When you hear “smart fitness”, you probably jump to wearables like Fitbit that measure steps. These are great, but just the tip of the iceberg. So, we wanted to share with you some other cool fitness innovations that make working out even cooler.
1. LiftUp Resistance Band: $99
LiftUp, which just recently launched a Kickstarter campaign, takes your standard resistance band and gives it a major upgrade. It pairs with your phone to automatically track your reps, strength progress, and calories, and you can even compete with friends.
Many still equate resistance bands with physical therapy, but more and more personal trainers and athletes have incorporated them into their routines. Not only are they great at toning and building muscle, but they’re also very convenient. Just try traveling with a Bowflex in your luggage and you’ll come to see why a resistance band’s portability is a nice benefit.
2. Physiclo Resistance Tights – $125
You know what’s better than wearing tights when you work out? Wearing tights that make the workout more effective. Physiclo has designed compression tights that actually enhance caloric burn and muscle output through built-in resistance bands.
By adding resistance to the movement, Physiclo activates key muscles like the hamstrings, quads, and glutes by an additional 23%. Meaning, your same 5-mile run is now a super 5-mile run, without changing anything else about your workout. They are definitely worth trying out.
3. Hidrate Spark – $59.95
Once called “the water bottle of the future”, Hidrate Spark at first just looks like a sleek, beautifully-designed bottle. But then you realize it connects with an app to automatically track how much you’re drinking. Pretty cool, but it doesn’t stop there. It also glows when it’s time to drink.
You may not have known you needed a glowing water bottle, but now you do. This is the type of gym accessory that’s sure to be a great conversation starter.
4. Withings WS-50 Smart Scale: $129.90
Having a scale is great, but it requires you to remember your numbers – or, God Forbid, bring a pen and paper into the bathroom. Fortunately, Withing’s smart scale saves you from having to record by tracking your weight automatically.
Through what can only be described as fitness magic, the scale also measures your body fat percentage and heart rate, making this much more versatile than your standard scale.
5. Tangram Factory’s Smart Rope: $89.99
In a world where we can connect with our thermostats, cars, and fridges, the logical next step is – of course – the classic jump rope. Yes, that’s right: Tangram Factory has built a jump rope that automatically measures your jumps and shows you your progress over time. Even better – the band’s LED’s show you your jump count in midair.
Being able to track your jump count may seem silly, but so did step tracking before Fitbit. The real value is in benchmarking what you did and motivating yourself to do more. Did 250 jumps yesterday? Try 300 today. And, tomorrow, why not 350. And so on, until each morning you’re capping at 10,000 jumps (which, at a jump per second, is almost 3 hours of jumping).
6. Moov NOW (2nd Gen) – $69.95
Wearable trackers were the first iteration of smart wearables; Moov is the 2nd. Why? Because just recording data is one thing – having your own personal coach to make sense of that data is another.
Moov is a fitness tracker that also acts as coach. In real-time it’ll give you advice on form and pace. With advice around swimming, running, boxing, and more, it’s a great antidote to hiring a personal trainer. Plus, it also does all the basic tracking, letting you track your workouts, steps, and sleep cycles too.
7. Nexersys Home Unit for Boxing – $1,799
Speaking of boxing, check out Nexersys. It’s as if Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out video game decided to have a child with a punching bag. Designed for the home, Nexersys provides feedback on performance while also offering gaming options to make it more fun.
Nexersys has 7 strike pads and 3 axis accelerometers, making it much more versatile than a standard punching bag, and much cooler.
8. Upright Posture Trainer – $129.95
Bad posture can contribute to an increased risk of athletic injuries, which is why we like UpRight, a sensor that attaches to your back to let you know when you’re slouching.
UpRight is small and notifies you via gentle vibrations, so nobody else will be able to tell you’re wearing it (nor will you awkwardly shake). It has the potential to be a great long-term investment, as it’ll always have your back (pun intended).
9. Misfit Shine 2 – $99.99
Smart fitness trackers are like celebrity rumors: a new one pops up every day, all the while not contributing much to the world. Misfit bucks that trend with their beautiful Misfit Shine. At $99 it’s cheaper than many of its contemporaries while also being the most stylish on the market. While some fitness trackers focus on functionality, not on the look (like Atlas or Beast), Misfit’s design gives it a leg up over its competitors (or, more aptly, a wrist-up).