Digital fitness boomed during 2020's quarantine, and the workout tech world has grown exponentially to accommodate the shift from gyms to people's living rooms. To embrace the change (and perhaps replace those makeshift dumbbells you got from your pantry), the
best fitness gadgets of 2021 can level up your home exercise routine.
According to business data platform Statista,
fitness industry revenue is expected to reach almost $22 million this year, and Transparency Market Research estimates that people are spending 30 to 35% more on fitness-related products than they did before the pandemic. Wearables alone, aka trackers worn around your wrist to measure various body metrics, are expected to double in sales by 2022, according to CCS Insight, an industry analyst, and is set to become a $27 billion market. That's all to say: There are a ton of workout accessories and devices to pick from if you're looking to upgrade your home gym.
Whether you want to
track your performance, try new exercises, or boost your body's recovery, there's a product for you. The year has shown innovations across all workout categories, from vibrating foam rollers and living room-friendly fitness equipment to smart mirrors. Here are the top fitness gadgets of 2021 that'll bring fresh life into your sweat sessions. We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 A Vibrating Foam Roller
foam rolling routine with the Therabody Wave Roller, which delivers therapeutic vibrations at five different intensities to speed up muscle recovery. Even better? This device is Bluetooth-enabled so you can customize your rolling session, track your recoveries, and follow guided warm-ups and cool-downs from your phone. 2 Percussive Therapy On The Go
Hypervolt GO brings percussion therapy to a travel-friendly size. It works to massage your muscles with powerful pulses at three different speeds, and weights just a pound and a half, so it's perfect to take on the go. That means you can keep your muscle tightness and body aches at bay wherever you happen to be. 3 This Customizable Smart Exercise Mirror
Bring the boutique fitness experience to your home with the
FORME Life Studio, a full-length smart mirror that broadcasts all sorts of workouts (like strength, cardio, yoga, and boxing) from real trainers. It features a touch- and voice-controlled display and A.I. technology that personalizes coaching based on your fitness level. You could also opt for the Studio Lift version with built-in resistance equipment. The best part? When you're done working out, the Studio doubles as home decor. 4 A Minimalist Fitness Tracker
For a super-smart tracker, the newest addition to the WHOOP strap family brings better battery life (five days!), a sweat-absorbing band, and Strain Coach functionality, which tells you in real time if you should push harder or take it easier based on your fitness and recovery levels. The sleek device measures your workouts, sleep, recovery, and more, and the waterproof sensor sends your metrics to the app for continuous and thorough intel about your body.
5 Portable Compression Wraps
Speed muscle recovery with the
SPRYNG Deep Tissue Bundle, which are portable compression wraps that strap around your calves after a hard workout. The new textured inner layer puts pressure on your muscles to boost circulation and relieve soreness and stiffness so that your body is more primed to move the next day. 6 An At-Home Slide Board
Brrrn Board is a five- to six-foot-long slide board created by New York City fitness studio Brrrn that brings its signature slippery cardio and strength classes to your home. It comes with a subscription to the studio's on-demand library of slide classes (and even yoga, bootcamp, and recovery sessions for when you're not in the mood to slide) that'll boost your power and agility from all that side-to-side motion. 7 This Full But Compact Gym
This piece of fitness equipment has literally everything a home workout could ever need: interactive personal training, recovery equipment, adjustable dumbbells and an adjustable kettlebell, and a full library of on-demand workout classes. It also uses A.I.-powered performance tracking and recommendations to ensure you get the most out of your workout routine.
8 A Full-Body Home Spin Studio
Peloton Bike+ is your one-stop shop for cycling, and then some. The upgraded bike now syncs with Apple Watch, and has a swivel screen so you can conveniently knock out Peloton's yoga, bootcamp, and floor classes off your bike. Also notable is the bike's new Auto Follow feature, which automatically adjusts your resistance to the trainer's instructions so your workouts are more seamless than ever before. 9 Medical-Grade Compression Socks 10 A Gym In Your Pocket
Ever feel like you should work out but don't want to move?
Activ5 could be your answer. This device and app duo allows you to literally squeeze in a strength training session anytime, anywhere. It brings you a catalogue of low-impact, full-body isometric exercises through the app that challenge your muscles through stillness while you press and hold the device's sensor (hello, planks!). The app also measures your strength, precision, and growth so you can chart your progress. 11 This Interactive Boxing Platform
Turn your bedroom a boxing ring with
Liteboxer. This freestanding boxing device guides your punching combos with LED lights, syncs your workout to the beat of the music, and tracks your power, accuracy, and punches per minute with built-in sensors. Box solo or pick a trainer-led boxing, strength training, or yoga class on the Litebox app. 12 This Mini Trampoline
Get your jump on with
The Ness trampoline, a compact, springless trampoline collaboration between fitness studio The Ness and JumpSport. Adjust it to your desired firmness, pick a bounce class, then hop away. And, since it's smooth and practically silent, your downstairs neighbors will thank you. 13 This Handheld Massage Stick 14 This Mini Resistance Training Gym
Pack a full-body workout into a two-by-two foot square with the
BOARD30 MINI. This compact piece of equipment has built-in resistance tubes, bands, handles, and ankle straps in the wooden platform that can be used in your strength training routine. Use it with the BOARD30 on-demand fitness library (the first two weeks of classes are free!), which is filled with tons of low-impact workouts. 15 A Heated Massage Gun
Percussive therapy devices have only gotten smarter and more sleek. The latest innovation? The SKG F5, which offers the standard muscle tension-relieving massage function, but with the added perk of heat therapy. Basically, the bottom edge of the tool
heats up to further quash muscle pain (plus it feels really good for your self-massage sesh). The device is also super lightweight, so it’s easy to use all over your bod and even take on the go. 16 These Smart Running Insoles
Upgrade your running game with these
smart insoles. They track everything from your form, cadence, gait, and speed, then send that data to the corresponding app where you’ll learn all about how your body performs during those miles. It also has a built-in coach that’ll give you feedback about how to tweak your stride for a stronger run. 17 This Home Pilates Machine
If you’ve ever experienced an
SLT or SolidCore Pilates-style workout, you know how burns-so-good those exercises on the studio equipment are. Now you can invest in an at-home version of the Megaformer via the Micro #2, a minimalistic carriage with handles and built-in resistance for all the core-quaking moves you know and love — but for your home gym. Studies referenced: Cheatham, S.W. (2015). The Effects Of Self-Myofascial Release Using A Foam Roll Or Roller Massager On Joint Range Of Motion, Muscle Recovery, And Performance: A Systematic Review. International Journal Of Sports Physical Therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4637917/ Franklin, N. (2014). Massage Therapy Restores Peripheral Vascular Function following Exertion. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. https://www.archives-pmr.org/article/S0003-9993(14)00130-0/fulltext Naclerio, F. (2019). Effectiveness of combining microcurrent with resistance training in trained males. European Journal of Applied Physiology. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-019-04243-1 Malanga, G. (2014). Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury. Postgrad Med. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25526231/
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This article was originally published on
Jan. 27, 2021