Fitness & Health Technology

The Best VR Workout Games To Help You Get In Shape

1. HOLOPOINT

Holopoint is a perfect game if you are looking to break a sweat with your HTC Vive. While you’re mostly standing in one spot on offense,  you’ll be ducking and dodging and doing all kinds of maneuvers on defense. This is a game that will benefit tremendously from the arrival of wireless adapters.

The only word of warning with this game is that it will get you hot and sweaty in no time. This game might be better as an entertaining exercise routine than an actual game. It will probably give you a better workout than almost any other Vive game.

Console: HTV Vive, Oculus Rift

Price: $14.99

2. THE THRILL OF THE FIGHT 

One of the best aspects of VR gaming is the chance to put ourselves into the shoes of someone facing extreme danger and to walk away from the harrowing experience completely unscathed. Such is the case with Thrill of the Fight. In this game, you get to step into the shoes of an up-and-coming boxer and try to work your way up the ranks.

In real life, taking punches like this could be extremely hazardous to your health, but in VR, it’s a ton of fun. Well, at least it’s a ton of fun until either you have to stop because you’re sweating profusely, or your arms are extremely tired, and you can hardly lift them. Both situations happened to me while playing this game, but I keep coming back and firing the game up. However, I do it with the knowledge that I’m also going to get a workout in.

Console: Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest

Price: $9.99

3. SPRINT VECTOR 

Sprint Vector is an “adrenaline platformer” racing game that relies upon a unique locomotion technique of swinging your arms in order to run through an obstacle course. It is packed with a light-hearted stylized art aesthetic that has a mash-up of a game show, extreme sports, and a competitive racing game with a Sonic-inspired obstacle course. It’s also a unique combination of active exercise and embodied and abstracted gameplay mechanics.

Console: HTC Vive, Playstation VR, Oculus Rift

Price: $29.99

4. RACKET FURY 

Racket Fury is a game that will give you a proper workout while improving your table tennis game. You can either practice or play any of the four-tournament cups currently available. Each tournament starts with an easy robot as your opponent. As you keep winning, harder robots will take its place at the other end of the table.

You can get a cardio and upper body workout while playing Racket Fury. This game is available on all major VR platforms.

Console: Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive

Price: $19.99

5. AUDIOSHIELD 

Audioshield is a fast-paced game that creates different levels using its own music tracks or your favorite music throughout. Each note of the song comes rushing at you, and you’ll have to punch your way through them. While you can go easy on the punches to get each note, the game will register the force you use. The harder you swing, the higher your score.

Console: HTC Vive

Price: $19.99

6. SWORD MASTER

Sword Master VR is an adrenaline-inducing first-person sword combat game that puts the players in the middle of an army of enemies and equips them with a sword and a shield. The players will have to hack and slash their way through the different enemies.

Using the sword to slash your enemies and the shield to block them will work the player’s upper body, while dodging, squatting, and lunging will work their lower body. The VR Institute of Health and Exercise rates the difficulty of this game as equivalent to using an elliptical machine. Sword Master VR can be played on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Console: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index

Price: $9.99

7. SOUNDBOXING 

Soundboxing is a music rhythm game very similar to Audioshield. The big difference with Soundboxing is that you have the ability to play on user-created beat-maps, or on previously created beat-maps by other players. The game works with YouTube in such a way that it allows you to search for any song and create a special beat-map for it. You can also search through already existing beat-maps and try those. Beat-map creation can be quite fun, but can also be a very tiring process.

Console: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index

Price: $15.99

8. SPARC 

Sparc holds the VR competitive award for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC live. The game allows the players to perform pro-level moves in a more productive way. It involves the performance of more intense gestures that work on the upper body. You’re equipped with a shield, and you can trigger incredible gymnastics. The best way of playing the game is with a friend or opponent.

The aim of the game is to hit your opponent with balls of energy. However, you’ll need to ricochet off of walls and use angles to your advantage if you want to get past their shield. Once you get the hang of things, you’ll be blocking projectiles, dodging incoming attacks and throwing your ball. The competitive feel will give you a workout for your upper body and cardio.

Console: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index

Price: $19.99

9. HOT SQUAT

The Hot Squat requires the player to perform as many squats as possible, which creates a challenging environment in which you will need to prove you’re better than everyone else. You have to compete against friends and the world to get the highest count.

While everything looks pretty basic, you can be sure the game will deliver the maximum heart rate. Unlike other VR fitness games, Hot Squat has no end – you’ll always have a challenge.

Console: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index

Price: FREE

Adding Weight To Your VR Fitness Experience

A Word on Wrist & Ankle Weights

The mechanics of having extra weight at the end of your arm end up pulling on your joints and tendons when you stop your punch at the end of the motion. This can end up straining the tendons in your arms and shoulders.

What might be a good alternative, however, is using ankle weights. Giving your legs resistance as you move is a great way to burn a few more calories in your workout. Just remember to bench the ankle weights if the game has excessive kicking as the same problem of overextension might arise but with ankles and knees.

Boosting Your VR Workout With Weighted Vests

The vest keeps the additional resistance close to the core, near your center of gravity, making it much easier to maneuver without throwing you off balance. This provides a very stable base for the variety of movements that VR can elicit.

Adding a vest will also help maintain proper body alignment, so the impact forces that are applied to the connective tissues of the hips, knees, and ankles are delivered in a manner that they are positioned to absorb. This keeps the likelihood of injury very low. A medium-weighted vest that weighs around 15 pounds would be an excellent place to start.

Have you tried playing any of these games? What other workout games do you suggest playing? Let us know!

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Lesley George

Lesley is a content writer and community manager at Shape.
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