WEGYM Brings High-Tech To Resistance Bands

If you believe what you see in television commercials, you would think you have to have an expensive exercise bike or weight machine to get a solid workout at home. But many fitness experts say that a good set of resistance bands can also deliver a solid workout without devoting half of a room or half of your credit card. 

The WeGym Resistance Band System is a good example of how much can be done with resistance bands. This set is affordable and portable. It can be used almost anywhere, indoors or outside. And get this: it also has the ability to track and record your exercise routines on a mobile app.

The primary items in the kit are a pair of the Rally X smart resistance stretching bands. Each band can be adjusted for the type of exercise that you want and the amount of resistance that suits your body and condition.

The tip of each band contains sensors that determine the band's resistance level and your stretching reps. It also has a Bluetooth transmitter that sends the collected data to the WeGym app. The app is available as a free download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

The kit includes what WeGym generously calls a User Manual, but don't expect it to be a lot of help. It's really just a sheet of paper folded into 3-by-6-inch pages. The photo illustrations are small and dark and the text is downright tiny. 

Fortunately, you won't need the "manual" to connect the bands to the accessories. That's just a matter of snapping carabiners onto loops. There's more guesswork involved in connecting the tracking tips to the WeGym app. The printed instructions are confusing and peppered with grammatical errors. But if you've ever connected an app to a wireless speaker or headphones, you can probably muddle through.

The good news is you may well appreciate these exercise bands and the associated app even if you don't set them up to log your workout metrics.

I especially like the Rally X bands for their versatility. They can be used for either freestyle routines or anchored to a stationary point such as a door or a basketball goal post.

For freestyle, attach the bands to the wrist and ankle loops that are included with the kit. For stationary stretching, clip handles to one end of the bands, then connect the other ends to an anchor spot. The kit includes a pad and short straps that can be slipped into a door jamb for a secure anchor spot. The kit also has a strap to wrap around a tree or post.

Once I had the bands set up, I needed a little help to get started. That's where the video workout routines on the app came to my rescue. The app contains a library of video how-to workouts for anyone from beginners to regulars.

I started with a 5-minute, low-intensity "Newbie" routine designed to strengthen abs, arms and back. According to the video, this exercise will result in "42 Kcal" burned. I'm guessing that mean 49 calories, and that sounded perfect for a sofa slug like me.

The videos are well made and easy to follow and they begin with some simple stretches before moving on to the resistance bands. The app also offers music tracks for workouts with choices like "Cheerful burning music," which sounded more my speed than "Blood burning music.".

I also like how all of the bands and straps fit into a small mesh bag that WeGym thoughtfully provides. Even fully loaded, the bag weights less than 3 lbs. and is small enough to find a spot in my carry-on luggage or my car's trunk. And the WeGym Resistance Band System is available on Amazon for less than $150.

So now I'm out of excuses. If I don't shape up, it won't be because I can't afford the tools or don't have room for them.  

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