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Maybe you like to run, or maybe you’ve been into a regular gym habit for many years. You’ve dabbled in fitness wearables and thought about getting yourself a massage gun, but never got around to buying one. Maybe your foam roller is starting to fall apart, and that free tee you got with protein powder has seen better days. You may be fitter, but your fitness equipment and technology need to be upgraded.

The Engadget team has picked out some of their favorite fitness tech buys that have made our fitness journeys less of a hassle. From the best wearable tech to our favorite smart scale, some picks are premium priced, while some are surprisingly affordable.

Oura Ring

Matt Smith/Engadget

As we said in our review, the Oura Ring is a wearable for people who hate wearables. It also offers more robust sleep tracking than many watch-like devices. Even though the size and weight remain unchanged from the second generation Oura ring, it’s amazing how much technology is in this device. The third generation has sensors that can track your heart rate continuously; temperature monitoring; blood oxygenation; and period prediction.

Oura’s ring is very serious about keeping track of everything it can. Given the lack of a screen, you’ll need your smartphone to check your recovery scores and how well you slept. These scores are synthesized from biometrics, including heart rate variability, body temperature, resting heart rate, and respiratory rate. With a subscription, yes, something you may have to pay beyond the $299 starting price, you’ll get weekly summaries to trend your activity levels and hours of sleep. I like Oura’s ability to tell when you’ve been training too hard and that the app suggests taking a day off to recover.

The ring is not perfect. The company has let some features drag on for months, which is especially frustrating when some users pay a monthly subscription. For example, blood oxygenation level (SpO2) tracking was promised when the third-generation Oura Ring was first announced and has just arrived on most rings, nearly half a year late.

One caveat: If you plan on tracking weightlifting workouts with the Oura ring, the black edition will likely show some visible scratches if you’re gripping metal bars and plates. I also struggled with pull-ups, as I’m not really used to wearing a ring while grappling for the life of me. – Mat Smith, Head of UK Office

Shop Oura Ring – $299

apple watch series 7

The All Apps page in grid view on the Apple Watch Series 7.

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

The most popular smartwatch series continues to lead on the feature front, if you ignore sleep tracking. the series 7 it has the largest screen yet of any Apple Watch. It is 50 percent larger than the Series 3 and 20 percent larger than the previous Series 6. With more screen space and larger buttons, it’s easier to stop and start workouts and monitor heart rate and elapsed time during exercise. Plus, since watchOS 5, Apple wearables have been able to automatically detect specific workouts, which is great for when you forget to start logging a run or spin session.

The Series 7 can track your VO2 Max levels, measuring your cardiorespiratory fitness level. What’s cool here is how the wearable notifies you when your levels change tangibly. So if you start a new intensive training regimen, you’ll see these numbers go up. Your iPhone will notify you when you make tangible improvements, for example, when you go from a lower-than-average cardio fitness level to a higher one, possibly even to your high fitness level. I’ve been hovering around 50 VO2 Max, but I’ll get to 52 eventually.

The Apple Watch also has its own connected training platform in the form of Fitness+, which offers classes in HIIT, dance, pilates, yoga and more, streaming classes to your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV. Your heart rate will be displayed on screen during many classes, indicating how you’re doing compared to other Fitness+ members and hopefully inspiring you to push yourself a little harder.

Of course, Apple Watch Series 8 (as well as a new Ultra ‘pro’ model) will be launching very soon. The Watch Ultra, in particular, packs a longer battery life and a brighter display, perfect for outdoor sports. – MS

Buy Apple Watch Series 7 on Amazon – $389

theragun first

The best fitness recovery devices

Matt Smith/Engadget

by theragun The unique triangular design helps your devices stand out from a legion of other massage therapy guns. Various ways to grip the Theragun make it easier to target the most difficult body parts. As one of the more premium massage devices, it offers an amplitude of 16mm (typically second only to devices several hundred dollars more) and speeds of up to 2,400 percussions per minute. Some health claims (such as performance enhancement) are supported by limited studies, but others (including accelerated muscle recovery) are not. I love using mine to target specifically tight areas; it even feels good before a workout.

Theragun Prime is better than most of the competition’s massage guns. It is also more flexible. Compared to the more basic Therabody options, Prime comes with three additional attachments in addition to the standard ball: a cone, a shock absorber with a flattened head, and a thumb attachment, which can help dig deeper. Fortunately, the battery is also durable. – MS

Buy Theragun Prime on Amazon – $299

Eufy P1 Smart Scale

Euphy

Euphy

Time to throw out that thick analog scale with the wobbly dial. Instead, for a more aesthetically pleasing design and deeper insight into your weight and body composition, it’s time to go digital. There are several smart scale options available, but I’ve used the reasonably priced one Eufy P1 Smart Scale. This smart scale connects with your smartphone to sync your data, and you just need to remember to open the app. Otherwise, it won’t track your progress.

You can monitor your weight in imperial or metric measurements and even make a rough guess of body fat and water percentages. However, it’s worth noting that home smart scales are often not very accurate at measuring these measurements.

There are also even more advanced smart scales. Still, they typically cost more than double the price of the Smart Scale P1, often adding unnecessary features like multiple user profiles, Alexa voice activation, athletic modes for professional athletes, and more. At some point, returns are diminishing, but the ability to digitally track (as well as set weigh-in reminders) helped me form better habits for managing my weight. – MS

Buy Smart Scale P1 on Amazon – $45

Beats Fit Pro Headphones

The best fitness tech upgrades

Matt Smith/Engadget

Many true wireless earphones, let alone conventional earphones, weren’t made for working out. Some have non-removable parts that can get dirty, while others lack water and dust resistance or have cords that can get tangled or pulled on you during workouts. For many of these reasons, I go for true wireless earbuds and the BeatsFitPro delivers everything I want from training shoots. That includes active noise cancellation (less weight pounding and horrible gym music), a low-profile profile, and a comfortable fit with a convenient winglet design to lock it in your ear without hurting your ears.

Fortunately, they don’t stick out of your ears like many headphone options. The company recently launched a series of even more subtle nude-colored cocoons in collaboration with Kim Kardashian. Powered by Apple’s H1 chip, Beats Fit Pro can offer hands-free Siri functionality and improved Find My item tracking. – MS

Buy Beats Fit Pro on Amazon – $200

On-Demand Fitness Subscription

App Squad

platoon

One of the best things I’ve done lately for my exercise routine is introduce some variety. Since I exercise in the morning right after I wake up, it’s quite easy to fall into a rut of doing the same thing over and over again. However, I’ve found that it’s much easier to switch things up by relying on an on-demand fitness subscription.

I’ve tried a handful of the many services out there now, but the ones I’ve stuck with are platoon and Hello Moves. I don’t own a single piece of Peloton hardware; Instead, I spend $13 every month just to access the app, and that’s where I take most of my strength training classes. I like that they constantly come up with new deals every day, but the backlog of on-demand classes is also bursting at the seams. Sessions are challenging and engaging, and there are plenty of options if you don’t have any equipment.

Hello it moves it’s more focused on yoga, pilates, and barre, and it’s a bit more expensive at $20 a month. I’m more interested in toning than bulking up, so I try to incorporate some of these classes into my strength training routine. I particularly like that Alo Moves has a “series” of sessions that fall under the same umbrella that you can take over the course of many days. When I really don’t want to think about what I’m doing on a given morning for a workout, it’s easy to move on to the next class in the barre series I was already working on. – Valentina Palladino, Senior Trade Editor

Subscribe to the Peloton app – $13/month
Subscribe to Alo Moves – $20/month

Bowflex Selectech Adjustable Dumbbells

bowflex

bowflex

For many of us, space is at a premium. We may have enough room to roll out a yoga mat, but not much more than that. Consolidating (and reducing) your home workout equipment is a good way to maintain your exercise habits without tripping over weights or resistance bands. Bowflex is a well-established fitness company that has been manufacturing adjustable dumbbells for several years. The weight range will depend on the model, but the Bowflex Select Tech 552i They can be dialed in (literally) up to 2kg (4.4lbs) and up to 24kg (53lbs) each, making them suitable for all kinds of full-body and dedicated muscle group movements. A dial on each side of the weight adjusts the number of plates the bar clips into, and the remaining weight stays behind in the included storage tray.

There are several adjustable dumbbells, but I prefer this classic ‘dumbbell’ look compared to some of the squarer looking rivals. One minor issue is that you’ll have to play with both sides to adjust the weight. Plus, if you’re looking for an on-demand training service, Bowflex includes a free one-year subscription to their JRNY streaming service. – MS

Buy Bowflex SelectTech 552i on Amazon – $219

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