Top Tech-Led Home Gym Equipment
With the dawning of 2021, new year’s resolutions will be top of mind for many and a highly popular theme often involves making healthy lifestyle choices – whether that’s eating five a day or getting fit.
If you’ve resolved to get fit or become even fitter over the coming months there’s one thing that might hamper progress. That’s because COVID-19 restrictions to help stop the spread of the virus often impact gyms.
The good news though is that tech can help make it easier to replicate the gym at home. If this is of interest you won’t be alone – home gym equipment sales increased by almost 6000 per cent during the 2020 lockdowns!
While there’s a place for analogue skipping ropes, exercise bikes and rowing machines, there’s an added pizzazz with smart equipment that offer the benefits of unlimited personal training rolled into it too. From value-for-money toning techniques to connected spin classes, the latest tech has pimped up even the most basic equipment.
For a glimpse into how far tech has brought training equipment, here are the Switched on team’s favourite items.
One of the biggest success stories of the coronavirus crisis, the Peloton Bike: a spin bike for your home, plus a connected world to go with it. Knowing that the real challenge when exercising is psychological rather than physical, there are live classes 24/7 to join in with, instructors to dole out pep talks and tips, and live metrics to track performance. And it includes access for the whole household. No wonder it’s got away with a hefty price tag of £1,750 for the entry level bike, and £2,250 for the premium Bike+. The better news is that they’re expanding to the world of treadmills in January, so runners can get in on the Peloton action too.
For boxing fitness fanatics, the first rule of FightCamp is: get connected with FightCamp. It packs the punch of a workout in the boxing ring, just without leaving home. The training suite consists of a gym-quality bag, workout mat, punch trackers, boxing gloves, hand wraps and an app with tutorials, workouts and more. Six different trainers run through an impressive range of workouts, from simple punching sessions to intense all-body workouts. They’re all designed to make your limbs feel like jelly at the end of each sesh, which is a good thing when you’re stuck at home. It’ll hit you where it hurts though as it costs $1,219 (£900) for the equipment, plus $39 (£30) a month for membership – but that’s worth it if you’re a regular user.
YogiFi intelligent mat
Yoga lovers rejoice! Even the humble yoga mat has a hi-tech upgrade. The YogiFi intelligent mat contains a sensor layer that connects to an app. Calibrated to your body size and weight, the mat detects your postures and gives you feedback to correct yourself if needed. Its fitness tracker measures your strength, endurance, balance and flexibility, and it connects with Apple and Google voice devices to make it even easier to practice yoga at home. It costs $399 (around £295) and there’s a couple of months wait time for delivery, but once you’re on it, it’s a smooth path to Yogic nirvana from there.
Activ5 isometric workout device
For smart fitness without the hefty price tag (it’s £127 to be exact), the Activ5 is one to consider. The rock-shaped device might seem light and ineffective, but by ‘gamefying’ your workouts, it’ll push you to your limits without you even realising. Linking up to an app, the device forms a central part of a workout tailored to you. You can concentrate on a particular area, or try the Activ5 challenge: a six-week workout that only needs 15 minutes three times a day. It’s a handy, flexible bit of tech for beginners and intermediates especially.
If space is a major issue when it comes to your home gym, let us introduce you to the Mirror, yes with a capital ‘M’. It looks just like a normal full-length mirror when it’s not in use. But turn it on and you’ll see hologram-esque trainers performing over 50 genres of workouts, from Latin dance to bootcamp to barre, which range between five to 60 minutes in duration. Plus useful class info and your vital stats are reflected back at you too. Motivated by friendly competition? Then join a competitive class, where you can pit yourself against others. The Mirror costs $1,495 (£1,130), with membership an extra $39 (£30) a month.