No matter how high-tech, clean and glossy they can be, gyms aren’t for everybody. As such, at-home workout alternatives are rolling out in abundance. While many of these programs lean on the pillars central to the fitness industry, they’re provided in the comfort of a familiar environment and can be accessed at any time that’s convenient. From a gamified rowing machine to a livestream teaching dance moves, these are a few of our favorite options that offer personalized workouts meant to exhilarate and motivate within the home.
Developed by a team of Apple, Fitbit and Nest alums, Tonal aims to bridge the gap between an improvised, at-home workout and the luxury of a personal trainer. The mountable machine comprises a smart mirror—which also acts as a hub for information and entertainment—and winged arms that fold down to form a workout machine. An additional accessories plan includes a second set of handles, a smart bar, rope, bench, mat and roller. The Tonal training system allows users to monitor their workout as it unfolds and track progress. Though the system is pricy ($2,995), it’s well below the total for hiring a personal trainer for a year and will last longer.
Part of the allure of going to the gym can be tracking progress: stepping up to one’s usual machine but notching a different weight, for example, signals improvement and can be a great motivator. Rowing machine maker Ergatta aims to create that competitive element at home by making workouts games. Built from a dark-finish wood, a clever system that houses the resistance, and an LED screen, the machine is sizeable enough to transport one mentally but it doesn’t overcrowd a room when it’s folded away. Workout sessions are intense, personalized and fuse high-intensity interval training with endurance cardio. Plus, there’s the option to enter community-based races and compete with other users.
For many, working out at home translates to a liberating experience away from prying eyes—something that can be especially pertinent when it comes to learning dance moves. While NYC-based fitness studio DanceBody has its own roster of brick-and-mortar locations, their ever-popular online platform offers all the perks of being in a movement class without actually having to go. The programs are a careful combination of choreography and cardio and the dance moves change in seasons—offering users enough time to master them. Classes vary in intensity and style and can be joined as they’re happening or streamed on-demand. Best of all, the app doesn’t require any additional materials beyond a device to stream it and a reasonable amount of room to kick and dip. Monthly memberships are $35, or $350 for the year.
Asana Rebel‘s comprehensive app aims to assist with workouts and a healthier lifestyle overall, providing users with a one-stop resource for all things wellness. Offering yoga, HIIT and yoga-HIIT fusion workouts, suggestions for eating better, ways to manage stress, music for productivity, meditation tracks and more, it’s useful for all kinds of styles and moods. Using yoga as a foundation, Asana Rebel extends their workout plans to offer more ways to gain strength and accelerate toning—all while giving users the option to choose from dozens of alternatives. It’s one of the few fitness apps that provides suggestions for an entire day without feeling overbearing or omnipresent.
Fitness company JAXJOX‘s connected kettlebell provides users the luxury of a comprehensive collection of weights without the clutter or clanging. Using tiered increments of six pounds and a charging station, the $349 kettlebell can go from 12 pounds to 42 pounds in seconds, allowing for substantial variation in workout routines. And though kettlebells may not be the first piece of equipment considered when outfitting a home gym, the weight is not only multifunctional but also easy to carry and store. Plus, all of the data users accrue—heart rate, reps, weight and more—can be synced to a wearable fitness-tracker and monitored from within its app or JAXJOX’s.
Vasper‘s proprietary system—which combines rowing and pedaling—may not be the most space-efficient, but in just 21 minutes one can achieve the same benefits they would from high-intensity workouts with compression, liquid cooling, and interval training. Vasper triggers a low-impact exercise that concentrates on areas of the body where it’s most effective, rendering the workout quick but better for you. The machine is in its earliest stages of development (one can be tested at Vasper’s HQ in Mountain View, CA) but it shows promise as an alternative for individuals with injuries or preexisting conditions. Vasper activates a systemic response to exercise that heals damaged parts of the body, too.
SKY TING TV
Recorded by NYC-based yoga studio SKY TING, each episode of SKY TING TV is a virtual yoga class. Company co-founders Chloe Kernaghan and Krissy Jones teach the classes, which range from beginner to advanced, and from five minutes to an hour. Shorter lessons (which are part of longer sessions) are available for quick mental and physical breaks. Positioned amidst lush greenery and natural sunlight, Jones and Kernaghan’s lessons are easy to follow yet appropriately challenging. Memberships start at $20 a month.
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