Top 20 Unique Fitness Gift Ideas for Athletes

Don't give an ordinary gift. Here are the gifts any athlete will love

Athletes can be hard to shop for, but these one-of-a-kind fitness gift ideas will make even your toughest competitor smile. Here are a few unique gift ideas that every athlete will appreciate.


For hardcore workouts, strap on a weighted vest and immediately increase the effort and calorie-burn of any workout. Choose a vest that allows you to easily add and remove weight in small (1-2 pound) increments. Start slow, and build up over time, and you will feel light as a feather, and faster than ever when you take it off.


This unique product could be the gift that keeps giving. Created by a former Navy SEAL, the TRX Trainer uses your own body weight to get a full-body workout almost anywhere. It comes with instructions for doing hundreds of different movements.


Who wouldn't smile after opening a package of Injinji toe socks? If you've ever had to tape specific toes to avoid blisters or crowding in your sports shoes, you'll appreciate these socks. They are designed to help prevent foot blisters by reducing friction and wicking moisture away from the feet with CoolMax fabric.


The latest foam roller on the market has a unique construction--hollow core--which prevents break down over time. It also offers various foam patterns and densities that provide a targeted trigger point massage feel. One is made to feel like fingertips, one like palms and one like a thumb. By using the different zones, you can also vary the amount of pressure on specific muscles.


What athlete doesn't want a great workout soundtrack in a small, package? The iPod shuffle can hold 1G (250 songs) or 2G (500 songs) of music in a tiny player that clips on your collar, cap or anywhere else you want to stow it and forget about it.


These tiny massage balls are great for getting a targeted, trigger point release. Simply position the ball over the painful point. Apply pressure with the ball by using the floor, wall or any hard surface. To achieve deep muscle massage, apply moderate pressure for 5 - 7 seconds. This product is ideal for relieving minor aches and pains in the neck, shoulders, back, chest and calves.


Have a swimmer on your list? Keep their swim more interesting with a little music, an audiobook or swim workout instructions that play while they swim. The technology behind the SwiMP3 uses bone conduction so sound vibrations are directly transferred from the cheek bone to the inner ear, giving the swimmer clear audio lap after lap.


 This simple product is possibly a better way to do push ups. The Perfect Push Up allows a full range of motion while saving the wrists. You do't need equipment to do push ups, but this little device with rotating handles makes the basic push up more dynamic and more fun.


Every athlete should have a foam roller. Using a foam roller before or after workouts offers many of the same benefits as sports massage and myofascial release. It helps stretch soft tissues, reduces the formation of adhesions, and increases blood flow and circulation within the soft tissues which may improve recovery.


Cyclists, runners, hikers and climbers are the most likely to wear arm warmers, but I use a pair for almost every outdoor activity. Changing temperatures can make for difficult clothing selection, but a tiny pair of arm warmers let's you wear a tee-shirt and still have sleeves if it gets too cold.


Another one from the Navy SEALs, this watch meets military specifications of all branches of the US Armed Forces and can withstand water resistance of 20 atm/200 meters/660.


Smith Sports Optics offers a huge selection of sunglasses specifically designed for sports. In general you will find interchangeable lenses and maximum coverage without neglecting peripheral vision. The nosepads and temples have non-slip rubber so they stay in place during activity. Many offer several lens choices for varying light conditions and include Sienna Brown, Gold Lite and Yellow lenses, but Polarized Lenses are available as well. Generally, these fit a larger face, but the Smith Toaster Slider is a smaller style that fits a narrow face.


Kettlebells may look a bit strange, but these cast iron weights have been used in Europe for decades. Many gyms throughout the U.S. are starting to add kettlebells to the weight room because they are so effective. Kettlebells range in weight from two pounds to over 100 pounds, and are are a great addition to any home gym.


Have a cyclist on your list? A wireless computer is the perfect gift. It's easy to install, and simple to use. Features including ride time, distance, current, max and average speed are just some of the basics. A perfect gift idea.


The P90X Workout (Power 90 Extreme workout) is an extremely popular home-based fitness routine that claims to get amazing results in 90 days. I like the fact that the workout routine uses a lot of body weight training as well as crosstraining. Not sure if it's right for the athlete on your list? Read P90X Reviews by Sports Medicine readers like you.


Yes, they look odd, but some athletes swear by these barefoot runners. And it's a good bet that the athlete on your list doesn't already have a pair. The latest craze in shoe design has athletes tossing out the heel cushion and stability shoes in favor of a more natural feel.


For your favorite cyclist, skier, boarder or adrenaline junkie, a helmet cam allows them to bring all the action home and share it with the world. Shown is the GoPro HD Helmet HERO, an HD professional quality helmet video camera. But it also has a still camera can also automatically shoot 5MP photos from two to 60 second intervals during activity.


Much like the Stick, the Tiger Tail helps you perform self massage on the go. The nice thick foam over the roller body helps you roll over some joints and tender points with less impact, but the foam doesn't roll as well over clothing as the Stick. Whichever you choose, you will get a small portable self-massager to take care of tight, sore muscles any time you feel the burn.


Athletes get sore muscles from time to time, but not everyone can afford a routine massage. That's where 'the stick' come in handy. This small portable self-massager can help athletes take care of those minor aches any time they feel the burn.


I love the Stretching series books by Bob Anderson. Every edition just gets better, and the latest, The Anatomy of Stretching is a great edition. Any recreational exerciser should have a copy handy for easy reference, but even seasoned athletes will learn a few new stretches.  The new edition has some updated stretching routines for kids and a variety of specific sports. You'll find routines for everything from running and swimming to motocross and snowboarding.



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