Technology

Amazon adds functional fitness tests and corrective exercises to its Halo app

Amazon’s fitness wearable/platform Halo may have had a quiet start, but the company is expanding its features. It’s announced Movement Health, which aims to gauge and assess your functional fitness capabilities, which includes stretching, twisting pushing, pulling and more. In short, it’s concerned with the kind of everyday movement and exertions that happen outside the gym and away from your yoga mat. (The Halo will still track your workouts, though.) 

As Amazon puts it, good movement health can help reduce aches and pains in areas like your neck and shoulders, which are often affected by too much desk work and otherwise staying put for too long. It’s notable as it attempts to focus on the daily movement of everyone, instead of fitness exercises.

The Halo app will guide users through a movement assessment first. This includes balancing on one leg, squats, reaches and lunges. The app will record your movement through your smartphone camera and Amazon’s machine learning and computer vision tech will evaluate your performance. You’ll get a score out of 100, plus details on stability, posture and more. The breakdown also encompasses specific body parts: your core, hips, lower body, and shoulders. The company says this initial test takes under 10 minutes. Similar movement assessing apps and tech have appeared before, but Halo’s best feature might be how it tries improve how you move.

Amazon

The app will show you how to improve your weaker areas and score through a personalized program of corrective exercises. Again, these shouldn’t take long — between 5 and 10 minutes. While you repeat these (Amazon recommends three times a week), you can subsequently reassess your movement score every few weeks and get new exercise recommendations. The exercises are guided by Dr. Kelly Starrett, a pro athlete coach and physical therapist, who worked with Amazon on this new Halo feature. 

Movement Health will roll out to the Halo app for subscribers in the next few weeks.

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