Health & Fitness

Feeling at-home exercise burnout? These new products may help

Your workouts are about to get an AI boost.

Credit: Getty Images / bojanstory

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Whether you’re using a new piece of exercise equipment or streaming a free “Yoga With Adriene” video on YouTube, there are a lot of benefits to working out at home. You get to do it on your own schedule and you can press pause and switch workouts halfway through if you aren’t feeling the one you started with. (We won’t tell.)

But there’s also one clear downside: Without an expert in the home, a well-placed reflective device, or a personal trainer on the horn, it’s hard to tell if what you’re doing matches up with what you’re supposed to be doing, or if you’re exhibiting poor form that could make you develop bad exercise habits and injuries down the line.

New fitness innovations from Samsung, Bosch, Soul Blade, Yogifi, and more could change that. Chances are pretty good that home workouts are here to stay—so read on to find out what you can do to make them better.

Samsung Health Smart Trainer

samsung
Credit: Samsung

Samsung Health Smart Trainer offers corrections as you move through your workout.

All of Samsung’s 2021 QLED and Neo QLED TVs come equipped with Smart Trainer, a motion-detecting AI integrated into the Samsung Health app (which itself debuted on 2020 TVs). When paired with a webcam (sold separately), Smart Trainer shows two views of the TV screen—a workout video on the left and a stream of you doing the workout on the right. At the same time, the AI analyzes your movement, counts your reps, estimates calorie burn, and coaches form accuracy during each exercise. It also provides feedback after the class and keeps track of the kind of workouts you like to do and intensity at which you usually do them, which can help you stay on track and build good workout habits. Samsung Health Smart Trainer will be available on Q70A TVs and above. Smart Trainer is automatically included with the TVs but it is not clear if there will be an additional subscription fee.

Soul Blade Earbuds

soul
Credit: Soul

Soul Blade earbuds track important things you might be able to pay attention to on your runs, like gait and head angle.

If you’re a runner, you probably know that your gait, posture, and weight of each step all have an impact on your splits, comfort, and long-term enjoyment of running. But it can be difficult to pay attention to such factors when your main focus is on moving forward, unless you have a coach—which is where Soul's upcoming Blade earbuds could come in handy.

These true wireless AI earbuds analyze all aspects of your form—including head angle, step length, step width, flight time, and vertical oscillation (the level of bounciness in your run)—and document other important running stats, like your heart rate and mile time. Its companion app also coaches you as you go, telling you if it detects any issues and how to fix them in real time. Or if you don’t want to listen to the coach during the run, you can turn it off before you set out and look at your stats after you’re done. Heeding the advice could make your running more efficient and less prone to cause injury.

Soul Blade Wireless Earbuds should hit the market in March and will retail for about $199.

Yogifi Mat and Immersive Studio Experience

yogifi
Credit: Yogifi

Yogifi's smart mat provides you with corrections in real time.

Having a personal yoga instructor sounds decadent, and even far-fetched in these times when not many of us are even making it to in-person classes. Yogifi’s smart yoga mat connects with an app and uses sensors embedded in the foam surface to analyze the user’s posture and form during poses. Then, it offers corrective audio assistance if something seems amiss—like, say, if there’s too much pressure on the knee during Pigeon pose. The sensors also correct form via haptic feedback (yup, like the vibration your fingers feel when you type on your phone). After the class, the connected app presents a summary of your session and suggests ones to take next based on your performance.

The mat came out last year, but for 2021, Yogifi added something called the “Yogifi Immersive Studio Experience.” This allows the user to add a level of personalization to the class, by choosing an AI instructor, background, and music.

Get the YogiFi Mat for $399

Bosch Sensortec Wearable

bosch
Credit: Bosch

A wearable device with equipped with Bosch Sensortec could learn your movements and let you know if you're doing something wrong.

Bosch’s new self-learning motion sensor isn’t a standalone product itself, but it could improve movement detection in any wearables that integrate it. The Sensortec chip automatically detects any kind of movement a user is doing—from walking to performing bench presses to swimming—and learns how that exercise should be performed by that particular person. In theory, once the AI grows accustomed to the user’s patterns, it may be able to offer corrections if their form is off. It also has the potential to provide the user with data on their performance and improvement over time, plus suggestions on what to do next.

Sensortec isn’t integrated into any wearables yet but that could change by the end of the year.

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