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Don’t know what to get your macro-counting, spandex-wearing, competition-winning fitness-obsessed friend? We’ve got some ideas for the best fitness gifts for the technically inclined:
- Best for endurance athletes: Apple Watch Ultra
- Best for recovery: ROLL Recovery R8 Plus Deep Tissue Massage Roller
- Best for maximized minimalism: lululemon Studio Mirror
- Best for weight lifters: SMRTFT Nüobell Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best for small apartment dwellers: Tempo Move
- Best for tennis players: Wilson Racket
- Best for music lovers: Jaybird Vista 2 True Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones
- Best for runners: Brooks Levitate 2
- Best for valuables: Sprigs Big Banjees Wrist Wallet
- Best for skaters: Whirly Board for Spinning Balance
- Best for pushups: Vita Vibe – Ultra Portable Mini Wood Parallettes Set
- Best for the home gym: TRX All-in-One Body Suspension Trainer
- Best for cardio: Everlast Evergrip Weighted Jump Rope
- Best for data geeks: Withings Body Cardio – Premium Wi-Fi Body Composition Smart Scale
- Best for hydration: Gatorade Smart Gx Bottle Kit
Best for endurance athletes: Apple Watch Ultra
Know someone who’s looking to scale mountains and dive to the depths of the sea? Consider the Apple Watch for the occasion. Designed for outdoor adventurers of all stripes, the Watch Ultra comes equipped with a titanium case that will resist corrosion, a new diving app, and water resistance up to 100 meters—plus an activity-oriented band of choice. With a battery life of up to 36 hours, the Ultra has a bigger, brighter display and tracks all the important health metrics. The watch also provides an updated compass app, enhanced GPS, and crash protection so they can make it home safe.
Best for recovery: ROLL Recovery R8 Plus Deep Tissue Massage Roller
I’ve rarely seen a college soccer team get excited about much after a match besides spending their per diem on junk food—that is, I’ve rarely seen that kind of response until I introduced them to the ROLL Recovery R8 Plus. The first reaction to this heavily engineered apparatus is an intense curiosity with a hint of fear. But once the appropriate amount of force is dialed in, clamping on this FDA Registered medical device (purchasable with FSA/HSA funds) transforms terror to satisfaction as it digs into and stretches out IT-bands, quads, hamstrings, calves, shins, etc. (it’s particularly great around the knees). And once one player tried it, they all had to; I still haven’t gotten it back. Whether you’re a trail runner, cyclist, into team sports, or just someone looking to reduce inflammation and improve circulation, the R8 Plus is easy to transport and simple to self-apply. You, or the person you gift this to, can also use it to activate and elongate muscles before activity or for myofascial release before a massage to allow the therapist to really get in deep. So get the R8 Plus before that next game and take a minute after the final whistle to speed recovery … then head to the drive-thru.
Best for maximized minimalism: lululemon Studio Mirror
A fitness mirror might not seem like a practical gift at first glance. But lululemon’s Studio Mirror is worth the splurge—and it’s almost half off if you use the code “LLSTUDIO700”. Unlike other home fitness equipment, this elegant brushed steel and glass mirror blends easily into any decor. The corresponding fitness platform (sold separately by subscription) provides a portal to more than 10,000 workouts from some of the top fitness instructors around without having to leave your home. And the 5-megapixel camera and high-fidelity surround-sound audio make workouts a truly immersive experience—no hiding in the back row. Adding to the practicality is that it’s also just a mirror for when you’re getting ready for work or a night out and want to admire the results of all that cardio, yoga, etc.
Best for weight lifters: SMRTFT Nüobell Adjustable Dumbbells
Complete your home gym setup with versatile—and essential—workout equipment. These SMRTFT Nüobell Adjustable Dumbbells can transform from a lightweight 5-pound set to a 50-pound set, with increments of five pounds to give you ultimate flexibility when it comes time to lift. Whether you’re a beginner just learning how to lift or a seasoned fitness enthusiast who wants a space-saving option with plenty of range, the SMRTFT Adjustable Dumbbells are a one-size-fits-all solution to just about any workout. Simply twist the handle to adjust the weight of the steel plates, which are engineered with durability in mind to last you years to come. There are three colors and two sizes—50- and 80-pound—available on the SMRTFT site.
Best for small apartment dwellers: Tempo Move
When you’re working out at home, it’s all too easy to have poor form or get distracted and give up altogether. Not so with Tempo Move. This interactive program provides a virtual trainer who offers guidance in real-time. Tempo Move comes with a set of smart weights so they can track your reps and more than 2,000 live and on-demand classes. All you need is your smartphone and a TV or display, and it comes with a small black or white cabinet that’s perfect for tiny apartments. You have the option to rent Tempo Move for $59 a month or buy for $495 per year with a monthly subscription fee of $39. Installation is free and you also get to try it out for 30 days.
Best for tennis players: Wilson Racket
Every tennis player has a different combination of strengths, and a racket should hone and enhance their abilities. Wilson will let you choose from various weights, head sizes, and lengths. You can also customize the appearance of the Wilson Racket. Choose the color of the frame and bumpers, size of the grip, and even include a personal engraving.
Best for music lovers: Jaybird Vista 2 True Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones
Music makes working out better—except when the wires get caught on a barbell or your own arm or another person. The Jaybird Vista 2 True Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones are in-ear buds that are secure enough to run in. No strings attached.
Best for runners: Brooks Levitate 2
Runners are picky about their sneakers. But the Brooks Levitate 2 sneakers are meant to appeal to all runners, from beginners to experts. They also sport Brooks’ highest energy-return mids yet.
Best for valuables: Sprigs Big Banjees Wrist Wallet
It’s hard to go anywhere without your phone, but when you’re running it’s also hard to go anywhere with it. Running tech has come a long way, and yet most running apparel still doesn’t come with pockets large enough to fit the newest larger-than-your-hand smartphones. The Sprigs Big Banjees Wrist Wallet sits on your wrist and can fit all your important stuff.
Best for skaters: Whirly Board for Spinning Balance
Boards like the Whirly Board for Spinning Balance develop the smaller muscles and tendons that keep you balanced. This gift is especially great for skaters, but any athlete can use this device for improving equilibrium.
Best for pushups: Vita Vibe – Ultra Portable Mini Wood Parallettes Set
Pushups are a simple and effective strength training workout. The Vita Vibe – Ultra Portable Mini Wood Parallettes Set gives you greater range of motion and keeps you off the ground, potentially alleviating wrist pain.
Best for the home gym: TRX All-in-One Body Suspension Trainer
Here’s a gift for a friend who wants to do some serious strength training but doesn’t have the room in their tiny apartment for a set of dumbbells and weights. The TRX All-in-One Body Suspension Trainer lets them get a full workout from the equipment they can store in a handy bag.
Best for cardio: Everlast Evergrip Weighted Jump Rope
Your fitness-loving friend knows that jumping rope is a fantastic way to exercise their cardiovascular system and muscles. This 9-foot, weighted Everlast jump rope allows you to adjust the length.
Best for data geeks: Withings Body Cardio – Premium Wi-Fi Body Composition Smart Scale
Yes, it might be a little weird to buy someone a body scale for the holidays. Proceed with extreme caution. That being said, if your loved one is a true fitness fanatic, they will have transcended the morality of the scale and see it as an important tool to track progress and improve body composition. This smart scale from Withings can do it all. In addition to measuring your weight, it also calculates your heart rate and tracks previous weigh-ins so you can monitor your progress. From your body weight, it can also calculate your body fat and water percentage, as well as your muscle and bone mass. That being said, take these last measurements with a grain of salt. To get super accurate measurements, you should visit your doctor, or arrange for a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan.
Best for hydration: Gatorade Smart Gx Bottle Kit
Are you properly hydrated? You’re probably not. If you or someone you know are an athlete, that’s even more of a problem. And I won’t always be there to remind y’all (I’m not even good at reminding myself and I’m usually near me). Gatorade’s new Smart Gx Bottle Kit wants to help, however. Combining an app with a connected bottle, the system lets you track your daily hydration—and color-customizable LED lights in the squeeze bottle cap provide a visual reminder of where someone is in reaching their goals. A sweat-reactive patch helps the app determine fluid intake needs to set a baseline for the bottle, and Gx pods let you, or someone you want to gift the bottle, infuse water with classic Gatorade formulas, if desired.