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Top 6 Wrist Wrap Reviews

tennis elbow

Wrist wraps serve two purposes. One is to give you a better grip on barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines, and the other is to stabilize your wrists and offset fatigue from lifting heavier and heavier weights.

The best wrist wraps for power lifters are reinforced with a Velcro fastener for a snug fit. The compression will stabilize the wrists and limit movement, but the material will also make a difference in how much flex your wrist has. Wrist wraps are usually made of nylon, cotton, elastic, or a blend. Nylon is generally a little stiffer, whereas cotton has some give, and elastic provides the stretch you need to apply the right amount of compression.

Wrist wraps will provide extra support that you need while performing overhead lifts and pressing movements at close to max effort. The wrist is one of the weakest parts of the body, and improper stabilization can lead to injury, improper form, and failed lifts.

We’ve done research to find the best information on wrist wraps and identify the top six wrist wraps on the market today.


How to Use Wrist Wraps

It may seem like something we shouldn’t have to cover, but it’s important to use your equipment properly. Wrist straps should fit snugly and sit as close to the hand as possible; otherwise, your wrist is not properly stabilized. If the wrist wrap sits below the wrist crease, essentially you have just purchased yourself a new bracelet, so make sure it sits properly. There are some models that include thumb loops, forcing proper placement and symmetry.

Wrist wraps are not a replacement for wrist braces, and if you’re experiencing pain during your workouts, reassess your form and make sure you’re not injured. If you have mobility and flexibility issues, those must be addressed before you wearing wrist wraps.g.

When do I use wrist wraps?

Think about wrist wraps sort of like back supports – you can’t use them all the time or you will start to lose your natural ability to stabilize on your own. Make sure you use them when you’re nearing your one-rep max, but not less than 50-60% of your 1-RM. You don’t have to wear them for gymnastic movements, but some CrossFit trainers will wear them when it's inconvenient to take them off transitioning between movements.

How much do wrist wraps cost?

Wrist wraps are relatively inexpensive, and most run in the range of $15 to $35. Pricing will vary depending on the brand and material

.Read more to discover our favorite wrist wraps for weightlifting and CrossFit

The Best Wrist Wraps in Review

1. Emerge Fitness Wrist Wraps for Weightlifting

Our favorite wrist wrap for powerlifting is by Emerge Fitness, who is known for high quality, durable weightlifting performance gear. The wrist wraps measure 21 inches in length and are made of durable, yet flexible, nylon, which will give you the support you need for heavy lifting.

You won’t have to worry about things like poor stitching or weak Velcro, as the wraps are designed and made to last for many, many workouts. When you’re lifting heavy weights, your wrists will inevitably start to lag behind, and these wrist straps are an easy way to overcome that stress.

These are perfect for jerks, pulls, cleans, bench presses, or any workout that requires wrist support in a neutral position. If you’re looking for the optimal performance enhancer for weightlifting, make sure you include these wrist wraps.

2. Evolutionize Wrist Wraps

These wrist straps by Evolutionize are some of the best on the market, thus making it one of our top choices. The straps are heavy-duty nylon reinforced by proprietary elastic, providing the give you need for weightlifting while still giving you the support your wrists need.

The wraps are 18 inches in length, not including the thumb loop, which has reinforced stitching and the highest quality Velcro. Evolutionize promise long-lasting performance, so you won’t have to worry about poor craftsmanship and short-term use.

Although federation requirements differ, these straps are compliant with most regulations. Even if you have a smaller figure, these wrist straps will provide the strength and support you need so you can focus on form.

3. Rip Toned Wrist Wraps

The wrists straps designed by Rip Toned look great and give you great performance results. Whether you’re powerlifting, doing MMA, or CrossFit, you’ll get support and stability. The wraps are 18 inches in length and 3 inches wide.

The material is a little stiff to provide extra support, and the material is heavy-duty and thick; some users report that these wraps prove uncomfortable for smaller wrists, but men and women have reported positive results.

Champion power lifter Kevin Weiss endorses these wrist wraps, so you know you’re getting a high-quality product. The wraps come in a choice of six colors for a custom look.

4. 321 Fitness Wrist Wraps

If you’re looking for comfortable wrist wraps, look no further than these wraps from 321 Strong. The terrycloth wraps are easy to clean and are 14 inches in length, not including the Velcro strap, but the company also offers a 20-inch wrap as well.

You won’t have to worry about your wraps becoming loose while in use, as they have a very thick Velcro strap that promises to stay in place. The wraps are made of high-quality material, and the thumb loops are reinforced to stay stable and secure.

Avoid wrist pain and strain by adding these wraps to your workout gear. If you’re working on deadlifts, powerlifts, dumbbells, or anything that requires extra wrist strength, these will make the difference to add that extra weight and push yourself further in your workout.

5. Bear Grips Premium Extra Strength Wrist Wraps

Bear Grips offers durable, long-lasting gear that will enhance your workout, whether its weightlifting, CrossFit, or even gymnastics. The wraps are available in three different lengths to suit your preferences are made from a blend of cotton, polyester, and elastic, giving you the comfort you want with the support you need.

The wraps feature an elastic woven thumb loop and an extra-wide Velcro strap, ensuring your wraps will stay in place during lifts, WODs, etc. The wraps provide just the right amount of compression without causing stiffness and discomfort, and with a cool black and grey strip, they will look good on your wrists.

6. Nordic Lifting Wrist Wraps

You can be confident that you’re getting a good product from Nordic Lifting, and these wrist wraps are actually packaged with lifting straps, making this a great option for anyone looking to get a set of weightlifting gear. The wraps are USAPL compliant at 14 inches in length and 3 inches wide.

The wrist wraps are made of heavy-duty cotton blended with elastic to provide a snug wrap for support, stability, and comfort. The wrist wraps have sturdy thumb loops and are clearly labeled as “left” and “right” for ease of use. Overall, these wraps are a durable and economic choice.

Conclusion

In short, wrist wraps will make a huge impact on your ability to push your workouts further without concern that your wrists can’t keep up. If you’ve found this information helpful or you have anything you’d like to share, don’t forget to leave a comment!

Top 6 Calf Compression Sleeves

Calf Compression Sleeves

Selecting the right calf compression sleeve can make or break your workout. Known for reducing pain and increasing range of motion, compression sleeves have taken off in popularity. With many different options to choose from, it can be time-consuming to find the best calve sleeves. Luckily, we have done all of the hard work for you and have put together a list of the six best compression calf sleeves, with detailed information for each pick, below.

While they can be a matching accessory to your running gear, calf compression sleeves are much more than a fashion statement. Calf sleeves are great for running and a long list of other activities in which they can help with your comfort. Here are just a few compression sleeve benefits:

  • Reduction in shin splints
  • Protect your legs against the elements
  • Prevent swelling and cramping
  • Moisture wicking calf sleeves can help temperature regulation
  • Increased circulation
  • Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Ready to give compression technology a shot? Don’t use just any calf compression sleeve. Whether you’re running, lifting, or working long days on your feet, the best calf sleeves can make all the difference. Below is our list of the best compression calf sleeves:​


1. Emerge Calf Sleeves

The Top Rated Calf Sleeves

Don’t let shin splints slow you down. Instead of pushing through pain or sitting out of your runs, get the best compression sleeves for shin splints. The Emerge Calf Sleeves tops our list for their ability to fit comfortably and prevent pain.

Emerge specifically designed these calf sleeves for athletes. Whether you’re running, playing team sports, or hitting the gym, these calf sleeves will keep you going. Prevent injury, recover quicker, and improve circulation with compression calf sleeves from Emerge.

Calf sleeves can only work if they stay in place. Bunching, pinching, and falling will only keep you from your peak performance. That’s why Emerge build their calf sleeves with 70 Denier Invista LYCRA® and Medical circular 360 degree knit construction. With a design like that, these calf sleeves won’t shrink or lose elasticity.

Don’t take our word for it. The Emerge Calf Sleeves come with a 100% Lifetime Guarantee. If these compression calf sleeves don’t fit quite right, wear out quickly, lose elasticity, or shrink, Emerge will offer you a full refund or an exchange for a different size. You’ve got nothing to lose but shin splints!

2. 2XU Compression Calf Sleeves

The 2XU Compression Calf Sleeves prove that sometimes simplicity is effective. While the design of these compression sleeves may seem basic, they are impressive in their ability to reduce injuries, swelling, and cramping. Additionally, these compression calf sleeves can help you recover from grueling workouts.

The unique design of the 2XU Compression Calf Sleeves makes it a stand-out product. The breathability panel allows for increased airflow while still maintaining a perfect level of pressure. The airflow helps with moisture control and keeps you cool during your workout. Meanwhile, the medical circular 360 degree knit construction keeps the pressure just right for increased circulation.

These lightweight compression calf sleeves are crafted with seamless design for optimal comfort. They also offer SPF 50+ sun protection and moisture-wicking fabric to keep you safe from the elements.

This is a great product for both new athletes, professionals on their feet all day, and those recovering from injury. There are highly rated calf compression sleeve reviews for this product from marathoners, basketball players, and people in physical rehabilitation. The versatility earn the 2XU Compression Calf Sleeves a spot on our podium and perhaps in your gym bag.

3. Nike Pro Combat Calf Sleeve

If your game is tough, your calf sleeves should be tougher. These Nike calf compression sleeves are strong enough to last through your most intense workout or game. Get into your zone and stay in the game with the Nike Pro Combat Calf Sleeve.

Unlike other sleeves on this list, the Nike Pro Combat Calf Sleeve is made of lightweight Ariaprene® material. This makes for a breathable compression calf sleeve that will keep your muscles warm without overheating. The mesh will keep airflow coming, so sweat won’t slow you down.

Bulkier calf compression sleeves may hinder your movement. However, the Nike Pro Combat Calf Sleeve contours your body for the ultimate fit. This leaves you free to move without pinching or chafing. Through all of that movement, the silicone grip and elastic binding keep the compression calf sleeve in place.

4. CopperJoint Calf Compression Sleeve

If you’re looking for pain relief, you’ve probably seen a few copper-infused sleeves on the market. You might find yourself thinking, “Does copper compression work? Or is it too good to be true?”

The answer completely depends on the brand. While many brands tout the benefits of active copper, some are of poor quality or contain very little copper. If you try a lesser brand first, you may never experience the benefits of copper compression.

The CopperJoint Calf Compression Sleeve puts your worries to rest with a 100% Money-Back Guarantee. If for some reason you are not completely blown away by the copper-infused calf compression sleeve, you can return it to CopperJoint for a full refund.

Lower leg pain can keep you out of your favorite sport or make long shifts on your feet painful. Whether the pain comes from a sprain or tear, arthritis, or tendonitis, copper compression can help. The tightness helps improve circulation, which allows your body to heal.

The CopperJoint Calf Compression Sleeve is effective in eliminating odors, thanks to its high copper content. This helps your sleeve last longer and keep you going. Its comfortable and moisture-wicking design will ensure that wearing your compression sleeve is a relief, not a chore.

5. Original Fitness Experts (OFX) Neoprene Reflective Calf Sleeves

OFX lives up to their brand name with these expertly crafted neoprene compression calf sleeves. Neoprene calf sleeves are great for athletes of all levels who are looking for warmth, comfort, and protection. These simple sleeves can help prevent or recover from injury.

The OFX calf sleeves skillfully blend lycra and spandex to create a comfortable and effective compression level. Whether you’re looking for temporary protection during a workout or all-day comfort, these sleeves will satisfy your needs.

Whether it’s routine soreness or unexpected injury, you want to recover from lower leg pain quickly. The OFX Neoprene Reflective Calf Sleeves are here to help. With a 90-day Guarantee, there’s no reason not to try these sleeves today!

6. McDavid 441 Calf Sleeve

Simply put, the McDavid 441 Calf Sleeve just works. It gives you all of the benefits of compression without any frills. For all-day comfort and support, there’s the McDavid calf sleeve.

Crafted with McDavid’s exclusive 5-needle stitch, the 441 Calf Sleeve offers a flat seam that is stronger and more comfortable than others on the market. Don’t waste your money on compression sleeves that fall apart. Don’t waste your time fidgeting with uncomfortable seams that irritate the skin. Instead, easily slip on this compression calf sleeve and keep going.

The outer layer on the McDavid 441 Calf Sleeve makes it more durable than many others on the market. Made from heavy-duty nylon, it is ready to take a beating and never quit. If you’re looking for a compression calf sleeve that works as hard as you do, check this one out today.

With so many benefits, compression sleeves should be in every athlete’s bag. Unfortunately, the sheer number of options can make shopping for calf compression sleeves overwhelming. However, our picks for the best calf compression sleeves are sure to satisfy.

Top 6 Knee Sleeve Reviews

knee sleeves

Wrist wraps serve two purposes. One is to give you a better grip on barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines, and the other is to stabilize your wrists and offset fatigue from lifting heavier and heavier weights.

The best wrist wraps for power lifters are reinforced with a Velcro fastener for a snug fit. The compression will stabilize the wrists and limit movement, but the material will also make a difference in how much flex your wrist has. Wrist wraps are usually made of nylon, cotton, elastic, or a blend. Nylon is generally a little stiffer, whereas cotton has some give, and elastic provides the stretch you need to apply the right amount of compression.

Wrist wraps will provide extra support that you need while performing overhead lifts and pressing movements at close to max effort. The wrist is one of the weakest parts of the body, and improper stabilization can lead to injury, improper form, and failed lifts.

We’ve done research to find the best information on wrist wraps and identify the top six wrist wraps on the market today.

When to Use Knee Sleeves

When you start increasing the amount of mass you lift, the more force goes to your knees, which is why knee sleeves are important. They can help protectagainst long-term knee injuries and save you from having to deal with more severe means of treatment.

For weightlifting, you don’t always need to use knee sleeves. If you’re performing exercises that do not utilize the knee, knee sleeves are not required. However, if you’re performing squats, snatch, or any other knee-intensive movements, we recommend investing in a pair of knee sleeves.

Types of Knee Sleeves

Knee sleeves typically come in three thicknesses, 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm, and are often made of neoprene or some other stretchable, padded material

             3mm – This is the lightest option and is more suited to endurance sports, as it provides that extra bit of support towards the end of your workout.

             5mm –When you need movement and support, a 5mm thickness will give you the support you need while you remain agile. This is a particularly good general option if you do any type of cross-training.

             7mm – The 7mm thickness provides optimal support and stabilization for weightlifting. Proprioception is increased, giving you better awareness, allowing you to focus on form without fear of an unstable knee.

How much do knee sleeves cost?​

Before you make any purchase, check to see if it’s sold as a single sleeve or as a pair, as this can obviously impact the price point. Expect to spend anywhere from $20 upwards to $80, depending on the brand, but many fall in the $40-50 range.

Read on to find our top six favorite knee sleeves on the market.​

The Best Knee Sleeves for Weightlifting​

Emerge Fitness Weightlifting Knee Sleeves

The sleeves are designed from a high-density 5 mm thick neoprene that provides security and comfort. In addition, the materials have improved sweat absorption, minimizing odor. The sleeves are designed to be durable and long lasting, and the anti-slip design promises better performance.

Unlike some other products, you’ll get a pair of knee sleeves, making this an economical choice, as well. Another high-quality product from this reputable company, these knee sleeves will offer you better recovery support than others on the market.

​Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

If you’re looking for a sleeve to simply provide compression support while healing from injury, this sleeve by Ultra Flex Athletics will suit you needs. In general, the sleeve helps to reduce inflammation while keeping the area heated to encourage muscle recovery.

This sleeve is excellent for maintaining stability for weightlifting, so you may want to invest in a pair of sleeves, and there are multiple sizes so you can get the best fit. A nylon and lycra blend, this sleeve gives an excellent fit with a double-silicone anti-slip grip, promising not to roll or slip while you’re working on things like power lifts.

Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves

Nordic Lifting is known for producing high-quality equipment with weightlifters in mind, and these knee sleeves are no exception. Comprised of 100% neoprene, these offer the right amount of compression to encourage optimal performance and a therapeutic setting for a knee in recovery.

These are perfect for any heavy lifting workouts, including CrossFit and powerlifting. At 7mm thick, the neoprene provides comfort and stability. The sleeves come in a wide variety of sizes so you’ll be sure to get the perfect fit.

You can rest easy knowing your knees will be fully supported, allowing you a safer, more effective heavy lifting workout. The sleeves will also encourage heat retention, which helps reduce risk for injury and stiffness.

Emerge Fitness Premium Leg Sleeves​

Add another winner to Emerge Fitness’s line of weightlifting equipment, as these knee sleeves provide compression support and comfort, making your workouts more effective. With 7 mm thick neoprene, these sleeves are sturdy yet soft and provide great support.

Designed by a physiotherapist, these sleeves are designed to provide the maximum compression without discomfort, creating the ideal knee environment for an effective workout. You’ll notice a definite change in overall joint performance, and the compression will encourage blood flow and keep your joints warm, thus protecting you from injury.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced lifter, these knee sleeves will offer the support you need against knee pain while doing squats. This is a perfect choice for anyone needing therapeutic knee support for lifting.

Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeves

Mava Sports has designed compression knee sleeve to aid you in your heavy lifting workouts. The sleeves are ergonomically designed and provide just the right amount of compression without stiffness, and the 7 mm thick neoprene will give you both support and comfort.

The sleeves will also aid in injury prevention by keeping the joints warm to encourage muscle recovery and reducing inflammation and swelling. You’ll also notice significantly less muscle and joint pain

What really makes these sleeves stand out from the others is the anatomical design combined with its anti-slip material, ensuring that you’ll get a great fit.

Evolutionize Performance Knee Sleeves

This pair of knee sleeves by Evolutionize is durably constructed and made to provide optimal compression. The leg sleeves are stitched with triple reinforced seams and tear-resistant materials. You’ll immediately notice reduced knee pain, and the 7 mm thick neoprene gives the right amount of compression and warmth to stabilize the patella and surrounding muscle groups.

Evolutionize promise a long-lasting product, and your knees will thank you for the extra support while you work on squats and weightlifting. One of the standout features of this knee sleeve is the length. You get a full 30cm of length, which is larger than some of the other knee sleeves on the market, promising protection over a larger area.​

Conclusion

The knee is one of the weakest points on the body, so it’s important to give them the care and support they need, especially if you’re starting to feel the effects of heavy lifting and cross training. Once you start using them, you’ll immediately notice the positive effects.​

Top 6 Weightlifting Gloves Reviewed

weight lifting gloves

If you’re losing your grip in the middle of a lift, you aren’t getting the most out of your workout. Without the best weightlifting gloves, you may drop your lift well before muscle failure. Additionally, you will likely get unsightly and uncomfortable calluses.

With hundreds of weightlifting gloves on the market, how do you choose which ones are best for you? We’ve combed through the best weight lifting gloves available and selected six that will work as hard as you do in the gym.​


1. Emerge Fitness Weightlifting Gloves

Our Top Rated Brace

Emerge Fitness takes the top spot on our list with these weight lifting gloves for men and women. They offer unmatched comfort and durability so you can make gains faster. You’ll find that these expertly crafted gloves have actually earned the perfect 5-star rating on Amazon.

Say goodbye forever to torn hands, calluses, and sweaty grips that keep you from peak performance. Spend your time focusing on the lift, not on pain in your hands. The Emerge Fitness Weightlifting Gloves aren’t just for heavy deadlifts either. They will protect your palms during kettlebell swings, pull-ups, and anything else that requires a secure grip.

Even some of the best weightlifting gloves require you to break them in. Because they don’t fit immediately, these inferior gloves can make calluses worse at first. However, the Emerge Fitness Weightlifting Gloves are ready to go from the moment you open the box.

These gloves are made with breathable fabric that keeps your hands from getting sweaty. Pressure points are covered with protective silicone. If these weightlifting gloves sound too good to be true, think again. Emerge Fitness offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee. If you don’t love your new weight lifting gloves, they will refund your money or exchange for a new pair with no questions asked.

PROS

  • For men and women
  • Protect hands from calluses
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • No need to break in

CONS

  • None found

2. Bionic Men's Cross-Training Full Finger Gloves

The Bionic Men’s Cross-Training Full Finger Gloves are even more versatile than the legendary bionic weight lifting gloves. Made for Crossfit, weightlifting, and more, these full finger glove will make your grip tight and secure. Each and every glove that Bionic makes is designed by an expert orthopedic hand specialist, so you know you’re getting top quality.

The padding in the Bionic Men’s Cross-Training Full Finger Gloves is strategically placed for optimal comfort. Essentially, it is designed to even out the hand and give you a superior grip. Pressure is distributed evenly to prevent fatigue and injury.

Bionic incorporates the natural rotation of the fingers that occur during any grip. Not sure what they mean? Make a fist and notice the slight rotation that your fingers instinctively make. These bionic weight lifting and cross-training gloves move with the rotation of your hand.

  • Breathable
  • Antimicrobial treatment
  • Odor resistant
  • Adjustable for size and tension

Compression sleeves work by increasing circulation and blood flow. This allows your body to get more oxygen to the sore muscles, thus reducing swelling. This Copper Fit elbow sleeve offer all of the benefits of compression in an easy-to-use, comfortable tennis elbow brace.

If you’ve tried gloves of lesser quality, you may have noticed a drop in your hand mobility. Bionic gloves give you the support you need without compromising your range of motion. For light weightlifting and cross-training, you can’t get much better than the Bionic Men’s Cross-Training Full Finger Gloves.

PROS

  • Versatile for cross-training
  • Accounts for natural finger rotation
  • Designed by orthopedic pros
  • Great range of motion

CONS

  •  Not meant for heavy lifting

3. Nike Men's Lock Down Training Gloves

Nike weight lifting gloves provide all the comfort and protection you have come to expect from the global brand. Leave weightlifting calluses in your wake as you crush your workouts and make gains.

The feature that makes the Nike Lock Down Training Gloves stand out is the Dri-FIT fabric. This moisture-wicking fabric prevents sweaty palms as it protects. The padding on the palm has perforations that keep air flowing. The back of the hand is covered with mesh for an extra layer of breathability.

These weightlifting gloves for men are designed with the athlete in mind. The padding on the palms offers enough cushion to protect your hands against workouts of any kind. The Nike Lock Down Training Gloves are adjustable for the perfect fit. Plus, the middle finger on the gloves is extended so that you can quickly remove your gloves after a tough workout.

Finally, these gloves come with the recognizable Swoosh™ embroidered onto them in a variety of colors. For all-around breathability and comfort, the Nike Men’s Lock Down Training Gloves are the perfect addition to your gym bag.

PROS

  • Extremely breathable
  • Perfect for cross-training
  • Versatile
  • Stylish

CONS

  • Thin padding

4. Harbinger Pro Weightlifting Gloves

These Harbinger Weight Lifting Gloves offer perfect padding, breathable design, and top-notch durability. Weightlifting glove reviews call these “the most comfortable and protective gloves.” See why the Harbinger brand has become synonymous with weightlifting.

The Harbinger Pro gloves have a vented leather palm, which allows you to grip any and all sporting equipment with ease. Along with the leather, there is open-cell foam to give extra padding. The full palm is designed to wick away moisture. No more slipping!For particularly heavy lifts, these gloves provide wrap-around thumb protection. The double stitching on the seams makes the Harbinger weightlifting gloves extremely durable. Don’t worry about washing your gloves; these workout gloves for men can take it.

The length of the finger covers make these perfect kettlebell gloves. The Harbinger Pro gloves do not have wrist wraps. This makes it vital to get just the right size for your hands.

PROS

  • Double stitch seams
  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Extra thumb support

CONS

  • Some users say the dye transfers to hands

5. Valeo Competition Wrist Wrap Lifting Gloves

Competitive weightlifters know that the right glove can make all the difference. If you’re looking for a wrist wrap weightlifting glove that can support you in your peak performance, the Valeo Competition Wrist Wrap Lifting Gloves are for you.

The three-quarter length finger pads provide the ultimate levels of comfort during heavy lifts. Don’t lessen your personal records due to lack of grip strength. These competition weightlifting gloves will help you reach your max every time you hit the gym, as well as during competition.

For the best stability, you have to get the perfect fit. That’s why Valeo designed these gloves with hook and loop wrist closures that fit you just right every time. Plus, these weightlifting gloves are constructed with two layers of leather, making them incredibly sturdy.

While leather isn’t normally associated with breathability, the Valeo Competition Wrist Wrap Lifting Gloves manage to allow for excellent airflow. The nylon mesh back keeps sweat from building up and makes you full under pressure.

PROS

  • Built to hold up to competition weight
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Durable leather
  • Wrist wraps for extra stability

CONS

  • Some users say leather is a little too thin

6. Trovis Weightlifting Gloves

Upon first glance, it’s obvious that these weightlifting gloves are like none other. With a minimalist design, Trovis weightlifting gloves aren’t bulky or overwhelming. Instead, they provide support only where you need it.

For breathability, there is no design better than this. Instead of relying on breathable fabric, the Trovis weightlifting gloves leave the back of the hand completely open. This keeps your hands from getting sweaty.

The palm of the hand offers padding and grip support that will let you lift heavy weights. The large size is designed for men, and the medium is made for women. Athletes of all kinds will find much-needed support with the Trovis weightlifting gloves.

PROS

  •  Unique minimalist design
  • Open back for airflow
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • For some users, the finger loops may be tight

Each of these weightlifting and workout gloves has its own unique features. However, we believe that the Emerge Fitness gloves come out on top due to their versatility, protection, and comfort.

Top 6 Tennis Elbow Braces

tennis elbow

Lateral epicondylitis, or “tennis elbow,” is common among tennis players. However, you don’t have to swing a racket to get this condition. In fact, weight lifting, painting, carpentry, and even playing certain instruments can cause the condition. Anything that requires prolonged and repeated stress on the forearm muscles can cause a painful case of tennis elbow.


What is tennis elbow?

Repetitive strain on the forearm and elbow causes small tears in the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle. The symptoms of tennis elbow include pain on the outside of the arm where the elbow meets the forearm. This outside elbow pain may be accompanied by inflammation and difficulty gripping.

How to Prevent Tennis Elbow

Without treatment, tennis elbow can become a chronic issue. Your doctor may have you take ibuprofen and attend physical therapy sessions. The best way to tackle tennis elbow is prevention, and the best preventative method is wearing a brace.

Of course, not every lateral epicondylitis brace is created equal. Here are the 6 best braces for tennis elbow:

1. Emerge Tennis Elbow Brace

Our Top Rated Brace

This is it. The Emerge Tennis Elbow Brace is the best tennis elbow brace on the market today. It’s superior durability, comfortable design, and effectiveness makes the Emerge brace to go-to for anyone who is in recovery from or at risk of getting tennis elbow.

The most important feature is the brace’s thick and firm EVA foam pad. This foam pad pinpoints pain and applies the proper amount of pressure to give immediate relief from tennis elbow discomfort. This compression also reduces the stress put on the elbow and forearm during exercise, preventing further inflammation and injury.

Some braces rely on weak hook and loop closures that can lose effectiveness quickly. Instead, the Emerge Tennis Elbow Brace is secured by a Dual Velcro Adjustment Strap. This arm brace for tennis elbow will provide stability and security for longer than any other brace on the market.

Comfort is of the utmost important to Emerge. That’s why they have created a tennis elbow brace that won’t pinch or chafe. Plus, like all Emerge products, if you’re not 100% satisfied with your tennis elbow brace, you can return it for a full refund.​

PROS

  • Pain relief immediately 
  • Injury prevention 
  • Thick padding 
  • Optimal comfort

PROS

  • None

2. Futuro Infinity Precision Fit Elbow Support, Adjustable

This arm brace act more like a tennis elbow wrap with adjustable tension and fit. Whether you’re feeling a dull pain in your elbow or an acute case of tennis elbow, you can adjust the Futuro Infinity Precision Fit sleeve to meet your needs. Generally, this is a perfect brace for everyday use, not super heavy lifting.

No more dripping sweat when you take off your elbow brace. The lightweight material in this elbow brace offers superior breathability. The material is treated with antimicrobials to reduce odor and stop infection in its tracks.

Whether your elbow is feeling weak or stiff, sore or injured, the Futuro Infinity Precision Fit Elbow Support will offer relief. Don’t be intimidated by its many adjustments. Even if you don’t know how to wear a tennis elbow brace, this brace is easy to get the hang of.

PROS

  • Breathable
  • Antimicrobial treatment
  • Odor resistant
  • Adjustable for size and tension

PROS

  • No stabilization

3. Copper Fit Original Recovery Elbow Sleeve

Compression sleeves work by increasing circulation and blood flow. This allows your body to get more oxygen to the sore muscles, thus reducing swelling. This Copper Fit elbow sleeve offer all of the benefits of compression in an easy-to-use, comfortable tennis elbow brace.

The Copper Fit Original Recover Elbow Sleeve is designed to be worn as often as you need it. It’s light fabric, and moisture-wicking technology allows it to be comfortable all day and while you sleep. Its slender design means that you can barely notice this sleeve under everyday clothes. Don’t compromise your style for relief!

Most users experience immediate relief when wearing the Copper Fit elbow sleeve. However, you can only experience this relief if you have the proper size. To find your size, measure your arm about 5 inches above your elbow. The circumference of that part of your arm will tell you which size will work best for you.

  • M: 10.5" - 12"
  • L: 12.5" - 14"
  • XL: 14.5" - 16"​

See why so many people rely on Copper Fit for relief from daily aches and pains.

PROS

  • Breathable
  • Antimicrobial treatment
  • Odor resistant
  • Adjustable for size and tension

PROS

  • No stabilization

4. Band-It Forearm Band

This Band-It elbow brace is perfect for anyone who desires all-day comfort, stability, and relief. With long-lasting support, the Band-It Forearm Band can help with tendonitis, tennis elbow, and other forearm pain.

This unique elbow brace is anatomically designed to fit the contours of your arm. It will give you the support you need during exercise or everyday life. Plus, you can attain a full range of motion as the Band-It brace relieves stiffness in the elbow.

The design of this product is genius. On the back is semi-rigid plastic for stability. Inside the brace, you’ll find high-density foam that customizes support to your body’s needs. It does this by molding itself around your soft tissue and giving support there.

Best of all, this tennis elbow brace is truly one size fits all. Adjust it to fit your arm and get relief fast!​

PROS

  • Fully adjustable
  • Comfortable foam padding
  • Stability support
  • Free of latex

PROS

  • None

5. McDavid 489 Elbow Strap for Tendonitis and Tennis Elbow

Two Sorbothane panels make this elbow brace a stand-out contender. They go straight after the pain and provide relief immediately. After the initial pain is relieved, the McDavid 489 Elbow Strap keeps working to prevent any more injury.

Compression and heat therapy come together to make the McDavid magic happen. By keeping the muscles warm and the blood circulating, the elbow brace helps your body recover quickly.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable
  • Compression

PROS

  • Not meant for heavy use

6. Nike Nike Pro Combat Tennis/Golf Elbow Band 2.0

Lock in support with the Swoosh™ you can trust. This tennis elbow band is made with an elastic band that keeps your elbow going all day long.

The Nike Pro Tennis Elbow Band 2.0 is designed strategically to apply pressure where you need it most. The consistent pressure helps your circulation and stability. The lightweight material breathes easily, so there’s no sweat to chafe and irritate.

You can wear the Nike Pro Tennis Elbow Band 2.0 during aworkout or all day long. Because it is made with machine washable fabrics, you can keep your band odor free for longer.

Make sure to get the right size for you in order to get the most benefits from your tennis elbow brace. This brace comes in two sizes: SM/MD for biceps ranging from 9" - 11" in circumference and LG/XL for biceps ranging from 11" - 14" in circumference.​

PROS

  • Easy to put on
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Machine washable

PROS

  • Not adjustable

Don't let tennis elbow or other forearm pain stop you from performing your best. Try out one of the best tennis elbow braces today!

15 Sleeping Tips For Better Muscle Growth and Recovery

The following post is by fitness blogger Mike Asara and was originally published in Muscle Transform.


“You give your body the chance to repair, recharge, and regrow during sleep,” says wellness expert Dr. Felecia Stoler, DCN, MS, RD, RACSM. “It’s the ideal time to replenish nutrients, and, since your body isn’t moving, it allows the muscles to repair themselves.”

This article is going to talk about the 15 simple sleeping tips that stimulate muscle growth and faster recovery period. It will reduce the amount of time that it takes you to fall asleep, as well as help you sleep more deeply and for longer periods each night. It’s known a fact that getting a sufficient amount of restful sleep every night is very important when it comes to maximizing muscle growth.

It’s important for your overall health, which includes maintaining concentration and motivation level at its peak. It benefits both inside and outside the gym. Sleeping will optimize your levels of testosterone and IGF1, reduce cortisol levels as well as improve your body’s overall fat burning efficiency.

Keep in mind that there are many different methods that you could use when it comes to improving sleep quality and it would be impossibly to mention all of them. So, we’re sticking to the topics that actually benefits strength training or if you’re just looking to get a better night time sleep.

1. Maintain a Sleep Schedule

Maintain a consistent sleeping and waking schedule from day to day and stick to it. Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day helps to regulate your body’s internal clock so that it expects sleep at a certain time each night. This will decrease the amount of time that it takes you to fall asleep as well as improve your overall sleep quality.

This probably won’t be possible for some people because of varying hours such as work and school, but just do the best you can to set a schedule and stick to it as closely as you can including the weekends as well.

2. Associate Your Bed with Sleep and Sex Only

Now that the topic has gotten your attention! If you have some late-night work to finish then work on it at a desk or on the couch or anywhere else besides the bed.

You don’t want to merge your sleeping space and your working space into the same area because when you go to bed you want your body to associate that specific place with relaxation and pleasure rather than stress and problem-solving. 

3. Turn Off All Electronic Device

Turn off all electronic device 30-60 minutes before bed. So that includes television, smartphones, laptops etc. Bright light suppressesmelatonin production, a key hormone that regulates sleep. So instead of watching TV or texting, spend that 30-60 minute on some light reading, listening to an audiobook or using a relaxation technique such as meditation which is highly recommended for everybody.

4. Don’t Sleep with a Hungry or Full Stomach

This one will vary from person to person, but as a general rule, avoid going to sleep with a too full or too empty stomach. A small to medium sized meal within a few hours before going to bed will allow you to sleep more comfortably, and the insulin release will also improve melatonin production as well.

5. Keep Your Room Dark and Quiet

Keep the temperature between 60-67 degrees. Use blackout curtains or a sleeping mask to eliminate as much light as possible. Get rid of background noises by either sleeping in a completely quiet room, use ear plugs, or using white noise from a fan, humidifier, or some other type of white noise machine. 

6. Consider Natural Supplements

For basic sleep supplements in your overall plan. We recommend magnesium, which is heavily involved in regulating sleep and gets depleted through sweat. The dosage for that is 200-400mg per day with a meal, either in the form of magnesium gluconate, glycinate or citrate.

The second is lavender oil which helps to reduce anxiety and putting the body into a more relaxed state.

The Last one is melatonin, and the standard dosage for that is 1-3mg half an hour before bed, and you’ll be best off to start off on the low end and just gradually increase until you find the right dosage for yourself (see recommended natural supplements on the last page).

7. Avoid Caffeine

Avoid caffeine and any other type stimulants within 6-8 hours of sleep. So even if you do happen to fall asleep just fine after an evening cup of coffee or a pre-workout drink, the caffeine and the other stimulants they contain can still decrease your overall quality of sleep. So if you want to fall asleep as easily as possible and stay asleep, then cut off all stimulants by the late afternoon.

8. Avoid Long Daytime Naps

Taking long naps during the day time can interfere with your night time sleeping. If you feel you need to take a nap during the day then 15-20 minutes of power naps should be enough to recharge you.

9. Good Sleeping Posture Help You Sleep Better

Sleeping on the back produces the least amount of pressure, followed by sleeping on your side. Stomach sleeping is the most stressful sleeping position. Sleep on your back or side rather than your stomach whenever possible. Use pillows under your neck and knees for support if you sleep on your back. When sleeping on your side use pillows between the knees to maintain spine alignment.

10. Choosing the Right Pillow

Consider the depth of your neck curve, your preferred sleeping position, and the firmness of your mattress when selecting a pillow. Select a pillow that supports your head and fills in your neck curve. If your pillow is too high, replace or modify it. You can trim foam or remove padding to make it thinner. If your pillow is too low, add foam, fills or a folded towels to increase the thickness.

11. Have Sex or Masturbate Before Bedtime

Both pre-bedtime activities are a naturally stress reliever. Not only does sex lower your blood pressure afterwards, it also help keeps your immune system humming according to Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD a sexual health expert, “Sexually active people take fewer sick days.” Hey, anything for a good night sleep right?

12. Eat a “Sleepy Snack” Before Bed

According to Mary Hartley, MPH, a registered dietitian, bedtime snacks should be no more than 150 to 200 calories max.

The following food list contains a good amount of tryptophans (an essential amino acid in the human diet), a precursor for creating melatonin which aids  for a better sleep. Eat them an hour before bed.

  • Peanuts
  • a scoop of ice cream (low fat)
  • small bowl of cereal and milk
  • granola with low-fat milk or yogurt
  • a banana
  • few cookies
  • toast
  • a small muffin
  • half a turkey sandwich

13. Trying Taking a Warm Bath or Shower

Stepping out from warm water into that cool bedroom atmosphere will cause your body temperatures to drop slightly, which can trigger sleepiness by slowing down metabolic activity. 

14. Put All Your Worries Aside

Make the night easier for yourself by accepting things for what it is, letting go of all of your negative thoughts and worries. Be gentle with yourself. There’s nothing you can’t handle, tomorrow is another day, for now it’s bedtime, PERIOD!

15. Meditate

Last but not least is meditation. There are countless benefits of meditation even for bodybuilding. As they say, “the mind controls the body”.  One of the reasons we can’t fall asleep is that our minds are not able to slow down from the anxieties and stresses that we face on a daily basis.

When the mind is calmed through meditation, sleep becomes natural and easy. Meditation also helps lower your heart rate and relax your muscles making it easier for you to fall asleep. One of the methods you can try is to focus on a calming word or phrase. Lie still and relax your mind to maximize the state of restfulness. Better sleep, better recovery!

If you use other methods that’s not mention in this article, then feel free to share them by posting it in the comment section below.

References:
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4460
http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-better.htm
http://ergonomics.ucla.edu/component/content/article/92-back-safety/120-sleeping-posture

Top 10 Illicit Drugs You Probably Have Never Heard Of

A countdown of illicit drugs that are not commonly talked about. Starting with least popular to most popular, this guide explains a short description of each drug. These drugs are commonly sold on the internet and mostly used by adolescents and young adults.


When you think of illicit drugs you probably think of heroin, cocaine, meth, LSD, or marijuana. With the internet today more bizarre and little researched substances are coming to light and being trafficked online through illegal websites. Many are produced in China or else wear and shipped into the United States. Adolescents and adults alike often don’t realize the dangers associated with these drugs because little is known about them, but they can be even more dangerous than traditional “hard” drugs like heroin or cocaine. As new drugs become popular they lack legal status, and often people mistake this as it must be safe if it is not illegal. I hope to give you a little bit of insight on drugs you probably have never heard of. For a more detailed and interactive list of 55 different drugs, check out this periodic table of drugs.

10. 1P-LSD

This drug is very new and has been sold on the internet since 2015. It is psychedelic drug and an analog of LSD. Very little is know about this drug.

9. 3C-Bromo-DragonFLY

Bromo-dragonFLY is phenylethylamine, which means it is a stimulant as well as a psychedelic. It is about ⅓ as potent as LSD. The drug, similarly as LSD, is often dripped on blotter, which is then dissolved in the mouth. Unlike LSD, bromo-dragonFLY can be deadly. Overdoses are reported, often when people mistake the drug as LSD and take far more than needed for desired effects. The drug is often used to mimac LSD because of it’s cheap cost and similar effects.

8. 5-MeO-DiPT

This drug, commonly referred to as “Foxy”, is a psychedelic tryptamine. It is often pressed into pills, but also can be sniffed, smoked, or injected. It is more similar to MDMA (Ecstasy) than LSD. It causes euphoria and can be an aphrodisiac. It is considered a “club drug”. Some overdoses are reported.

7. DOC

DOC is a psychedelic drug that is also similar to amphetamines. It is often dripped on blotter paper and dissolved in the mouth. The drug is less psychedelic than LSD but can last much longer, up to two days. It causes euphoria and bizarre thoughts. There is very little research on this drug.

6. MDE

This drug, commonly referred to as “Eve” is similar to MDMA. It is shorter lasting and not as potent. The drug is often sold as an ecstasy mimic and pressed into a tablet. Little is know about this drug but is popular on the internet and also as a cutting agent in ecstasy pills.

5. 2c-I

2c-I is another psychedelic phenylethylamine, but more popular than the previous ones mentioned. It is considered a “club-drug” because of it’s euphoric, psychedelic, and empathogenic effects. It can be very painful to sniff, so is often taken in a capsule. The drug gained popularity in the Netherlands when it was briefly sold legally in stores as “room odorizer” or “bath salts”. It is sometimes used to cut or mimic ecstasy. 2c-I is a Schedule I substance in the United States.

4. 25I-NBOMe

Commonly known as “25i” or “N-bomb”, 25I-NBOMe is a psychedelic drug and a derivative of 2c-I. It is commonly dripped on blotter or snorted. It was discovered in 2003 but did not become popular recreationally until 2010. It is popular online and one of the most common mimics of LSD. Overdoses have been reported due to it being mistaken as LSD and taken in high doses, as it is more potent than LSD. It causes visuals, euphoria, and bizarre thought patterns.

3. Methylone

Methylone, also known as “M1”, is a central nervous system stimulant, amphetamine, and cathinone. Cathinones are drugs similar to a stimulating chemical found in the plant called Khat found in Africa and Asia. The drug is similar to MDMA in structure but is less psychedelic and more stimulating. It causes euphoria, high energy, and empathy. It was first sold in Europe as a “room odorizer” that was labeled “not for human consumption” but became popular at raves and dance clubs. . It was one of the first drugs to start the wave of drugs referred to as “bath salts” which includes many cathinone drugs. It is commonly snorted, swallowed, or injected.

2. Mephedrone

Commonly referred to as “drone”, “m-cat”, “white magic” or “meow meow”, this drug is a synthetic stimulant, amphetamine, and cathinone. Mephedrone causes similar effects to MDMA, cocaine, and amphetamines. It causes euphoria, sexual stimulation, and empathy. It can be taken by mouth, snorted, injected, or smoked. Common side effects are teeth grinding and elevated body temperature. This is another drug in the family of “bath salts”. In 2012 this drug became illegal along with all other cathinones.

1. Alpha-PVP

Alpha-PVP, known as “flakka” or “gravel”, is the most powerful and recent of the cathinone family. It is known by the media as “bath salts” but more formally is a research chemical, or “designer drug”. The drug is a stimulant and is known for its common adverse side effects that include bizarre behavior, paranoia, psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, and suicide or violence. The drug is popular on the internet and gained popularity on the street in Florida because of its cheap cost and abundance. Often users will go on binges and stay up for days, which is also a contributor to psychosis. In 2014 it was listed by the DEA for temporary ban, but is permanently a Schedule I substance in 5 states. The drug is typically mass produced in China and ordered over the internet. Because of criticism by the United States, China listed it as Schedule I substance in 2015.

Medical Improv Activity Provides Profound Learning Between Surgeon & Nurse!

By Beth Boynton, RN, MS

I love using an experiential activities from the emerging practice of Medical Improv because people learn such valuable skills and develop positive relationships in a fun way. By valuable skills I’m talking about developing our emotional intelligence and our abilities to communicate, collaborate, lead (and follow) effectively and respectfully!

Once you learn the core principles there are literally hundreds of activities that build communication and interpersonal skills. You might not think that a fun activity adapted from improvisational theatre could help a nurse and surgeon build all of these skills, but I’ve seen it happen!

One activity called ‘Dr. Know-it-All” requires three people to answer open-ended questions by contributing one word at at time. They don’t have to be factual, but they do have to make sense and work together quickly and collaboratively. In one pilot workshop, there was a surgeon sitting in the middle of two nurses while they answered a question ‘Why is the sky blue?’. One of the nurses hesitated to add to the answer and when she did, the surgeon took a breath as he adapted from what he thought the answer was going to be to a different one.

In this moment, the nurse learns to speak up, the doctor learns to listen, they build their relationship, collaborate, and have fun. The relationship part of the complex adaptive system is healing!


Beth Boynton, RN, MS, author of Successful Nurse Communication: Safe Care, Healthy Workplaces, & Rewarding Careers is a speaker and medical improv trainer. She publishes the award-winning blog, “Confident Voices in Healthcare” and more information about her work can be found at www.confidentvoices.com. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Coloring for Health

Too often when we speak of health, we tend to focus on bodily health, on keeping or restoring health to cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. We fixate on food and exercise, drugs and supplements, on medical treatments and physical symptoms, forgetting that we human beings are more than just our physical bodies. We are minds, memories, and emotions as well.

Health and well-being, then, is a whole lot more than absence of physiological ailments, but a presence of vibrance, joy, peace, and contentment in our innermost selves. We eat and exercise to keep healthy, but we need other activities to nourish the other aspects of ourselves.

It is exactly this other type of nourishment that coloring provides. Coloring a page not only takes us back to our childhood and all the whimsy and fun that we associate with that phase of our lives, but has been found to provide a lot of other benefits.

Relaxes and Soothes

Coloring has been proven to decrease anxiety levels in adults. Because when we’re making strokes on that page, we are compelled to set aside all concerns for a while. It draws attention away from the hustle and bustle, the nitty-gritty of all our worries, hang-ups, and even illnesses and physical pain, and it draws us our focus onto the picture and coloring implement in front of us.

Even those who suffer physically have experienced the profound benefits of coloring, such as J.H. Johnson of The Lupus Liar. Coloring has led her to love the life that she has as one who suffers from lupus. She herself has come up with a wonderful coloring book that aims to help others experience the same love for their own lives.

Fosters Mindfulness

When we’re working out or attending a spinning or yoga class, our instructors encourage and train us to listen to our bodies, to build awareness of pain and pleasure signals, to be mindful of form and alignment so as to avoid injury. When we bring this awareness when we’re flexing our non-physical muscles, we learn to listen to our feelings and thoughts, which in the end can only help us build the strength and agility within. In other words, coloring when done mindfully can be in itself a form of meditation, and brings about the same benefits.

Moreover, the very simplicity of the act of coloring creates an inner silence that allows us to listen to our inner voices better. And in the end, whatever we come up with becomes an expression of who we are at the moment, a kind of nonverbal journal, a snapshot of our mental landscapes, preserved for further introspection.

Brings Pleasure

Coloring gets us in touch with ourselves. We become aware of the colors that we are drawn to. We get reach into the parts of us that derive pleasure from seeing beauty and creating it. We get to watch in wonder how the repeated strokes and lines we create come together and become something pretty.

Boosts Creativity

The act of adding color to a space that has none awakens the artist within and jumpstarts the creativity that may have lain dormant beneath the tasks and chores that we heap upon ourselves everyday. It brings out our playfulness, which is a key ingredient in all creative pursuits.

Ready to Try it Out?

There are a lot of different coloring books out there, many of which are especially designed for adults. Whatever your other hobbies or interests are, be it Cats, Van Gogh, Taylor Swift, Dr. Who, or Classic Mandalas, chances are there are already coloring books that revolve around them.

Vivofit vs. Fitbit – Which Is Better?

vivofit 2 stars

I’ve been loving my Fitbit since I got it and now my best friend wants one too. We headed out to buy her one but quickly realized that buying a “Fitbit” isn’t all that simple. You not only have to decide on a price/feature level but also on whether you want a real Fitbit or one of its competitors. On the one hand, they all are basically glorified pedometers so buying the least expensive one seems reasonable; on the other hand with so many different price points there are likely some major feature differences. Today I’m going to look at the Vivofit vs Fitbit to see which is better. Fitbit, of course, was the first commercially successful personal fitness band; Vivofit is made by Garmin, which is known for its GPS units.

Price Range:

On Garmin’s website, there are three different models ranging in price from $99.99 to $219.99. Fitbit’s website shows eight different models ranging in price from $59.95 to $249.95. For the purposes of comparison, I’m going to talk about the $99.99 Vivofit 2 and compare it to the $99.95 Fitbit Flex. I will also compare the $149.99 Vivosmart HR to the $149.95 Fitbit Charge.

Criteria:

My friend wants a way to track her movements throughout the day, to see how many calories she burns, and to help her set and achieve fitness goals. She also wants a band that is comfortable to wear and that she can wear without worrying about whether it will look ok with her outfit of the day.

Vivofit 2

Vivofit 2

Vivofit 2

The Vivofit 2 is a basic activity tracker. It comes in black, blue, white, red and pink. It has a backlit display and the battery that powers it lasts for a year. The Vivofit tracks your steps, the number of calories burned and the distance covered each day. It comes with a heart rate monitor strap which is worn during exercise. When you sleep, it goes into sleep mode as well and monitors your rest. After learning about you, the Vivofit proposes daily goals for you. It alerts you when you have been sedentary for too long to encourage you to get up and move. Additional bands are available to coordinate with your wardrobe.

Vivosmart HR

Vivosmart HR

Vivosmart HR

The Vivosmart HR is an integrated activity monitor and heart rate monitor. It comes in Black, Imperial Purple, and Midnight Blue. Its display is always on and is supposed to be readable even in daylight. The Vivosmart not only displays how many steps you have taken that day, it also gives the calories burned, the floors climbed (to encourage you to use the stairs rather than the elevator), your heart rate and the level of intensity of your activity. The Vivosmart HR is waterproof and can be worn while showering or swimming. Besides those core functions, it can be set to display alerts from your email, calendar or phone. Finally, if the Vivosmart decides you have been inactive for too long, it gives you a vibration alert to encourage you to get up and move. As a smart device, it learns when you are able to achieve goals and then calculates new ones for you. The Vivosmart can be worn 24/7 and includes sleep tracking in its features; however, it does need to be charged about once a week.

The Vivosmart bracelets are data collection devices that integrate with Vivosmart’s website for data analysis and storage. After downloading an app to your computer, phone, and/or tablet, you can sync your Vivosmart and the data can be graphed, analyzed, and/or shared with others. The Vivosmart website does more than just store your data. It provides social networking features if desired. It uses Garmin’s map expertise to help you plan new running or walking paths. It also will design a workout for you and help you track milestones achieved. Vivosmart not only has its own website that tracks your activity, the Vivosmart data can be synched with MyFitnessPal’s calorie counting app to compare the number of calories you burned with the number you ate. Additional bands can be purchased for it as well.

Vivofit vs. Fitbit:

The Fitbit Flex is the model most comparable to the Vivofit. It syncs wirelessly and automatically to most smartphones and computers whereas you have to push a button to sync the Vivofit. While the Vivofit’s battery lasts for a year, the Flex needs to be charged every five days. There are more high-end bands available for the Flex.

The Vivosmart and the Fitbit Charge add heart monitoring to the basic functions of the lower models. They also add alarms from your cell phone. The two units are pretty comparable, but one thing to note on all models is that the screen on the Vivofit and Vivosmart runs along the band, which gives it more room, whereas the Fitbits’ screens run across the band, which make them more like a watch to read. Which is better is a matter of personal preference.

On the software side, Fitbit integrates a calorie counter, whereas Vivofit’s data syncs with MyFitnessPal; which is best is for you to decide. Fitbit measures hydration which Vivofit does not. Both have some social networking features. While Fitbit offers training programs via a paid version of its app, it is free with Vivofit.

Conclusion:

Both the Vivofit and Vivosmart are worthwhile devices. Their Amazon ratings are comparable to the Fitbit products and their features are similar. The Fitbits seem a bit easier to use and to read but the Vivofit and Vivosmart can often be found for less money. When it comes to Vivofit vs. Fitbit, if having a more fashionable device makes you more likely to use it, get the Fitbit; if saving money is important, buy the Vivofit.

View more Fitbit reviews here.​ You may also want to read about how Fitbit compares to Jawbone.

All product images via Amazon.com.​