Health and Fitness

Online Workout Subscriptions Are Now High-Tech

Hook yourself up with the latest in at-home fitness.

We don't have to tell you that the last 365 days torpedoed a lot of good intentions right out of the water, including many intentions about health and fitness. With gyms closed, and then open but questionable, some people built home gyms in their tiny apartments. Some people diversified their equipment at home so they wouldn't get bored senseless with the same exercise day-in and day-out. Some people spelunked through the internet's free options (if you have not been welcomed into the warm cocoon of calm that is a Yoga With Adriene video, get on it). Some people just plain gave up.

But with the whole "new year, new you, new president, new economy, new everything" aspirations, you might be interested in a more serious home workout option—one that pairs high-tech gear with smart trackers with real-time guidance with monthly subscriptions to personal trainers. Here, we've gathered up eight online workout subscriptions that showcase the latest and greatest in homebound fitness; three are even winners of an Esquire Gadget Award. Summon up those good health intentions and take a look.

The Mirror


The Mirror is almost-invisible home décor. If you've got great form, it's an ego boost, too. The premise is simple: Like many an exercise studio or gym, it provides you with a mirror so you can ensure you're lunging, lifting, and lowering correctly. But it's intelligent in execution, utilizing cameras to give you live feedback on form and progress updates on your workout, all while streaming instructor-led classes to its screen. Then, when it's not in use, it's back to home décor. The membership to Mirror's library of classes costs $39 a month.

Tempo Studio

Though it looks a bit like Mirror, no reflection comes into play here. That HD screen broadcasts a coach to demonstrate the workouts and displays realtime stats on your workout. And, 3D modeling tech reads your form and tells you when you're bending, raising, or lowering incorrectly. Hidden away beneath and behind the screen is tangible, nondigital workout gear—barbell and weight plates, dumbbells, even a recovery roller. This subscription really is the closest to a gym's equipment and classes that you can get in one buy.

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Should the urge to punch and kick the living daylights out of an inanimate object overwhelm you—completely understandable—consider FightCamp. The kit comes with the punching bag, gloves, and punch trackers, which are little devices that go into the gloves to record stats on your workout. A membership, which costs an additional $39 per month, hooks you up with trainers, who'll put you through the cardio and strength-training paces.

Apple Fitness+


If you're already all-in on Apple, then its reveal of Apple Fitness+ in the fall likely piqued your interest. The subscription service just launched, and it is intended to make an all-inclusive gym environment out of your Apple Watch, a screen (like an iPhone or Apple TV), and its constantly growing library of trainer-led workout videos to play on the screen. You need an Apple Watch to make it all tick, as that is what'll collect the metrics on your progress.


That video touchscreen will broadcast all the cycling instructor videos you've been missing in lockdown—or the ones you've been eyeing for the first time ever since Peloton hit the public consciousness. Plus, you can swivel the screen around to tackle other types of exercises, assisted by the exercise gear MYX sells alongside the bike. A heartrate monitor keeps track of it all, and it'll also help you plan out personalized workouts that are short and sweet (if time is an issue) or unfatiguing (if you just want a quick burst of activity). A membership for coaches coasts an additional $29 per month.


CorePower Yoga

CorePower delivers all those yoga benefits that you definitely could use right about now—flexibility, breathing work, mindfulness—and injects a bit more sweat into a session. The classes are available to livestream or play on demand. Start off with a yoga basics class, then work your way up to a class that weaves yoga in with cardio and free-weight exercises to really push your muscles. If you're not sure, you can test out a few classes a la carte before going in on all access.



Resistance bands come in clutch for anyone with scant room for workout equipment or fewer funds than what's needed to get a workout mirror or bike. Hyfit's benefit is that it actually teaches you how to use the damn things, ensuring you're not wasting your time (or worse, injuring yourself). The workouts range from yoga to ab crunchers to HIIT, each complemented by smart tracking. Hyfit offers a couple bundles, but its standard package currently gets you the equipment for a flat rate, then the membership at $15 a month.

Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure

When all else fails, trick yourself into exercise by gamifying it. Even if it looks kinda silly, what with that flexible hoop and those animated challenges, Nintendo's Ring Fit Adventure legitimately kicks your butt. You'll need a Nintendo Switch to play (or, er, work out), which shouldn't be a tall order for all those people who snapped up the console in the early pandemic days.


This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Sarah Rense
Sarah Rense is the Lifestyle Editor at Esquire, where she covers tech, food, drinks, home, and more.
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