Sales of fitness gear exploded during the pandemic as gyms shuttered and people worked from home. Even if you are returning to work and leaving home again, like many you may have come to the realization that there are big advantages to having your own home fitness center: no monthly fees, no high-priced ala carte studio class fees, no commuting to the health club, no sharing gear or space with strangers and most overlooked, no need for headphones. Personally I’ve found myself exercising far more since dropping my gym membership because of all the saved time previously wasted in the car and locker room, but also because I now often work out in the morning and evening, whereas I never went to the gym more than once a day.
In addition to the huge spike in sales of hardware (numbers from retail data specialist NDP showed sales of home fitness equipment nearly doubled in 2020 from 2019), there was also a big increase in the quality and availability of home digital platforms, making the other big reason to visit the gym – instructor led classes, from yoga to cycling – obsolete. The top options like the Peloton app and Nordic Track’s iFIT platform take the virtual place of multiple studios with everything from yoga and strength training to all kinds of cardio, running, hiking, road and mountain biking, etc. These plans often cost less for a month than a single urban studio class, and have kept expanding offerings, such as meditation, boot camps, even outdoor coached runs.
But many of us didn’t have dedicated gym spaces at home pre-pandemic, and unless you just built a new house, you may well be space constrained. Just like our “home offices” at the dining room table, many folks had to make do with cramming stuff in the bedroom corner or garage. So, while there is a ton of great workout gear on the market, most of it is not optimized to smaller spaces or urban apartments. Yet there are still more great choices than ever – many of them brand new – for the square footage challenged workouts.
PS: These also make great holiday gift ideas for the fitness lovers or workout deprived on your holiday lists!
Time Under Tension (TUT): Not so long ago, a true gym-level weight workout required purchasing hundreds of pounds of weights, often in addition to benches or large multi-station stacks that run into the four figures. Not anymore, thanks to TUTFitness, with TUT standing for “Time Under Tension.” The TUT Trainer Tower takes stretchy resistance