17 Gadgets Fitness-Lovers Will Love to Unwrap This Year
When it comes to gifts for the fitness-lover in your life, you can never go wrong with classic black leggings, sneakers, or gift cards to their favorite athletic store. But if you want to step things up this year, there are loads of high-tech health and fitness gadgets that will turn any gym-goer, runner, or home workout aficionado into the heart-eyes emoji when they start unwrapping.
We're talking portable massagers, devices to correct your posture, meditation headbands, and of course, wearable fitness trackers: all products that'll keep your fitness-loving friend performing at their best. These fitness gadgets are truly the gifts that keep on giving, and your friend will be using them all year long during their sweat sessions. Keep reading to shop the devices and gadgets that they'll really love and use over and over again.
— Additional reporting by Maggie Ryan
Whoop Performance Strap 4.0
The Whoop Performance Strap 4.0 ($288 for a one-year membership) is a great tool for anyone who wants to truly optimize their training and recovery. It analyzes recovery, strain, and sleep to determine how hard you should push yourself each day based on the data collected. The strap lets you know how much sleep you need depending on your daily performance goals, and it provides in-depth information on the type of training you partake in and the benefits of that style of training. (PS: you get the Whoop 4.0 along with the membership, which also gives access to the Whoop app.)
Hyperice Hypersphere Vibrating Therapy Ball
Foam rolling is imperative for those who work out regularly, but no one wants to carry a ginormous roller with them all the time, especially when traveling. You get the effects of a foam roller and more with the compact Hyperice Hypersphere Vibrating Therapy Ball ($169, originally $200). The ball can be used all over the body to activate, loosen, and soothe muscles.
TriggerPoint Grid Vibe Plus Vibrating Foam Roller
Sore muscles can't be avoided while training, which is why we love the TriggerPoint Grid Vibe Plus Vibrating Foam Roller ($61, originally $100). It's "clinically proven to induce muscle relaxation and minimize pain while rolling," and the grid pattern was designed to mimic the hands of a massage therapist.
PowerDot 2.0 Smart Electric Muscle Stimulator
The PowerDot 2.0 Smart Electric Muscle Stimulator ($199) is one of the best devices for recovery and performance. The portable EMS machine stimulates specific muscle groups via Bluetooth. Simply download the app, pair the device with Bluetooth to your phone or tablet, and let it work its magic. This is a great choice for anyone who struggles with injuries and soreness.
Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones
The Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones ($197) are great for all types of training and fitness levels. They fit well in the ear (so you don't have to worry about losing them), come with four different ear tip size options, and are adjustable and sweat and water resistant, a good choice for any fitness-lovers who complain that they'll never find the right earphones for their workouts.
Upright Go 2 Posture Trainer
The Upright Go 2 Posture Trainer ($80) will correct poor posture, reminding you to sit and stand straight with gentle vibrations: just stick it on your back and go. The brand claims a noticeable difference in posture will be seen in just two weeks.
The FitBit Luxe ($100) is great for people who like minimal and sleek accessories. It has a five-day battery life, is water resistant, tracks all-day activity and over 20 types of exercise, counts steps, and tracks the quality of your sleep and stress levels. This tracker is an especially good choice for someone who wants all the benefits of tracking their activity, but in a device that looks sleek and stylish on their wrist.
Loved by professional athletes and fitness fans alike, the Hypervolt 2 ($299) will have your muscles feeling brand new. The new Bluetooth feature syncs with the Hyperice app, guiding you through pre-built or custom recovery programs. It comes with different heads designed to target specific muscle groups, "accelerates warmup and recovery," improves range of motion, and promotes circulation.
Stealth Core Trainer
This one's for the friend who says they can plank for five minutes straight. Challenge them to try doing it on the Stealth Core Trainer ($129), which connects to the Stealth Fitness app on your phone to turn your planks into interactive games. You'll move forward, backward, and from side to side on the board, upping the intensity of any plank. Our reviewer called it "a fun tool to increase your core strength and get in an effective challenge that also works your mind-body connection."
Garmin Forerunner 55
Garmin is considered to be one of the best running watches, and the Garmin Forerunner 55 ($200) is perfect for those looking for a device that will provide them with in-depth details about their runs, count their steps, show location with a GPS, and track features such as heart rate zones, calories burned, and other health markers — all with up to two weeks of battery life.
UA True Wireless Flash X Headphones
Waterproof and with winged ear tips to keep them in place, UA True Wireless Flash X Headphones ($170) are a good choice for runners or anyone who loves an intense workout that can send regular earphones flying. They also provide "Ambient Aware" technology that lets you hear your music at a high quality, while still staying aware of your surroundings — a big perk when you're running outside.
Muse 2: The Brain Sensing Headband
Mental and emotional health is just as important as one's physical health. There are numerous ways to care for one's mental health, such as meditating, and we think the Muse 2: The Brain Sensing Headband ($200, originally $250) is a great tool for those just getting started with meditation.
This headband is essentially a personal meditation assistant, providing you with real-time feedback as you meditate. It will let you know when you're calm and focused, and it will provide gentle signals alerting you when it senses your mind beginning to wander.
It might look like your average fitness tracker, but the Apollo Neuro ($349) is actually geared to help your mental health. The band connects to an app on your phone, which lets you choose between settings like "Relax and Unwind," "Meditation and Mindfulness," and "Sleep and Renew," then sends gentle vibrations to your wrist (or ankle, depending on where you wear the band) intended to steer your mind and body in that direction. Our reviewer "loved how soothing Apollo's vibrations felt and how much they helped when I needed to sleep, relax, or relieve stress."
Fitbit Versa 3 Smart Watch
The Fitbit Versa 3 Smart Watch ($209, originally $230) is ideal for those who want to exercise without having to carry their phone around. It has built-in GPS, tracks your daily activity and sleep, and even allows you to store and play music directly from the tracker, so you really can keep your phone belt at home!
Theragun Elite Percussive Therapy Deep Tissue Muscle Massage Gun
The Theragun Elite Percussive Therapy Deep Tissue Muscle Massage Gun ($390) will target sore, tight muscles better than traditional massage devices. It activates muscles, stimulates blood flow, and increases range of motion. It also has Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to sync with the app where you can create create wellness routines based on your activity.