Described as “a tiny gym in your pocket,” the Activ5 is a Bluetooth-enabled device that comes loaded with a whole host of exercises, performed by you squeezing it in various different positions to provide resistance. Just download the app, pair with your phone and there’s over 100 different workouts at your disposal.
All you’ll need is a bit of space and a chair. To get started, the Activ5 tells you to assume a position and squeeze for a prescribed amount of time, giving you a virtual ‘max power’ score to set a parameter for your workouts (it’s important to be honest here). The device gets you to perform exercises until you hit targets based on the amount of pressure you should be applying according to your max power test. It works better for some body parts than others, with some of the chest and bicep routines leaving us particularly sore the next day.
While it’s a clever piece of tech, the exercises it makes you do are very simple, forcing you to be resourceful and keeping you on track with the pressure gauge to hit the targets.
While it’s obviously no substitute for a full gym, the device is a decent option for athletes (especially those who travel) who need to do any form of time-pushed strength and conditioning workout with minimal equipment. So if you’re following a strict strength routine and just need to get something done, then the Activ5 certainly beats doing endless press-ups or crunches.
Verdict: a useful last-resort option for time-pushed athletes 75%
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