Counting reps is table stakes. Here’s how this reliable, robust library of exercise correction will help take your training to the next level.
Solid form doesn’t just stave off injury during a workout—it reinforces movement patterns that you’ll draw on all throughout your life, whether you’re hoisting luggage into the overhead or perfecting your cable chop. What’s more, good form can increase muscle size and strength and improve your body composition, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
But here’s the rub: Not all form feedback technology is created equal. The connected fitness landscape is full of generic corrections, spotty reliability, and cameras easily confused by bright sunlight, busy backgrounds, and four-legged friends.
Tonal’s proprietary sensor technology, on the other hand, combines multiple sources of information about your body and movement. The result? Reliable, personalized, and detailed form feedback that will help keep your technique in check, maximize your gains, and prevent injury.
Here’s everything you need to know about Tonal’s leading tech—and why it stands above.
What Is Form Feedback and How Does It Work?
Leveraging multiple sensors and precise cable length data tracked 60 times a second, Form Feedback is Tonal’s unique technology that delivers real-time movement guidance on par with the best personal trainers—right in your own home.
Thanks to a database of nearly a billion repetitions and more than 100 million sets, Tonal is able to analyze your movement patterns and identify opportunities to course correct using artificial intelligence fed by expert trainers and coaches. Think: pace, range of motion, positioning, balance, symmetry, smoothness, and more. Form Feedback crunches the numbers on each of those movement characteristics during every rep then delivers immediate, actionable feedback when it detects imperfections. This takes the guesswork out of nailing proper form and helps you avoid form breakdown.
Form Feedback supports 111 strength-training exercises performed on Tonal, and every move has up to six unique pieces of actionable feedback. That means there’s no generic “slow down” cue for every exercise. Each cue is customized to the type of exercise you are performing and how you are performing it.
Let’s use the squat as an example. The optimal range of motion in a squat is unique to you—anatomical differences and varying flexibility all play a role. That’s why Form Feedback learns your movement patterns, ensuring you drop low enough, move at the right pace during the lowering or eccentric phase, and maintain balance when you’re supposed to be stabilizing.
The result? Hyper-specific cues like the following:
- Drive your hips further back to get lower if possible
- Lower yourself slower and with control
- Next set, start at the top of the rep
- Tighten your core and stand tall to stay level
And our data shows that it works. On average, Tonal members improve their form by 10 percent after just 10 sets and continue to improve their form up to 34 percent after completing 200 sets on Tonal. Users with less experience see even larger improvements, an average of 47 percent after 200 sets.
But providing detailed feedback is just one part of the package. Tonal can also add dynamic weight modes to your experience. Because it tracks speed, resistance, and form, it knows when you’re strongest—and when you’re struggling. This means it can add weight during each rep (Smart Flex) to help you grow stronger, faster; reduce the weight to offer an assist when you’re tapped (Spotter mode); or step in to help you cross the finish line on fire (Burnout mode). And all throughout, Tonal takes the guesswork out of strength training with real-time weight recommendations that automatically adjust for every move. Try doing any of that with dumbbells.
What Sets Form Feedback Apart from Other Options?
Form Feedback understands where you are at every step of your rep—no guesswork needed. While other products may sift through spotty image data to guess at reps and eke out generic form cues across a handful of movements, Tonal’s unique approach creates a more expansive, dynamic library of corrective prompts than anything else in the connected fitness space.
Tonal’s multiple sensors take frequent measurements with a very high degree of accuracy and low noise. They also function properly no matter where you’re standing so you can feel free to move around depending on the exercise or the space available to you. Single-camera set-ups, on the other hand, can suffer from a limited field of vision, which means you may have to reposition yourself or risk receiving inaccurate feedback.
Other solutions may not provide feedback as detailed or personalized as what Tonal offers. Tonal has the most detailed dataset on strength training, thus it’s able to create more meaningful insights and put them into context for you.
Think of current computer vision-based products and Tonal like the difference between a sportscaster and a sports science laboratory. The sportscaster can give you a play-by-play, but wiring up an athlete in the lab yields in-depth analysis, trends, suggestions, and context that you’ll never get from a skybox.
Tonal’s the lab here, but the key difference is that this lab—plus 200 pounds of dynamic digital weight, industry-leading Form Feedback, and personalized insights as well as live and on-demand workouts and multi-week programs—fit on the wall in a package the size of a flat-screen television.
What Are the Benefits of Form Feedback?
Tonal’s technology might be future-forward, but you’ll experience the benefits immediately. Three key ways Form Feedback will enhance every workout:
1. Prevent Injury: When your form suffers, you may be overcompensating with other parts of your body—taxing muscles tendons, and bones unexpectedly or beyond their capacity. This can lead to muscle strains, aches, pains, or other serious injuries. Form Feedback helps you avoid this by tracking your movements for more than 100 strength-training exercises and delivering notes in real time on how you can improve your form and positioning.
2. Increase Efficiency: Bad form fails to target muscles efficiently. That means it’ll take longer to reach your goals. Form Feedback senses your form is slipping immediately so you are able to react to the correction tip on your very next rep and get the most out of every moment in every workout. It also helps you prevent form breakdown, which is key when strength training to the point of fatigue or just short of momentary failure.
3. Boost Confidence: Receiving Form Feedback gives you the confidence to perform each lift better than before, instead of just working out in a vacuum and relying on guesswork to get it right. This feature is especially encouraging for anyone who feels daunted by strength training and gyms. Getting professional guidance in the privacy and comfort of your own home helps remove the intimidation factor. As you work on your technique with Tonal, you’ll become the strongest version of yourself.