Not only is tennis a challenging and engaging sport, it also serves as a great workout. Frequent readers of The Pro Shop know that from time to time we like to address certain types of fitness gear as it pertains to tennis. With the new year just weeks away and getting into better shape a resolution staple (plus, a reader requested it) we’re going to take a look at some of the more popular fitness trackers available. And more specifically, at how they stack up on the tennis court. Kicking off the tour is theFitbit Flex.
The Flex ($99) is understated and simple looking. Outside of the rainbow of band colors offered, it’s more utilitarian in appearance than stylish tech wear. The thin, smooth silicone, watch-like band has a two-prong clasp that can take some practice closing, and looks a little underwhelming, but is plenty secure. The upshot to the no-frills approach is an extremely light and comfortable band that goes virtually unnoticed on the wrist. It’s not as eye-catching as some competing bracelets, but it’s less obtrusive.
The almond-sized tracker is a removable piece housed in the center of the band. Every five to seven days it needs to be recharged with the supplied USB cable and socket adapter. Otherwise there’s no reason to take it out unless you’re juggling multiple bands. The Flex is water-resistant, and can be worn in the shower or while doing the dishes, but it’s not waterproof (so don’t go swimming with it).
There’s a small rectangular window on the band that reveals a portion of the tracker that displays up to five circular indicator lights. Each light represents 20 percent of your progress toward your pre-determined daily goal of either steps (10,000 is the default setting), calories burned, distance, or active minutes. A light double-tap to the window prompts the tracker to reveal current progress. It’s generally responsive, but sometimes takes a repeat effort. When the daily goal is achieved the lights flash and the tracker vibrates in celebration. It’s a minimalist approach, but keeping with the Flex’s goal of being a seamless part of your day.