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We know how the year starts. You’re full of vim and vigor, ready to finally take on that new year’s resolution you’ve attempted in the past. Then you get bogged down by January’s dreary weather, or by taking on more than you can realistically accomplish.
So let’s try for resolution redux. If 2020 is the year you’re finally going to outfit your home gym, track your workouts, fight excuses, and make your fitness goals a reality, you’re going to need to bring in some reinforcements. Think: Tools that will stoke your motivation, give you expert instruction, keep your workouts comfy, help you recover like a pro, and let you work out whenever, wherever.
We put together a list of 14 high quality, useful fitness products that can accomplish all of the above—and, most importantly of all, are actually fun.
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1. For all-day fitness tracking: Fitbit Charge 3
The Charge 3 is Reviewed’s favorite Fitbit for good reason. As far as fitness goes, this slim water-resistant band tracks step count, automatically recognizes exercise, and nudges you to move when you’ve been sitting too long. It also gives you a holistic picture of your health, with an app that offers detailed sleep insights, food and water logging and menstrual tracking, and pay-to-play premium programs that can guide you to making lasting lifestyle changes. The Charge 3 syncs with everyday apps so that you can view your phone notifications on your wrist. Plus, it’s low maintenance, lasting up to a week before you need to charge it.
2. For running inspiration: Garmin Forerunner 245 GPS watch
This GPS running watch topped Reviewed’s tests for its easy-to-navigate menus and simple button controls. It comes with access to free training programs for races of any distance, which can guide you on your way to your goals—you just pick the program and “beam” the workouts to the watch from your phone to follow along. The model that comes with music lets you run with your fave Spotify playlist, which can be another great motivator to log miles.
3. For travel-friendly strength workouts: NT Loop resistance band
Resistance bands are always handy for go-anywhere workouts, but this one goes above and beyond for the simple fact that it won’t ever lose elasticity, peel, or break. (Read: There’s no chance of snapping yourself in the face with it!) Providing 45 pounds of resistance at full stretch, it’s built from durable fabric. At 50 inches long, the options of exercises you can perform with it are endless, and it comes with a how-to guide to get you started.
4. For quick cardio anywhere: An easy-swinging jump rope
A solid jump rope is one of the simplest, cheapest cardio tools out there, and the WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope is great for pushing your limits. It’s study, swings fast, and you can customize it to be the exact right length for your body, making double-unders and other next-level maneuvers much more doable.
5. To bring the weight room inconspicuously into your home: Tonal
With this smart connected device, you no longer have to go to the gym to get in a good cable-machine workout. Tonal combines a large wall-mounted touch screen and electromagnetic cables to support hundreds of upper- and lower-body exercises with up to 200 pounds of resistance. When you set up your account, its Coach A.I. takes you through a strength assessment to pinpoint the right starting weights for you, then adjusts your weights in real time both between exercises and as you get stronger. Streaming video of trainers offers audio and video coaching, while the device track your strength gains. It’s not cheap, but if your biggest hurdle to strength training is not being able to get to the health club, Tonal eliminates that excuse.
6. For upping your yoga practice: Lululemon Reversible Mat
This yoga mat topped Reviewed’s tests, thanks to its super-sticky surface and foamed rubber base that will keep you feeling stable yet cushioned during floor exercises. The material also includes an antimicrobial additive to help kill smelly germs. Though it costs more than the synthetic mats you’ll find at big-box stores, the Lululemon is far more durable, to support your yoga practice for years to come.
7. For building your butt: Glute Loop
Whether you’re in the gym, a hotel room, or your own living room, this mini looped resistance band allows you to get more glute benefits from dozens of exercises such as squats, glute bridges, hip thrusts, and donkey kicks. Its best feature is its thick, heavy-duty fabric construction—it won’t roll up or cut into your thighs like most latex bands can. The loop comes in two sizes and three levels of resistance, but the regular-resistance loop is a solid option if you don’t want a collection.
8. For indoor cycling in your living room: Peloton
The high-tech bike has a huge fan-base for a reason: It boasts more than 90 live, immersive classes per week with top cycling instructors. Meanwhile, a full workout library of classes ranging from 5 to 90 minutes and tons of styles is ready to go whenever you are. The bike’s sleek design makes it at home in any room, and with a 30-day home trial period, if you decide it’s somehow not worth the price tag, Peloton will pick up the bike and give you a full refund.
9. For smarter kettlebell workouts: Jaxjox KettlebellConnect
Kettlebells offer arguably the most well-rounded workout, combining strength and cardio in one piece of equipment—though you really need more than one weight load to be able to do a good variety of exercises. Digitally powered, this sleek kettlebell easily adjusts between six different loads—from 12 to 42 pounds—with the push of a button and a short 3- to 5-second wait time. Connect it to the Jaxjox free app to track your reps, sets, and weight used.
10. For easing out pre- or post-workout kinks: RumbleRoller Beastie
While we love foam rollers for their full-body massaging capabilities, they aren’t the best tool for targeting tight or deep knots. The RumbleRoller Beasity is a mini myofascial release tool hits those spots that a foam roller just can’t. Its small design and nubby fingers allow the massage ball to dig in deep to help stimulate trigger points, relieve muscle tension, and promote recovery between exercise sessions. Its low cost and fit-anywhere profile make it an easy choice.
11. For soundtracking your workouts: Mpow Flame headphones
These inexpensive Bluetooth headphones are built to withstand your workouts: In our tests, we submerged them in water for a full 30 minutes and they just kept playing on. And, despite not being truly wireless–there’s a cord between them—our executive editor prefers them to Apple’s Airpods, especially when it comes to exercising.
12. For bodyweight resistance training: TRX Go
Suspension training is the fitness trend that, year after year, is still holding strong. The Go is TRX’s lightest, most-portable system—it sets up with a single anchor point to make things as easy as possible. It also comes with six months of access to the TRX App so you can learn some of the hundreds of exercises you can do with the straps.
13. For stronger abs: Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro
When it comes to building your core, this ab roller is beloved for its wide, sturdy wheel. The curved ends allow you to move in diagonal paths to work your obliques, rather than limiting you to a straight front-to-back path. The Ab Carver Pro has ergonomic, non-slip handles and comes with foam kneepads and a downloadable 21-day workout plan to get you started.
14. For heated massage therapy: Moji Heated Foam Roller
This roller combines myofascial release with relaxing heat to help warm muscles and ease tension before and after workouts. It’s 13 inches long by 4 inches in diameter, and can screw apart to make two shorter rollers so it can fit in luggage or super-small microwaves (you zap it to warm it before use). The foam is very dense, making it best for those who like deep-pressure massages and rolling.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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