These days, getting the most from your workouts means wearing a heart rate sensor that tracks your beats per minute. These devices can make you aware of when you need to push yourself harder or take a deep breath and slow down a bit. They can assure you that you've achieved your max heart rate at least once or twice during a sweat session and that you are staying in your training or aerobic zone for a recommended amount of time if that is a workout goal. Most can also count calories burned, are Bluetooth capable and come with plenty of memory so you can exercise phone free and sync later. Since some argue that a monitor worn closer to the heart provides greater accuracy, we decided to research the best chest straps this time around rather than watches or other wrist options. These picks get us pumped.
MyZone MZ-3 can connect with gym equipment at participating clubs so you see a live display of your workout and compare/compete with other members. Sync with the MyZone App, earn points and interact with other users with the social network. Also includes 16 hours of memory and keeps a charge for up to seven months. $149. MyZone.org.
Zephyr HxM is Bluetooth capable and compatible with Android and iOS systems. Besides heart rate, you can also keep track of your speed and the distance you’ve covered. When paired with a smartphone, you can also track your GPS location, make calls and play your favorite music. $44.95. ZephyrAnywhere.com
Viiiiva's creators claim this strap is 10 times more sensitive than other models. Other features include the ability to pair with a variety of cardio equipment and tap-to-pair connectivity that lets you touch your iOS or Android device for an instant connection. $79.99. 4iiii-Innovations.Myshopify.com
Wahoo TICKRx counts much more than just heart beats. Keep track of reps during HIIT workouts, and use motion analytics to monitor indoor cycling and running cadence. $79.99. WahooFitness.com
The Garmin Heart Rate Monitor gets top reviews for comfort, with a heart rate module made of flexible plastic. The part of the strap that goes around your back is made of a soft fabric and is adjustable to your size. $49.99. Buy.Garmin.com
You can use the Polar H10 with popular fitness apps as well as gym equipment and other Bluetooth devices. As an added bonus, it is waterproof and can even transmit heart rate data in water. This is the chest strap for swimmers. $89.95. Polar.com