dance Central series.

Dance Central VR is exactly how you remember it on consoles, even if the tracking is a little different. Since the Rift and Quest are only able to track your head and hands, you'll have to play the honor system with your legs and feet--of course, if you fake it, you won't get the full workout benefits of dancing. Thankfully, Dance Central VR is as fun as it was on Xbox; it's hard not to move your feet to songs like Earth, Wind, & Fire's "September" or Flo Rida and T-Pain's "Low." -- Mat Paget

Buy it digitally: Oculus Store


Pistol Whip

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Compatible VR headsets: Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality

Playing Pistol Whip is the closest I've ever felt to being John Wick. The VR game puts you on a track that keeps you moving forward at all times while enemies come into view from the left, right, and above you. You might be standing still as the track pulls you through the level, but you'll be crouching, moving from side to side, and dodging virtual bullets as you shoot your way through each song's scene. It's an incredibly fun action VR shooter, but it can also be a heart-pounding and sweaty workout if you push yourself with the harder difficulties. -- Mat Paget

Buy it digitally: Steam | Oculus Store | Viveport

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