New exercise machines for a whole new you: the latest in fitness tech
Make it to your fitness goals with new home exercise machines and fitness tech – from smarter dumbbells to a stationary bike that simulates tricky surfaces
New Year fitness goals often fall by the wayside. While certain kinds of exercise depend on getting out and about, there’s a sure-fire way of ensuring it’s never far from your mind: buy a piece of equipment that will silently judge you if it’s not being used. A large exercise machine is an investment that will prey on your conscience if it’s being ignored. Here’s our selection of high-end fitness devices, machines that look purposeful and inviting, not oppressive and frightening, and which hopefully won’t end up being draped with laundry before the following month is out.
Exercise machines and fitness tech
The Hydrow is a rowing machine with a difference, integrating a 22in flat screen into its curvaceous frame. The rowing mechanism uses electromagnetism to create variable drag resistance, as well as ensuring the workout is almost completely silent. The only noise will come from the speakers embedded in the screen, which can show a variety of custom programming, from individual workouts led by world-class athletes, to soothing trips through distant waterways.
The SlimBeam is one element of a set of wooden-framed fitness gear built by the German company WaterRower. A cable-based fitness machine, the SlimBeam can be supplied in a number of different natural wood finishes, as well as solid colours. Designed to be wall-mounted, it contains 70kg of weights in 5kg plates, integrated into the frame, with an accompanying app that connects to the machine and tracks your workouts.
Technogym’s Kinesis is a mighty piece of equipment, available in either polished mirror steel, black wood, or hand-stitched leather, with American oak wall bars and four sets of chromed, folding pulleys that promise to deliver around 200 different workouts. A simple dial allows you to increase resistance for easy strength training.
NordicTrack iSelect Adjustable Dumbbells
The trend for making everything smart now applies to something traditionally dumb. NordicTrack’s iFIT home training system is an app that dovetails with the company’s range of treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals. The latest addition to the suite is this set of iSelect weights, ‘voice-controlled adjustable dumbbells’ that are housed in a motorised weight selector case. Simply instruct your smart assistant to increase the load, or set the right weight for a specific exercise, and the case will automatically adjust the dumbbells to a weight between 5lb and 50lb.
And Jacob Marble Dumbbells
Go in the opposite direction with these solid marble dumbbells from Mexican homewares company And Jacob. Available in three sizes (1.5kg, 1kg and 0.8kg), the traditionally styled weights are hand-carved from solid marble and double up as elegant paperweights when not being thrown around.
Peloton prides itself on being a one-stop shop for all things fitness, pairing its high-quality kit with a coherent, comprehensive, and thorough set of (subscription only) exercise regimes that help you get the best out of its machinery. The Tread is the company’s treadmill product, complete with 23.8in screen through which you’ll receive your instructions, a wide 150cm running track and metrics, metrics, metrics, to allow you to track every facet of that very modern quest, your ‘fitness journey’.
Tacx NEO Bike Smart Trainer from Garmin
Garmin’s vast range covers the entire fitness spectrum, from marathons to hiking, biking, fishing, and even private aviation. The company’s Tacx NEO Bike Smart is a stationary trainer designed to be silent but not necessarily smooth – you can simulate riding over cobbles and gravel – along with built-in fans to cool you down. As well as the company’s own app, it’s fully compatible with Zwift, the e-cycling platform that hosts regular virtual championships between riders from around the world.
Mativ Smart Mat
Smartness has seeped into practically everything, but the Mativ Smart Mat claims to be the first ever exercise mat to track your workout. Sensors are embedded in the surface, which pair with a Smart band, both of which have around ten days of change. Flexible sensors allow the mat to be rolled up for storage or taking to class, and the New York-based company also has a subscription service for a fitness programme that promises to cater for a broad range of capabilities.
The massage gun is having a moment, with professionals and therapists swearing by the power of deep muscle treatment. Theragun is one of the best, with a solid housing containing a two-hour battery, a near-silent motor and the distinctive triangular multi-grip for getting to those hard-to-reach spots. The device also has a screen to show the force being applied and the Theragun app integrates with Google Fit and Apple Health to make sensible suggestions about the most appropriate post-workout routine.
Climbing machines currently lag behind bikes and treadmills in terms of sophistication. Clmbr wants to change all that with its new machine, which has been designed to integrate all the tech that’s become standard on other devices – instructor-led classes, full app connectivity, Alexa integration, and steely industrial design. The workout it offers might seem niche, but the company claims it engages ‘over 86 per cent of the body’s muscles’, delivering more rapid results than cycling or rowing.