Working Out with a Webcam
As the Covid-19 pandemic limited public gatherings and drove people to work from home, one side effect was the popularization of working out from home. Now, even as widespread vaccines have allowed gyms to reopen, those habits have stuck for many people. This is especially true for those who already invested in a full home gym, but even if you just have a few key pieces of equipment (or just a yoga mat), you have probably learned by now that there’s a lot you can do to stay fit without paying for a gym membership.
This home fitness trend has led to a boom in the number of exercise videos on sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and TikTok. That means there’s been a corresponding rise in fitness streamers and virtual personal trainers. But one thing is for certain: whether you’re already an online fitness guru or you just want a little help keeping yourself in shape, you’re going to want a webcam for your workout. The ideal type of webcam may differ, however, depending on your workout regimen.
Using a Webcam for Fitness Class
Let’s face it — one of the main reasons we go to the gym is to have some company around while we work out. It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to exercise, so it’s valuable to see others struggling towards their goals just like you. Fitness classes are popular for this reason (and because they’re cheaper than hiring a personal trainer), but when all the gyms were closed we adapted by joining (or starting) online fitness classes.
If you’ve been in a fitness class using your built-in laptop webcam, chances are you’ve faced issues getting the right angle. An external webcam can remedy these issues since it can be moved around freely and mounted on a tripod or arm. Plus, any external webcam is going to have a larger sensor than the one on your laptop, which will give you a far better picture.
If you’re teaching a fitness class, you probably want a wide-angle webcam so students can see your full body while you perform each movement. They will also want to hear you even when you’re far from the camera, so an omnidirectional mic is essential.
This is doubly true if you’re streaming a class that you’re also leading in-person, since you may want to show a wider view of your students working out along with you. Your in-person students may get frustrated if you constantly have to stop the class to adjust the camera for online students.
Our Top Webcam for Fitness Class Students is the NexiGo N680 Webcam.
You’re already spending enough for class, so why break the bank on a webcam? The NexiGo N680 has all the features you need in a budget-friendly package, and with auto-focus and several easy ways to mount it, it’s as convenient as webcams get.
Our Top Webcam for Fitness Class Teachers is the NexiGo N970P 4K Webcam.
The N970P captures video at a 90° angle in 4K resolution, so you can easily film your classes and post them on YouTube. It also has a remote so you can zoom in when necessary without wasting time walking to your laptop, and its 9.8 ft cable lets you position it wherever you need.
Using a Webcam if you are a Personal Trainer
If you’re a personal trainer, the ideal webcam is one with minimal lens distortion, so you can accurately demonstrate the form you use for each exercise. The same goes for students — to correct your form, your personal trainer needs to be able to see it well. Cameras with a wider field of view often have a “fisheye” effect that curves the image around the edges, which can be a problem since bad form could cause a student to hurt themselves. For this reason, we recommend a webcam with a narrow field of view.
Additionally, since you’re going to be moving around a lot while demonstrating workouts, the last thing you want is to periodically drift in and out of focus. We recommend a webcam with autofocus that will ensure you’re the center of attention.
Our Top Webcam for Personal Trainers: NexiGo N940P 2K Webcam.
The N940P can record 30fps at 2K or 60fps at 1080p, and you can use the remote to digitally pan, tilt, and zoom to frame your image so students see exactly what they need to. Its 78° field of view will ensure your video is accurate and professional quality.
Webcams for monitoring your workout
If you’re just getting started with a fitness routine, it can be hard to tell if you’re doing things right. Having bad form can make your workouts less effective, and it can even cause you to hurt yourself (particularly if you’re using weights).
But how do you observe and correct your form without a personal trainer to enforce it? One way is to film yourself working out and compare your form against professionals you find online. This doesn’t require super high-resolution video since you’re going to be the only one watching the video, so you can save a good bit by cutting out webcams with higher-end features.
Our Top Webcam for Monitoring your Workout is the NexiGo N930AF Webcam.
The N930AF is our choice because it’s easy to work with thanks to autofocus and auto light correction capabilities. It’s an affordable model, so you won’t waste money on features you don’t need, and its narrow field of view allows you to be the center of attention.
Using a Webcam for Yoga Class
With weight training and calisthenics, your form is defined by how you push against resistance, at the end of the day as long as your form is not awful you will still get gains. In yoga, form is everything. Yogis seek to emulate their teacher’s form as closely as they can, down to even seemingly minor things like their breathing patterns.
However, these forms can be difficult for beginners. Unlike, say, pushups, if you tell a newcomer to do a “king pigeon pose”, they may not have any idea what you’re talking about — you’ll have to show them. For precise instruction and demonstration, you want a camera that can capture your full body accurately.
A higher resolution sensor is a great help here. A 2K sensor will even let you zoom in while maintaining HD quality. It’s also important to have clear microphone quality, since a given pose may require your student to listen to your instructions while looking in the opposite direction. You will want a camera that can capture your full body without excessive lens distortion. For this, we recommend a field of view (FOV) of less than 90°.
Finally, smoothness of motion is especially important in yoga. For this reason, a camera at 60 fps that can capture your movement more accurately is a big plus.
Our Top Webcam for Teaching Yoga is the NexiGo N970P 4K Webcam.
The NexiGo N970P is our pick for the best yoga teaching webcam due to its high-resolution sensor and remote zoom feature. A recent firmware update enables it to output 60 fps at 1080p, so you can capture all of your movements smoothly.
Our Budget Webcam for Learning Yoga is the NexiGo N660P Webcam.
The N660P is a great all-around webcam that features auto-focus and 60 fps video capture at 1080p. It has a distortion-free 78° FOV and comes in several color options to match your decor.
Whether you’re teaching or learning yoga, we recommend setting the camera off to your side on a tripod so it captures your form in profile. Meanwhile, you can keep your laptop in front of you so you can easily observe the teacher and fellow yogis.
Capture Your Workouts with Ease
Webcams are a great tool for staying fit from home — whether you work from home, avoid the gym due to Covid concerns, or just prefer the convenience of your personal space. We hope you appreciate this guide to the types of webcams you need for different types of fitness, and the best ways to use them.