Best Buy will dedicate store space to 'smart' gym equipment

It'll include connected bikes, rowers and treadmills.

Best Buy thinks it might have another way to remain relevant in the face of online shopping: diving head-first into smart fitness technology that often benefits from hands-on time. The big-box retailer has launched a fitness initiative that includes selling a variety of connected fitness equipment (more on that shortly) and, importantly, the retail commitment to back that up. Over 100 stores will have dedicated fitness spaces by the end of 2019, with in-store and home visitation staff receiving "special training" to help you understand the hardware.

The collection is available on Best Buy's website right now, and includes some recognizable cardio-oriented gear. Hydrow's touchscreen rowing machine is on hand for realistic experiences, while NordicTrack's connected treadmills and bikes are also on tap. If you'd prefer guided cycling classes, Flywheel Sports' Home Bike is also on tap. There's even recovery technology from Hyperice and NormaTec to help your muscles recover after tough workouts.

This could all be helpful if you're interested in using exercise machines at home but don't know where to start. At the same time, there's little doubt that this gives you a better reason to visit a store. It can be daunting to buy exercise gear sight unseen, especially if you don't know what to look for, and the dedicated spaces could help Best Buy reel in those newcomers.