Athos EMG Core: Smart Fitness Wearable Measures Muscle Stress
Pro: reads muscle usage and intensity with EMG technology
Con: expensive price point
You're an exercise and fitness fanatic, always seek to improve your performance, and probably looking for the next-generation of gear to make every workout more intense than the last. TheAthos Core is that future of connected fitness gear, but available today. Combining specialized clothing with body monitoring technology, Athos provides wearers with immediate feedback on their sessions, down to the details on how their muscles react.
Starting with shorts, capris and shirts for men and women, the line is designed from a combination of durable nylon and Spandex Lycra. The clothing compresses the body, reducing the muscle fatigue and soreness, that can often hindering an intense workout. Yet despite the strength of the gear, it's breathable, wicking perspiration away from the body, keeping the wearer cool and able to get more out of their workout.
But the revolutionary element is its Core — a sensor that reads the electrical impulses from your working muscles, scanning how hard they're working, even which ones are dominating, data that typically required you being plugged into huge machines and obstruent wiring to record, and usually only available to professional athletes or those in rehab. (Yes, you also get the standard heart rate, and calories burned measurements we all expect from our fitness trackers today.)
Core fits sleekly into the clothing and uses EMG (electromyography) to assess muscle activity. As the user exercises, all this information is captured by the Core, and connects via Bluetooth with an app to an iPhone or iPod. You can see if you're activating your muscles to the fullest — balancing your right and left sides equally, for example — plus track your progress from workout to workout.
Prices are steep, starting at around $350 for shorts or tops, that include The Core sensor. The system also only works with iOS 8 and higher. (Android users are out of luck for now.) But the Core can't help but maximize workouts for those look to reach their peak performance — hard core athletes and weekend warriors alike.