The iconic location for a fitness tracker is on your wrist, but not everybody enjoys wearing a watch, or is allowed to at work. (Cooks and surgeons, I see you.) Or maybe you like watches so much you’d rather wear a real watch on your wrist, and have your fitness tracker live somewhere else. Fortunately, you have tons of options. 

Some are devices that are never worn on the wrist, like the ring trackers that have become popular lately. Others were designed for the wrist, but can be worn elsewhere with aftermarket bands or clips. Let’s review your options for rings, clips, bicep bands, ankle straps, and even clothing. 

Use an ankle strap

If you already have a gadget you love, maybe all you need is a new strap. When I started doing a lot of kettlebell work, I managed to wrestle my Apple Watch wristband onto my ankle—something that will definitely not work for all body types. Fortunately, you can buy an extended band for your Apple Watch, or for a variety of fitness trackers. Here’s one for a Fitbit Charge 5, for example. 

Besides using it on your ankle, the same band can be used on your arm. (It’s the same idea as what Whoop calls a “bicep band,” but to be anatomically correct I must note that you wear it above, not on your bicep.)

Pros: Tracks steps and can usually pick up heart rate (depending on exactly how it sits against your skin—you may need to experiment with positioning)

Cons: inconvenient to look at the watch or use any interactive features. You may need to sit down to pause your workout. Also, some models of wearables may not have an aftermarket band available.

Try a fitness ring

I’m a longtime fan of the Oura ring (it’s a tough love, but love nonetheless) so this is the route I’ve taken. Wearing a watch 24/7 drives me nuts, but I can completely ignore a ring. If Oura isn’t your style, Ultrahuman and others provide high-end alternatives. There are also a ton of budget rings on the market now, like this from Zopsc.

Pros: Easy to put on and take off. Feels like it’s not there (if you are used to wearing rings).

Cons: Can’t wear it while lifting weights. The nicer rings carry a high price point.

Clip it to your belt

Fitbit used to sell models that counted your steps from a clip on your belt or bra. (I remember loving the bra clip on a now-defunct brand, Misfit.) You can still get an aftermarket clip for some Fitbit and Garmin models, like the Inspire. Just pop it out of its wristband, and into a clip like this one.

Pros: Counts steps well, no matter what your hands are doing. 

Cons: No access to heart rate data, or anything that requires the skin sensor. Might end up in the laundry if you forget to take it off your waistband. 

Wear it in your clothes

Whoop’s tracker is normally worn on the wrist or bicep, but the company also has a “Body” line of clothes with little pockets you can slip the device into. The company sent me one of their bras back when the collection launched, and I was able to slip my Whoop device (minus its strap) into a little pocket in the band, under the left armpit. It was comfortable, stayed in place, and the data collection was good. 

Their other offerings include shorts and underwear with a device pocket in the waistband, and even a swimsuit with the device pocket in approximately the same place as the bra. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you could easily make your own versions of these items.

Pros: No extra straps to keep track of. You can definitely forget you’re wearing it. 

Cons: The buttons and display aren’t accessible (which is why this works so well with Whoop, since Whoop has no buttons or display). You’ll need to plan ahead to have your Whoop-compatible undies on, and you’ll want to have duplicates to deal with the laundry cycle.