The holiday season is around the corner, and although it’s everyone’s favorite time of the year, it’s also the time people stress about what to get their loved ones! We might not be able to take away all your stress… But we can help you score the perfect gift for your fitness fanatic friends! Whether it’s your gym buddy, or significant other who can’t get enough of the weights, or your loved one who plans on getting fit for the New Year - We have gift ideas for anyone and everyone who loves fitness or are about to start their journey!
Nothing makes a better gift for a gym rat than some workout gear - And we're not just talking about clothes or fancy gadgets! Think outside the box, get them something thoughtful... Something that will really elevate their workouts and support their fitness journey without breaking your bank! With that in mind, these 12 cute and inexpensive gift ideas will make for the perfect fitness gift to put under the tree!
Cardio lovers, yoga lovers, lifters, and athletes of any kind can benefit from one of these bad boys! Foam rollers are used for warm-ups to help increase tissue elasticity, range of motion, and circulation. This will help your fitness-loving friend to move better during their workout and minimize the risk of injury. They are also ideal for recovery. Using it after workouts helps stimulate blood flow in the muscle group that was worked and increases oxygen to the sore muscle fibers to help reduce recovery time.
Trust us, this is one piece of equipment your friend absolutely needs, no matter what type of training they do! Luckily, they're fairly inexpensive and typically range from $10-40. There are high-tech ones that are more expensive, but a simple one that is cylinder shape and made of foam or flexible plastic does just the job! Aside from that, there are two things you should consider when buying a foam roller:
Size: Long rollers (typically 36" long) are great to use on larger areas of the body like the back, quads, and other leg muscles. To target smaller parts of the body, like the arms, calves, and other small areas, look for a shorter foam roller (24" or smaller).
Smooth vs textured: Foam rollers often come in two surface options, smooth or textured. A smoother texture is a great stepping stone for those just starting out with foam rolling. The smooth surface will allow for even pressure across the length of the massage, and they're also typically less expensive. A textured surface is ideal because the bumps provide a deeper massage that can help soothe really tight muscles.
Free weights are a weightlifter's best friend, but they're extremely expensive! Get the next best thing - resistance bands! These bands are inexpensive, lightweight, portable, and extremely versatile. Short bands can be used for lower body workouts and glute activation exercises. Long bands can be used for flexibility training, warm-ups, and even make a great placeholder for dumbbells. The best thing about them is that they can be used in addition to your gym workouts or they can be used for when you're busy and need a quick effective home workout but don't have a home gym.
There are so many different ones to choose from - Long, short, with handles or without, fabric, or latex material. We highly recommend getting a set of either short or long (or both) fabric bands since they are durable and tend to be more comfortable when working out. Our recommendation is a bit biased, but our UPPPER fabric Resistance Bands not only come in various cute designs and colors, but they're also inexpensive! If you buy two, you get the third one for half off, plus you can mix and match short and long bands!
You can’t go wrong with a gym bag! They are are essential for anyone who goes to the gym. They serve as a great place to store workout clothes and shoes to change into, fitness equipment, water bottles etc. Plus, you can combine it with other smaller gifts by placing a few other things in it like hair ties, a water bottle, or even a set of UPPPER Resistance Bands! It's a gift and stocking stuffer all in one!
There are two kinds you can get: a duffel bag with compartments to place shoes and sweaty clothes separately or a drawstring bag for smaller stuff like resistance bands. If your gym-loving friend commutes to the gym from work then look for a duffle bag that features multifunctional pockets separate shoes and other dirty items from the main bag. If your friend only carries smaller gear then opt for a drawstring bag! You can find all types of inexpensive gym bags on Amazon or get a durable one from Nike, Adidas, or other fitness gear stores!
Some new leggings are nice, but do they help give support so your friend is able to lift heavier? Probably not, but lifting belts do! Lifting belts are worn around the waist and provide support for the spine to help stabilize it and to prevent back hyperextension and any other bending and twisting that can lead to injuries. This makes for a great gift for your strength training buddies who are training to build muscle! It will help them not only to lift heavier, but to help minimize their risk of injury, stabilize and reduce stress on the spine which in turn can relieve lower back pain, and to provide a sense of confidence and security.
Although there are expensive lifting belts, there are a few budget-friendly options. Leather lifting belts tend to be more expensive, but there are other options that are just as good, like vegan leather or nylon belts. To find the best lifting belt look for one made out of high-quality material (like vegan leather), breathable, double or single prong for security, and enough thickness so it's durable and stays put when lifting.
If this is the gift you think is perfect for the lifter in your life, then look no further because we have Lifting Belts that are made with high-quality vegan leather that is breathable and has outstanding abrasion resistance, AKA it doesn't wear down fast! They also have internal padding and a double prong metal buckle for maximal comfort and security.
Set of Lifting Straps and Wrist Wraps
Another great tool for your lifting buddy is lifting straps and wrist wraps. Unlike lifting gloves, these bad boys help support your lifts, not just reduce the risk of blisters. Here's how...
Lifting straps: They are designed to protect your grip, and help reduce grip fatigue, to allow you to hold and lift heavier weights without it slipping out of your hands. Commonly used for pulling movements like deadlifts and rowing exercises.
Wrist wraps: Unlike lifting straps, these only wrap around your wrist, not around your hand. They are designed to add compression around the wrist to help protect it and to provide stability without limiting the range of motion. Wrist wraps will allow you to push heavier weights for overhead exercises like the shoulder press and bench press.
The best gifts are ones that actually support and help lifters achieve heavier lifts to build muscle and strength safely. A set of lifting straps and wrist wraps are just that gift! And fortunately for you, we have ours on sale, so you can get a pair of both for a great price! Our Wrist Wraps are made from polyester and feature a strong velcro material that keeps them in place. Our Lifting Straps feature a loop strap that is made from cotton and neoprene, and we have various cute colors!
Yoga lover or not, any fitness lover would appreciate this fitness gift! Yoga mats, although mainly used for yoga, can also be used for other exercises that require laying on the floor, like ab exercises, glute activation exercises, push-ups, and more. Plus, with the current pandemic, it's ideal to take your own mat to the gym instead of using the ones provided.
What to look for when buying a yoga mat:
Texture and grip: The texture of the mat will control the amount of traction it has. Typically a bumpy texture is ideal so that the mat is grippy and keeps it from sliding around. Smooth mats are also good, but make sure it has a feature for moisture control to minimize the chances of it slipping around.
Material: The material will determine the texture, sponginess, and stickiness. Most are made of either vinyl or rubber, so pick the one that might suit your friend's needs the best. Vinyl mats are long-lasting and often used for yoga classes. Rubber mats typically have jute and cotton in them to make them more eco-friendly, but they tend to be less spongy.
Thickness: Thin yoga mats (1/16-inch thick) are ideal for yoga lovers that practice balance postures and prefer a stronger connection to the floor. The only downside is that they provide less cushioned support. Thicker mats (1/4-inch thick) are ideal for those practicing today that require postures that cause your bones to dig into the ground, or for those using it for strength training and core work.
Affordability: We did say this is going to be an inexpensive list of gift ideas... Luckily, stores like Target, Walmart, or Amazon offer mats that range from $10-50 and come in a variety of colors, patterns, material, and thickness. A "happy medium" option is Gaiam, they offer a wide selection of mats that range from $21-90 online. Also, look at reviews to ensure you're getting your friend a decent mat that they will love!
This is one piece of equipment most don't think about, but it serves as a massive help when training with heavy barbells! You'll definitely catch your loved one by surprise with this fitness gift, and they'll be thanking you once they use it!
Barbell pads are made with a high-density foam padding that acts as a cushion between the body and the barbell. Barbells can weigh up to 45 pounds and if you add weight to it, it can weigh up to 300+ pounds! That's a lot of weight to carry on the hips or shoulders when doing exercises like squats and hip thrusts, and doing those without a barbell pad can cause some unwanted bruising. If your friend loves leg day then this makes for a thoughtful holiday gift! The cushioning on the barbell pad will help to provide relief to the back, neck, shoulders, and hips when training, and it will minimize bruising as well!
What to look for when buying a barbell pad:
Full coverage: There are various different styles of barbell pads, the most common are the ones with no cover so it's just an exposed foam pad. The other is with a cover (typically polyester or vegan leather) around the foam. Typically the ones with some type of material wrapped around the foam are more durable, comfortable, and can be easily washed. The wrap will also prevent the foam from soaking up any moisture.
Strong velcro: There are some barbell pads that have no way to secure the pad to the bar. There's simply an insert on the pad so it easily pops on and off the bar. This is convenient, but not the safest or best option. Look for one that has straps to secure on the bar, preferably a strong velcro to ensure it doesn't slip around.
Material and thickness: This is probably the biggest thing to look for. You want a pad that is going to act as a cushion between a barbell with 100+ pounds on it, and the neck, shoulders, and hips. Look for one with extra thick foam, made from rubber and/or foam material, and make sure it's long enough that it will cover the entirety of the neck and shoulders. Some tend to be short, but you want to make sure it's a good length so that it gives you the neck and shoulder support you need.
Affordability: When it comes to affordability, instead of going through Amazon's endless list of options, check out our Barbell Pads! They are beautifully crafted with comfortable vegan leather, a thick foam pad, and a secure velcro lining for maximal comfort!
Reusable water bottle
Hydration is essential for optimizing a workout, so surprise your friend with a thoughtful stocking stuffer by giving them a reusable water bottle. Getting your fitness-loving friend a water bottle will help them stay hydrated not only during their workouts but even after and before! There are so many options to choose from, there are stainless-steel bottles, BPA-free bottles, and so many different sizes. For fitness junkies who need to drink more water, get them a gallon BPA-free bottle, or get something smaller that is better for traveling! You can find options through Amazon, or stores like Target!
It's a simple gift, but one you can get creative with by personalizing it with pictures, or stickers that you know they'll love!
Is your friend trying to build serious muscle? Then chances are they're drinking protein powder before or after every workout! Support their muscle-building goals by getting them a shaker bottle that they can take on-the-go for whenever they need a quick protein fix. These bottles are pretty inexpensive and easy to find on Amazon, but if you need help finding the perfect one for your protein-loving friend we suggest to buy one with a built-in storage compartment to store protein powder. You can make the gift even better by getting your friend a tub of their favorite protein powder with it!
Weighted jump rope
This is something both cardio lovers and lifters will enjoy! Jump ropes are great as they are, but having a weighted rope combines cardio (requiring jumping, speed, and agility) and strength training at the same time! So your friend will get a cardio workout while at the same time engaging upper body muscles like the traps, back, shoulders, and, even core muscles!
They often come in various weights, the most common are 1-2 lbs. Don't be fooled, that minimal amount of weight is super challenging and will have your friend working up a sweat! You can find great, affordable options on Amazon that range from $15-25!
Carrying around a phone while running or at the gym can be a real pain, so although this gift sounds simple, it's actually quite effective. Not everyone has a smartwatch or fitness tracker that can easily be carried around at the gym or when running. In fact, most runners and gym-goers still use their phones to listen to their music while working out! Getting your friend a gift like a Smartphone Armband will help make their workout less of a pain, and more enjoyable!
When looking for an armband, you want to make sure you get the right size for your friends phone. Another thing to look for is that it's water-resistant to ensure their phone doesn't get all sweaty. Also look for one with one or two pockets to fit any other small essentials! You can find Smartphone Armbands on Amazon, or any other retail stores like Target.
Fitness app subscription
What could be a better gift for a fitness lover than actual workouts?! Everyone can use a little help and motivation when it comes to getting fit and fitness apps help with just that! Fitness apps provide more than just workouts, they can help your friend stay on top of their goals and to follow through them and provide the necessary information and tools that they need to hit their goals! This makes it an excellent fitness gift for a friend who is just starting out with their fitness and could use a little nudge in the right direction. But it can even be beneficial for someone who's been training for years! It can help them plan effective workouts when they don't have time! Plus, planning workouts is stressful, so you can save your buddy a lot of stress and time.
When looking for a fitness app think about the training your friend does. Do they prefer cardio workouts like HIIT? Or strength training? Or maybe a mix of both! There are countless apps to choose from, but there is one we'd like to talk about... the Fit With Iulia app. Iulia, the founder of Fit With Iulia and UPPPER, and her team designed an app that is user friendly to make fitness lovers' lives easier by providing weekly goal-focused workouts planned by Iulia herself. Here's what Fit With Iulia has to offer:
Progress tracking: This feature allows the user to track their progress on the app to see the improvements they've made throughout their fitness journey. Here's how it works... After performing an exercise, the user can enter the weight used and/or how many reps performed. Next time the exercise is performed, the weight used previously will automatically be filled in. That way the user can determine the amount of weight to increase the next time they perform the exercises.
Weekly training split: A proper training split minimizes the risk of overuse injuries, and helps the user target one or multiple muscle groups intensively each day - so they can tone up or build muscle effectively.
New home & gym workouts every week: There are six programs in total (4 gym and 2 home programs) that are carefully planned around a specific fitness goal (fat loss, muscle gain). Iulia plans out new workouts every week for every single goal.
Detailed description, photos, and videos for every exercise: Users will get clear directions on how to perform exercises they may not be familiar with. The provided videos will also help the user make sure they are practicing proper form.
Offline mode: The WiFi connection at the gym may not be great. The offline mode feature will allow the user to download any workout so they are able to workout anywhere without the use of the internet!
Whether your friend prefers cardio or lifting weights, this app has it all! The best thing is it's easy to gift! There are three payment options - Billed monthly, every 3 months, or every 6 months. Subscribe to the plan that fits best, and have your friend update the payment method after the time is up! Or you can also set it up to cancel before the subscription is up. And in case you want to make sure Fit With Iulia is a good fit for your friend, give the app a try yourself! You can download the Fit With Iulia app and try the first workout of any goal for free - No subscription required.
We hope this makes your holiday shopping a little less stressful, and whatever you decide to get your fitness-loving friend from this list, you can be sure that they're going to love it and appreciate you supporting their fitness and health!