Gadgets and apps that will play the role of your virtual coach
No time to workout with a trainer or coach who can keep an eye on your swings, serves and punches? Invest in gadgets and apps that will track your game and help you better it, too
For some, the constant nagging of a trainer while doing bench presses or hitting a smash works like a charm. However, there are many others who find it demotivating. There’s also the problem of meeting at a time convenient to both. If you prefer to train alone, but are worried you might suffer an injury in the absence of a trained professional, there’s an array of apps and gadgets that will play the role of your virtual coach.
Now, you can carry around your electronic trainer that will give you feedback and your personal space as well. Here’s a list of some new-age gadgets and apps. While some of them are available abroad, you are likely to find them at specific sports stores in the country, too:
Zepp Tennis (Rs 9,190)
Zepp has a simple motto — ‘Practice with purpose, play your best’. The Zepp sensor, with its super-light racket mount, fits onto any tennis racket. It captures, measures and analyses your swings.
The sensor, with its dual accelerometres and three-axis gyroscope, records your serve in 3D, allowing you to view it from any angle. A top-down view allows you to see where you made the contact. The app helps you improve your consistency by letting you know contact points on a traced out racket image, with all type of shots — forehands and backhands — you hit during the match. The app tracks the amount of power you generate with each shot and analyses how that changes with each shot.
You can also study the topspins, slice or flat shots you hit, while you see an overview of the match and practice sessions. This works to improve your playing style, and the instant feedback acts like a coach.
The Zepp Tennis sensor works with both your iOs and Android devices. It has an internal storage of upto 2,000 swings and the battery lasts up to eight hours of continuous swing records on a two-and-a-half hour charge.
iPunch (Rs 9,130)
This smart combat glove tells you how hard and fast you punch. Each glove is fitted with two sensors — one measures how hard the punch has landed and the other, a three-axis motion sensor, tells you its speed and the strength.
The gloves work with its app on iOs and Android devices, which, in turn, act as a trainer as well as a boxing ring for training. The iPunch Trainer gives you audible directions, to improve your punching style and creates new challenges which gets upgraded with your personal progress rate. You only have to put on the gloves, put the phone in your pocket and start the three-minute round. Your round gets saved in your iPunch profile, allowing you to track your progress and share your workout stats with others. The ‘Test of Strength’ pits you against other app users, creating a boxing ring, wherein participants get three chances to punch as hard as they can. The results are then compared and the strongest punch wins. The ‘Top Player’ display board acts as a motivation to perform better. The gloves come in different sizes to fit all palm sizes and last for approximately 15 hours on a single-battery charge.
KICKR PowerTrainer by Wahoo (Rs 67,375)
Kickr from Wahoo converts your regular road bike into an indoor-training cycle. It gives feedback on your training performance, too. All you have to do is take off the rear wheel of your cycle and attach a Kickr in its place.
The Kickr, in turn, talks to your iOS and Android devices for accurate power measurement at the hub, which is calibrated throughout the training. It talks to its own custom app called Wahoo Fitness and also to third-party apps such as Virtual Training, iMobileIntervals, KinoMap and Trainer Road. This gives the user control over resistance level via the app and also relays the feedback data via Bluetooth. The apps act as a virtual trainer, and tells you what you need to work on and where you are going wrong. It also stores the training data. The Super Flywheel is engineered to replicate the inertia of an actual road ride, ensuring that the experience on road will not differ according to the training conditions.
3BaysGSA Putt (Rs 12,200 )
The Putting Analyser works exclusively with iOS devices. It captures the club head motion of your putter and sends the information instantly to your smartphone through its unique GSA PUTT App.
The delicate nine-axis motion sensors and extensive algorithms are deployed to detect and capture the smallest motion of the putter, which connects to your smartphone via the Bluetooth. This digitises and analyses the key aspects of your game. The GSA Putt App comes with an audio-video recording feature, wherein you can handsfree record multiple putting strokes, replay the videos in slow motion, trim them and even use the line drawing tool to trace the stroke angle. You can even see an animated playback of the stroke path, from both sides and top simultaneously, giving you the details of how the putter moved and how the face rotated throughout the stroke. You can even set any of your strokes as ‘Best’ and compare your other strokes with it. ‘Consistency’ gives the feedback in percentages about how close you came to repeating your best shot. You can setup a 3BaysCloud account, synchronise your putting data and even share it on Facebook and Twitter. On a single charge, the Putt gives you a playtime recording of five hours.