Stuck indoors thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak? That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to embrace your inner sloth. Instead, it’s a good idea to find ways to stay active, especially for the physical and mental health benefits of exercise.
For home workout equipment that can really make sure each session counts, you’re going to want some smarter gear, preferably something that keeps track of how much work you’re putting in. Here’s some of our favorite high-tech home workout gear that can track every run, rep or whatever else you’re up to:
Price: $3.99 per month
What is it: A smart workout tracking and training app
If you’ve got no equipment to work with at home, or are new to the whole home workout thing, check out Fitbod for an easy introduction to body weight and other at-home exercises. Fitbod can build your workout routine — including weight, sets, and reps — for you based on the muscles you want to target, along with the equipment you have (or don’t have). The visual chart showing your muscle groups after each workout make it easy to see when you’re overtraining, or what you’re neglecting in your routine. It even includes instructional videos you can watch before you pull a muscle, just in case you need a refresher on how to do a proper push-up.
Price: $18 per month
What is it: An on-demand yoga and meditation class subscription
Just because you’re getting in shape doesn’t mean you’ve got to carry huge weights around your house, or spend a ton on equipment. Sometimes you just need a yoga mat and a smartphone. With Glo, a subscription-based yoga and meditation service that works on iOS, Android, and TV platforms like Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Apple TV, you have access to over 4,000 classes ranging from mindfulness meditation training to multiple styles of yoga.
You can also choose classes based on what you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s nailing the basics of yoga, staying focused, or strengthening your body with more workout-focused exercises. Videos are grouped into courses so you can follow one over multiple weeks, making it easy to stick to a particular style or follow a certain teacher.
What is it: A jump rope with interchangeable weighted ropes
Jump ropes are a great way to get the heart thumping, but those light nylon ropes aren’t exactly going to help with your biceps. The Crossrope’s four interchangeable ropes — ranging from a quarter-pound to two pounds — are designed for intense and lengthy workouts, and easy to switch up thanks to the handle’s clever connectors. Available in multiple lengths, it might be the thing that helps you build up more than a just a sweat. Just make sure the neighbors below you don’t mind.
What is it: A WiFi-connected weight and body mass scale
The Withings Smart Scale is great for simple tracking of both your short-term and long-term fitness progress. Syncing with your Apple Health or Google Fit information, the Withings Healthmate app makes it simple to see your weight, body mass, or heart rate trends in an easy to read and date-adjustable graph, along with the rest of your health data. It also displays data like weather forecasts and carbon dioxide levels in your room, just in case you need to know the weather before you hit the gym or go for a run.
What is it: A weight-adjustable smart kettlebell
If kettlebells are more your speed, you can always get one that lets you know how hard you’re working out. The JaxJox KettlebellConnect can replace your entire set, thanks to its adjustable weight capabilities. Ranging from 12 to 42 pounds, the KettlebellConnect is great for beginners and experts alike looking to collect some data from their workout routine. The companion app tracks everything from sets, reps, and time spent working out, creating a proprietary Fitness IQ score designed to show how fast you’re progressing. It all syncs with your Apple Health or Google Fit data, too.
What is it: A set of smartphone-friendly, weight-adjustable dumbbells
Just because they’re called dumbbells doesn’t mean they have to be, well, dumb. If you want exercise equipment just as advanced as the rest of your workout gear, try the Bowflex SelectTech 560, a set of smart adjustable dumbbells complete with companion app (and winner of a Red Dot design award).
Adjusting the weights is simple enough, requiring a handle twist before removing them from their dock. The Bowflex SelectTech app records your weight settings, along with set and rep counts. It also provides dozens of videos to choose from when you want to customize your workout regimen, target a specific muscle group, and nail your technique.
What is it: A smartphone-friendly bicycling trainer
Instead of taking your bike for a ride outside when you should be staying in, why not rack up a few miles with a bike stand?Available in both wheel-on and wheel-off variants, the Kickr series of trainers is controlled by your smartphone — you can use Kickr’s app to manage elements of your ride (like resistance), view your power output, and combine your Kickr with other Wahoo-made cycling components, like an elevation accessory to simulate uphill rides. The Kickr also syncs with apps like Strava to log your rides.
What is it: A punch-tracking boxing system with on-demand workouts
No, you can’t be in the ring throwing your fists at some sweaty competitor right now, but you can beat on your own punching bag from the comfort of your home. Fightcamp’s boxing workouts are quantified thanks to its in-glove sensors that track your fists of fury while you punch away (purchasing a Fightcamp set nets you gloves, sensors, and a punching bag). You’ll get stats based on everything from your jab speed to intensity to types of punches thrown while you hone your skills. Fightcamp puts its guided workouts in its subscription service, which gets you over 200 workouts to choose from.
What is it: A workout-specific wall-mounted display that doubles as a mirror
If you miss your group classes at your now-shuttered local gym, Mirror might be a great choice, letting you break a sweat without taking up too much space in your apartment. Despite the name, Mirror does more than reflect your image back to you. It’s an internet-connected mirror that integrates a huge display for streaming workout classes, and a camera for personal training sessions. A subscription to Mirror’s workout catalog grants you access to classes ranging from strength training to yoga to everything in between, available at all experience levels. While the company has since postponed its live classes, you can still access its over 10,000 pre-recorded on-demand workouts to get your gains in.
What is it: A gamified rowing machine
Rowing machines aren’t new, but rowing machines pitting you against your fellow athlete are pretty novel. Enter Ergatta, a gorgeous, traditional-looking rowing machine that won’t look out of place in your home — as long as you ignore the 17-inch touchscreen attached to the wooden water flywheel rower.
Unlike other smart rowers, the Ergatta puts less emphasis on on-demand workout videos and more on your training regimen, turning your sessions into races against others. You’ll get a stylish interface that lets you choose workout plans, pick competitive races, and puts you and your rowing activity on a leaderboard — especially helpful since you’re not exactly rowing on the water with your buddies. When you’re done, you can fold the Ergatta up for convenient vertical storage, so no one trips over your new workout machine of choice.
What is it: An internet-connected stationary bike with a touchscreen and on-demand workout catalog
If you want a smart stationary bike that makes you feel like you’re in a spin class even though you’re stuck in your basement, check out Peloton. The king of connected stationary bikes, Peloton’s futuristic-looking spin bike has an integrated touchscreen display that makes finding a workout for your skill level or monitoring your progress incredibly simple. Classes are shown on the integrated display, which displays data like speed, distance, cadence, and more so you know how hard you’re working. You’ll also find a leaderboard where you can compare your performance to your fellow riders in your class (you can also hide it if that’s not your thing).
Peloton’s live classes are currently on hiatus, but the company has tons of pre-recorded classes available, with a few more on the way.
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Contributor: Patrick Lucas Austin