Because of the pandemic, more and more people have had to transition to working out at home, and as with most aspects of going into lockdown, technology has helped make that transition a lot easier. Here are 6 innovations in fitness technology that are revolutionising working out at home whilst gyms have been closed! Will we ever need to go back?
Wearable Fitness Technology
Although it’s been around for a while, wearable technology plays an important part in people fitness routines, such as fitness trackers which are always gaining in popularity with one in five Americans now owning one. However, it is debated whether or not these devices help you to move more and get healthier because people mistake them for motivational tools whereas, in fact, the reason devices like Fitbit and Apple Watch exist is to help improve your fitness routine, not make you stick to it.
Wearable technology can provide you with valuable data and analysis into your performance, whether you’re running, swimming or working out, by giving information about your heart rate, calories burned and more. The new Apple Watch will even tell you about your blood oxygen level!
Virtual Training Apps
Mobile fitness apps have also taken the world by storm and with lockdowns around the world due to the pandemic, many people have turned to these apps to make the most of their time at home. Nowadays there are hundreds of fitness apps available covering almost any aspect of fitness and health you can think of.
There is no doubt that these apps are having an enormous impact on the industry, thanks to the practicality of having a “virtual trainer” on your phone but that isn’t to say that they’re better than having a personal trainer and a gym membership. Although some of these apps, especially home workout apps, may promise amazing results, for the moment they still can’t compete with the advice from a personal trainer and the variety of equipment available at a gym.
These apps are probably best for when you’re on the move, tracking things like running and cycling or if you simply haven’t got the time to go to the gym.
Gamification Fitness Technology
Despite being a relatively new addition to the fitness world, this new gym trend seems quite promising. Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing like point scoring, competition with others and rules of play to other areas of activity, in this case, fitness.
When gamification is present in a fitness experience, it creates a fun, challenging environment for participants by creating lead boards and a sense of achievement and competition. This tech often exists in training apps, allowing you and your friends to see each other’s performance like in the Strava and Nike Training apps, but gyms are now trying to integrate it too.
Smart, Connected Equipment
Some Gyms are now starting to offer smart and connected equipment to their members, offering them the ability to move from one gym to the other and continue to feed into their own personal data bank of performances.
This new generation of equipment includes Bluetooth connectivity equipped spin cycles, treadmills and step machines and more!
Virtual Reality Fitness Technology
Some gyms have even started using Virtual Reality (VR) fitness equipment with machines such as VirZOOM, a blend of stationary bikes and VR games and the Icaros flying machine, a core & upper body focused VR. The main benefit of this is, of course, adding a bit of fun to your workouts, because there is no doubt that training your core while flying through space on your Icaros will be a bit more exciting than a set of lame crunches!
This ability to make have fun whilst working out and not have it all be about data and performance could be a game-changer for the industry, but in it’s current state, VR fitness is by no means perfect. The obvious disadvantage is the awkwardness of working out in a headset, but that’s not all, being a relatively new technology, debates on how long you should spend using a VR headset and what effects it could have on you brain and eyes in the long term are being had.
The Full Gym Experience – At Home!
We’ve talked about virtual training apps, fitness trackers and connected equipment, but what if all this was to come in one, ultimate home fitness package? Well, undoubtedly helped by the pandemic and people having to stay indoors, companies have been creating exactly that!
Here are some of the most advanced fitness technology machines available to buy:
It’s an at-home fitness machine that comes with quality equipment, hundreds of on-demand and live classes, and is one of the smartest home fitness devices on the market.
It also comes with 3D sensors that are able to track your reps and make real-time corrections to your form thanks to a notification that pops up on your screen with instructions on how to correct it.
Furthermore, the Tempo’s AI will track your progress, class performance and recommend weights and reps.
What’s included? Well, the equipment that comes with Tempo is something you’d see in a high-end gym or fitness studio. It includes rubber-coated weight plates, two dumbbells, a barbell, weight collars, a heart rate monitor, a workout mat, and a recovery foam roller. All the equipment is stored nice and neatly in your Tempo cabinet!
It’s an interactive home fitness device that streams thousands of live and on-demand exercise classes on its display while showing your reflection so you can check your form.
Mirror costs $1,495 currently, plus $39 a month for a one-year-minimum subscription to access all of its live and on-demand workouts, including cardio, strength, yoga, barre, Pilates, boxing, HIIT, and other workouts that you can complete within the comfort of your home.
Furthermore, the exercise classes are led by experts who coach you through each session, stay personal and encourage you with feedback during your training to keep your confidence high.
You also have the ability to connect your Apple Watch or the included heart rate monitor so it can keep track of your heart rate and provide you with useful data at the end of each session.
Finally, we have the most complete (and expensive) home gym machine we could find!
It’s a digital weight machine with two adjustable arms that mounts on your wall and uses electricity to create resistance up to 200 lbs. As the company says:
“It’s an entire gym on your wall.”
For the moment, you can only buy Tonal if you live in one of the 48 contiguous United States, as one of the company’s concierges must install the equipment for you. And there’s no doubt that it’s an investment, coming in at $2,995 for the equipment and $49 a month for a minimum 12-month subscription to Tonal’s coaching, exercise programs, and workout videos.
Not only do you have access to a wide range of exercises and workouts, but Tonal will also coach you so you continuously progress by suggesting when to increase weight along with other tips.
You’ll also be getting an unprecedented amount of data, as each movement is recorded and analysed to make sure you get the most out of your workout. Along with tracking weight, reps, and performance, collects on your range of motion, time under tension, power, volume and, thanks to it’s 17 sensors, gives you feedback on your form.