Best gym tripod for recording with your iPhone or iPad

Do you even need an iPhone tripod for recording in the gym?

Whether you're a coach, powerlifter, or gym enthusiast, recording video of your training sets is a great way to review technique, track progress, or create great content for social media.

And with apps like Metric VBT that convert your phone into a high performance velocity based training device to analyse bar speed, bar path and more, having a compact and reliable tripod in your gym bag makes recording easier and faster.

What's the best phone tripod for gym?

But with so many options in the world of tripods and a seriously wide range of price points, how much do you really need to spend to get a sturdy, portable tripod that is well suited to use on the gym floor?

Here we break down the pros, cons and ideal uses of various price points and options for finding the perfect iPhone (or Android) tripod to record all your sets in the gym.

A note from the author: Prices listed may vary by region. We have no control over prices set by Amazon or the distributors of these products. We are not sponsored or connected with any of the product/companies listed in this article.

The winner of best tripod: This tripod is my #1 pick for holding your iPhone in the gym, it's portable, lightweight and has proven to be surprising durable for it's $18 price tag and slimline design.

Should you get a tripod for in the gym?

Before jumping in, it's important to note that a tripod is optional when recording video or using Metric VBT in the gym.

While it absolutely can help, tripods to also take up space and can get in the way of your fellow gym-goers.

We do recommend a minimal tripod for recording your lifts, but depending on your gym environment and context, a stable surface like a bench together with a water bottle or kettlebell to rest your phone against, might be a fine option.

When using Metric, you will still get accurate and reliable velocity data and bar path information from this. Plus the selfie cameras on newer iPhone models provide video that is just as sharp as the rear camera these days.

The Metric VBT app recording while resting against a Kettlebell
You can use Metric VBT to record bar speed without a tripod, just rest the phone against a kettlebell or similar
Lifter doing a back squat with a bar speed tracking app - Metric VBT in a tripod
Recording your lifting velocity is easier when you use a tripod. You can adjust the framing for the best angles and get high quality video for only a very small investment

I think that if your gym logistics make it possible, having a lightweight and portable tripod makes training better and easier. It's more than just finding the perfect angle for posting to socials, a gym tripod allows you to be more consistent when recording velocity or bar path with apps like Metric and get better technique videos both for coach review.

Specifically for Metric, a tripod will allow you to workout more efficiently as a coach using the multi-athlete training mode and get better and more illustrative bar path tracking.

Factors that make the best tripod for the gym

After price, there are really three factors to think about. Depending on your context, training flow and gym logistics, one or two of these might be less or more important than the others.

Stability is key for apps like Metric that track bar velocity and path. While Metric can work in a range of positions and angles, shaking video due to hand held footage, or a vibrating floor can throw off the tracking and impact the accuracy of your training data.

With a tripod, you can easily adjust the height and angle to get the optimal view for filming each unique exercise. For something like a deadlift where the bar starts on the floor, you'll want the tripod low, while for snatches or overhead presses, extending the tripod up allows you to see the barbell throughout the entire rep while keeping lighting glare out of the frame.

The goal is for the right tripod to become a seamless addition to your training flow. If you transport your tripod between sessions, look for a tripod that strikes the balance of stability while still being lightweight and collapsing down in size. It should also have good durability to handle the rough and tumble of being held inside a gym bag. If you leave your tripod out and set up in the gym, portability is probably less important than stability.

Best phone tripod for the gym - under $25

#1 All-in-one iPhone tripods

The best option is these all-in-one tripod & bracket setups. You get an extendable tripop, that collapses down to a neat and compact unit for transport, a spring loaded iPhone holder and surprising durability for its price point.

A compact, easily transportable and fully extendable tripod - the best iPhone tripod for the gym

The negative of this specific model is it can have some wobble when initially setting up the tripod and tapping record on the phone - especially when fully extended. Also, the fixed nature of the phone holder means it cannot be used with iPads, and if the springs in the phone holder were to break then the whole unit becomes un-usable. Still pretty great for around $20 USD.

I have been using this tripod every workout for over 12 months now and it is still going strong!

#2 Robust tripod, requires additional phone holder

As we move through the tripod options they become more expensive, less compact, but also more durable and stable. There is a trade-off to be considered when considering the best tripod for your needs.

This tripod is incredible value for money, lightweight, and with incredible range this tripod can go from 30cm (12”) off the ground up to as high as 145cm (5’4”) - perfect to capture all your lifts. Then when you are finished, it folds into a low profile self-contained rod to slide into the bottom of your gym bag.

A strength training athlete extending their compact gym tripod to record bar speed with the Metric app
This great tripod from Amazon extends from 30cm - 150cm (1ft - 5ft) with minimal fuss

This tripod will require a phone holder bracket for attaching your phone.

Best gym phone holder brackets

Before even looking for the right tripod to suit your training, the most important element to consider is the hardware bracket (holder) that will connect your iPhone/iPad to the tripod.

Athlete using velocity based training on the Metric VBT app and in a Tripod
This spring loaded phone bracket is my daily driver for all my coaching and training with VBT - the ball and socket joint makes framing a breeze

For a modular approach, many tripods offer the ability to screw in and out the default camera attachment and replace this with a specialised iPhone or iPad bracket. I strongly advise that you pick a spring loaded phone holder as the screw-in, screw-out holder variations options are tedious and will slow you down during a workout.

A good phone holder bracket will be durable, easily adjustable and should last a while, I recommend the following options:

#3 Rack mounted phone and tablet holders

Great for colleges and hight schools where many racks are lined up together. Great for saving floor space, adjustable angles.

However, going rack mounted does have it's drawbacks. Movement in the rack that is being used to mount the device can affect footage (and velocity validity) and recording angles will be limited by the location of your racks - constraining how many different movements that can be captured from the rack mount. It might be a good idea to have a mixture - some rack mounted phone holders along with some portable tripods to cover all recording options and situations.

Note: The magnetic rack mounted holder linked below comes with a bracket for iPhone, but you can replace with a spring loaded bracket for iPhone or iPad.

Best premium tripods for the gym - over $50

For lifters and coaches serious about their training this is the gym tripod for you.

No nonsense, sturdy, and silky smooth to set up. This tripod has a height range between 2ft to 6ft (60cm - 180cm) and can easily double as a great camera tripod if you also record workshops or social content in your gym. While not quite a Manfrotto or high-end tripod (it's crazy what you can spend if you keep going up in price range) this tripod is a little pricier, has a larger footprint and is less conveniently portable so might not be suitable for smaller gyms or as an option in the gym bag.

This tripod will also require an iPad or iPhone tripod bracket like the options listed earlier in the article.

Choosing the tripod that suits your fitness video needs

Whether you need a tripod to make your velocity based training easier with Metric VBT or you are looking to better record technique & fitness content in the gym without getting in everyone's way all of the tripods listed above are great options and can really take a heap of the friction out of recording video in the gym for a pretty small investment.

Metric is designed for real gym environments

The Metric VBT app is designed to work across a range of environments and contexts. You can record from up to 30º around from the end of the bar and use the zoom features to find the perfect framing. Features like uninterrupted audio playback (listen to your music while recording video) and the in-app searchable video library, and full featured workout builder make it a great app for lifters of every level and training style. Experiment in your workouts to see if your environment is suitable for recording or if a compact iPhone/smartphone tripod addition will help make your velocity tracking smoother, and more efficient.

If you are a coach using Metric for Teams, having multiple tripods in the gym readily available significantly eases data collection and will improve adoption of velocity tracking for your athletes.

Metric VBT for teams & coaches

Leverage the benefits of velocity tracking with your clients and athletes without the price tag. Easy to use, improve outcomes, increase retention, and save precious coaching time.