Fitness mirrors, workout mirrors, smart mirrors - whatever you call them, these clever pieces of tech all promise to do the same thing - and that’s bring you an immersive and interactive range of home workouts under the guidance of personal trainers and the engagement of live classes.
You'll have seen the next-gen devices popping up left, right and centre in the wellness arena since 2018. Since then, fitness mirrors have quickly gained traction among celebrities - we’re looking at you, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Aniston - and fitness experts alike.
That's likely because of their life-sized interfaces, super smart technology, and ability to track your movements and measure your performance and metrics. According to online coach and foodspring ambassador, Alex Hipwell: “Fitness mirrors are a great tool, especially for those who like working out at home and have the space. They look just like a piece of furniture when they’re turned off, unlike something like an exercise bike which really stands out.”
New to the fitness mirror world? Still got lots of questions about them? We’ve got you. To find out your need-to-knows about workout mirrors and the benefits they can bring, keep scrolling. Simple home workouts never looked so - well, simple.
Fitness mirrors will continue to soar in popularity in 2024 - your guide
What are fitness mirrors?
Good question. “Fitness Mirrors are the hottest new innovation in the home fitness industry,” Steven Dick, director at The Fitness Group explains. “At first glance, it looks like a really cool mirror, however then you power it up and it’s essentially a life-sized tablet, powered by the latest AI.”
Whether it’s leg day, chest day or there’s a full body workout on the cards, the futuristic piece of touch-screen tech can be placed on your wall or left freestanding and allow you to connect with personal trainers and join live and pre-recorded classes, all while watching yourself workout in the ‘mirror’, to help perfect your form and reap the many rewards home workouts can bring.
How do fitness mirrors work?
“You can choose from a huge variety of workouts, allowing you to target the specific type of training you want to do, and the intensity and duration of the workout,” Dick says. “Some of the fitness mirrors also come with equipment included, (like dumbbells and bands) and the fitness mirror can neatly store away everything internally, so it’s great for space saving!”.
The features will, of course, differ from one fitness mirror to the next but generally speaking, these gadgets are packed full of trainers to help coach you through the workout. Some count your reps and time. While others contain smart technology that tracks your weight. But either way you look at it: “The life-sized virtual workout is far more engaging and immersive than loading up a workout on your tablet and trying to follow along,” Dick says.
He adds: “Motivation is one of the most important factors that will keep you going during the workout, and keep you coming back – ultimately the fitness mirror has this in abundance. The days of following a workout in your living room on a tablet are gone.”.
What are the benefits of fitness mirrors?
Want feedback on your form? Interested in building strength and stamina? Or, do you just want to relish in the convenience that comes with working out from home? Well, as Hipwell explains, fitness mirrors can do all this and more.
“They provide access to a variety of guided workout routines led by certified instructors or trainers,” she says. “ These workouts can target specific muscle groups, incorporate different training styles (like HIIT, strength training, morning yoga, etc.), and offer progressive challenges to help build strength and endurance over time.”
One major area where fitness mirrors differ from your usual at-home workout is the fact that many use cameras and AI technology to provide real-time feedback on your form during workouts. “This helps in maintaining proper technique, which is crucial for preventing injuries and maximising the effectiveness of exercises to build strength,” Hipwell says. “Plus, many of the Fitness Mirrors provide community too and I feel this plays a large role in giving you a boost.”
But while fitness mirrors can be effective tools for building strength and stamina, Hipwell highlights that to achieve the best results: “It's essential to complement these workouts with a balanced diet, proper rest, and consistency in training.”
“Getting feedback on form is amazing considering you haven't left your home”
Clarissa Bloom, 34, a dating and relationship expert for The Stag Company, loves HIIT workouts, jogging and spin classes. But she wanted to incorporate more weight training into her exercise regime. To help, she used her friend’s lululemon Studio Mirror. Here’s how she got on.
“The mirrors do look really cool. They're so futuristic, plus the idea of being able to see how you're performing and getting feedback on form is amazing considering you haven't left your home.
“I loved the library of classes, as you could pick the class that suited your requirements. I wanted to do an upper body workout, then the cardio I did afterwards was a 15-minute HIIT style class, a lot of burpees, body squats and side lunges. I also saw they have dance classes. I didn't give them a try but that sounds so cool. It would be great to all learn some form of routine with my gals before a night out, even if we look atrocious!
“I think [fitness mirrors are for] people who want to get into shape and try loads of different classes, without having to take on the fear factor of actually attending a class. It's amazing that each day in January you could try a different form of workout, from bootcamp to Barre.
“It created an atmosphere that was brilliant, as it did feel like I was at a gym, much more than watching a small video on my little laptop. So I can see why people would get one. But at those prices, it certainly scared me off, unless I win the lottery any time soon.”
Shop MC UK's go-to fitness mirrors:
Want to be trained by Strictly Come Dancing and World Champion Katya Jones? Or how about Team GB Olympic Medallist & British Record Holder Asha Philip? Of course you do. Then take a glance at the MAGIC Mirror which will help you rep count, form correct and give you some guidance about weights. But better yet, free membership is included.
Interested in using your fitness mirror to do more floor-based workouts? Topping our guide to the best yoga mats is this super popular 5mm-thick mat that comes with a whole load of cushioning, visual alignment cues and moisture absorption. What more could your at-home workout need?
We want to preface this by saying that NordicTrack's version of a fitness mirror, the Vault, is not cheap. However, for this price, along with a one-year membership to interactive fitness app iFIT, you'll also get dumbbells, kettlebells, yoga, pilates, and strength training accessories thrown in, thanks to the clever built-in storage compartment.
Are fitness mirrors any good?
If used efficiently, fitness mirrors can be a great addition to your workout regime — especially if you’re after a personalised and boutique-style gym experience. The handy pieces of tech essentially allow you to join live group classes, connect with personal trainers and stream workouts on demand and from home.
But costing anywhere in the region of £1,000 and £2,000 and that’s before you’ve paid the monthly subscription fee that's often added on top for the live and on-demand classes, fitness mirrors are only good if you find joy in working out at home and intend to get your money’s worth.
“Fitness mirrors will be part of the future of training at home,” Steven Dick, director at The Fitness Group explains. “They are everything you could want to aid your home workout, combining the latest AI technology and offering a truly interactive option. If you love working out at home, then the fitness mirror is a great option.”
However, Dick doesn’t see fitness mirrors replacing gym memberships or outdoor exercise any time soon. He adds: “People will continue to travel to the gym and exercise outdoors for their workouts too. The separation of home living and going to the gym is vital for people. Exercising outdoors brings its own list of mental health benefits, plus the human face-to-face interaction at the gym or when you are exercising outdoors.”
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Rebecca, or Becks, is a freelance journalist with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She specialises in all things health and lifestyle and has written for a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist, the Evening Standard, Good Housekeeping, The Telegraph, Live Science, Tom's Guide and Fit&Well. Becks also writes copy for a number of brands and small businesses.
When she's not weight training, tracking down the best gym leggings, reading a book or at her desk typing away, you'll find her in the kitchen perfecting a new recipe or bake.
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