Low-Tech Fitness Gear That Doesn't Need Charging

woman using a balance board

Connectivity features rule consumer tech at the moment, and this holds especially true when it comes to fitness. 

Even if you're working out alone in your bedroom, it can feel like there's always an "audience" if you're posting your workout data to your public MyFitnessPal or Strava account for all your followers to see. Knowing people will be looking at your effort can be a driving force and help hold you accountable, but sometimes it just feels good to switch things off and disconnect.

We're getting back to basics and simplifying your at-home workout gear arsenal by gathering a variety of simple, low-tech tools to keep you in shape at home. For this roundup, spending more time working out and less time dealing with dead devices and pairing issues is the name of the game. 

Multi-function Watch

Say "goodbye" to your Fitbit or Apple Watch! Instead of charging up whichever fitness watch is occupying space on your nightstand, a simple no-frills, multi-function digital watch can take care of just about anything you'd need, and only requires a new battery every 10-or-so years. Most have a stopwatch function that can be used as a way to time sets, have a split function, are super durable, are water resistant and are highly legible. 

If you want the best in these features, we love watches made by the pioneer in the digital watch space—Casio's G-SHOCK collection is available in a wide range of fashion-forward styles perfect for fitness enthusiasts.  

Foam Roller 

Perhaps no item on this list is more important than the humble foam roller. They've become a staple in athletes' gear arsenals around the world, and for good reason. Foam rolling on a daily basis is good for recovery, helping to alleviate soreness and inflammation and increase mobility. 

Foam roller tech is relatively simple, and we're fans of TriggerPoint's foam rollers, available in several different sizes and materials depending on how much you want your session to "hurt so good." 


Why buy a complete set of dumbbells and other high-tech fitness tools that take up precious space at home when you can do almost as many exercises with one kettlebell? Kettlebells are about as basic as they get in the fitness world (essentially a metal "ball" with a handle), and they're celebrated for how they help build strength, balance and flexibility. Onnit Labs' kettlebells are super popular right now, and are available in both classic designs and fun castings that look like monkey heads.

Click here for kettlebell tips for beginners, and click here for a 15-minute kettlebell workout

Weighted Jump Rope

No, jumping rope isn't just for elementary school students at recess! The exercise has long been know for its health benefits, and naturally, using a weighted jump rope takes these benefits to the next level. It's a no-tech, full-body workout that's great for everything from core strength to heart health—get started with a 10-minute jump rope workout today

Check out Crossrope's complete line of customizable weighted jump ropes, here

Balance Board 

In case you're unfamiliar, a balance board is essentially a molded plastic roller and a wooden deck used for instability exercises (yes, that means you don't have to plug it in). They've made a resurgence as of late, mostly due to their portability and their effectiveness in boosting coordination, balance, posture and core strength. 

The Indo Board is a tried-and-true classic, and it also comes with an instructional exercise poster and DVD to help you get the most out of each session. 

Maximal Running Shoes 

Running shoes obviously come in all different shapes and sizes, but we'd argue that out of all the latest fads and trends, we think the "maximal" shoes are here to stay. 

It's no surprise, either—maximal shoes are built with additional "foam" in the sole of the shoe, which helps protect runners from the constant pounding associated with running on sidewalks and other paved surfaces. This means that not only do they help prevent shin splits and other running-related injuries, but they can help prevent fatigue to help you run longer and more often. 

Curious? Click here to learn more about maximal running, and click here to see the latest and greatest our spring 2021 running shoe guide has to offer.

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