Top 10 VR games to work up a sweat with

by Dror Denishman

Anyone who thinks you can’t burn off substantial calories in a virtual-reality (VR) environment has clearly never put the goggles on and cut loose inside the artificial world it creates.
While the golf clubs, hurdles, hordes of enemy warriors, and obstacles might not be real, the benefits that your heart, lungs, muscles, and circulation will get from engaging with them absolutely is.
You don’t have to go outside in the heat, the rain, the cold, or even mix it up at your local fitness club in order to get an amazing workout. All you do need is a little motivation, some space to move around in, comfortable clothing, and a pair of VR goggles to tie it all together in one of these 10 fantastic VR games to get your heart rate up. 

#1 Racket NX

Racquetball is a fast-paced, sweaty affair that got popular in the 1980s as the new power lunch. Nothing like closing that corporate deal by destroying your new business partner!
This is some major-league immersion with solo and multiplayer modes, and an impressive-sized community that keeps you finding new challenges to match yourself against. It works on all major VR headsets as well.

#2 Ironlights

Punching someone in the face in real life might be extremely satisfying in the short term, but it’s going to get you sued or in the slammer if you do it too much. Ironlights take the legal/moral ramifications out of the ordeal and lets you see how tough you are in a complex series of melee combat situations. You can start easy and dial it up slowly or go straight into the heavy-duty stuff and see if you can take it as well as dishing it out.

#3 Swords of Gargantua

Let’s be honest here, anything called the Swords of Gargantua has to be awesome. They don’t let uncool things take a name like that.
You’re swinging the heavy metal in an arena format in this one, and we’re not talking about Metallica.
It’s not just all about swords, either. There’s an array of archaic and ancient weaponry here that would have Hercules jumping for joy.
Maces, axes, daggers, halberds, pikes, axes, lances, and daggers all make an appearance or two for some variety.

#4 VRWorkout

Perfect for the next pandemic, this creation from Michael Gschwandtner allows you to take a small area of your current living quarters and make it into a personal gym.
It takes into account how much space you have available and customizes your workout accordingly.
You’ll be amazed how little space is required for crunches, pushups, and running in place. It is currently a free-to-play game.

#5 Gorilla Tag

If your dream has always been to inhabit the body of a gorilla and then chase other gorillas around a forest, your big day has finally arrived.
This one is sure to get your arms and upper-body strength shifted into high gear.
There’s also an infection mode that is every bit as sweaty as it sounds. It’s still in early-access mode, so grab it for free on Steam or the Oculus Store for a free go.

#6 Beat Saber

A favorite around here, it’s been out for three years and comes with rave reviews and user videos that stress how phenomenal it can be for everything from increasing stamina to getting a grip on flexibility to fantastic tales of weight loss. You can play a whole bunch of different songs on a number of different levels on the base game or py a little more for downloadable content and really stretch your legs a bit.

#7 Supernatural

No, you’re not searching for lost souls and creepy ghouls with Jensen Ackles, this one is all about a straight up workout that will have you feeling better than your natural best - hence the name - when you finish.
This one goes beyond the virtual environment and incorporates a virtual fitness coach who is going to provide encouragement just for you as you go through a series of daily challenges that all have adjustable difficulty options to conform with your present fitness level and ambition.
Pick a different immersive location to use each time you strap it on and work out around the world. This one is entwined with a super supportive social media community that will be your extra lifeline of encouragement.

#8 Pistol Whip

With a name like that, it’s either going to get you working up a huge sweat or have you initiated into a gang by sunrise.
Fortunately, this is the former and takes the form of a rhythmic shooter that is an amazing workout, a great sense of stress release, and just makes you feel awesome.
It’s a pretty simple concept - you hop into one of several immersive environments, decide what enemies you need to ruin the days of, and start dodging bullets and learning the best positions from which to return fire.You’ll be burning calories in no time.

#9 Holofit

It’s a perfect blend of reality and virtual world-building for people who already train with an elliptical, an exercise bike, or a rowing machine. Now instead of staring at your own four walls, out the window, or at the TV while you burn those calories, you can pull on the VR goggles and row, run, or cycle through immersive worlds that will dazzle your sense while they’re elevating your heart rate and getting those muscles positively rippling. With a virtual coach, frequent updates, different levels of workout modes, and a companion app that lets you pit yourself against the rest of the world, you’ll be seeing results in no time and getting those competitive juices flowing.

#10 Ninja Legends

If your Spotify playlist includes Carl Douglas’s legendary 1970s hit “Kung Fu Fighting”, it’s time to crank it up loud and hit repeat for this pulse-pounding fight game. Saluted by soldiers around the world as the kind of fighting game that provides a good workout and a way to keep your skills honed, it is a full-body workout that works on developing your quick-twitch muscles as you move in all directions to keep those pesky ninjas at bay.