Best Heart Rate Monitors for Basketball

Best Heart Rate Monitors for Basketball

Best Heart Rate Monitors for Basketball

Whether you’re playing basketball casually with friends or on a professional team, using a heart rate monitor to get more data from your in-game play or training session can be a useful way to better assess your heart health.  While chest strap heart monitors are the most accurate monitors, smartwatches are becoming an excellent option.

And while wearing a heart rate monitor while playing basketball can provide you with specific information during your time playing, they are also great for monitoring heart health outside of the sport.  In fact, the latest devices can monitor your heart health 24/7 and can help you to spot illness, stress, and fatigue.

Below, we are going to look at the best heart rate monitors for basketball.  These devices are not only amazingly accurate but are also relatively inconspicuous and can be worn without adding too much weight or distraction while playing a game of basketball.

However, while heart rate monitors can be useful devices while training or playing a game of basketball, you should ensure that such devices are allowed on the court.  Many minor and major basketball leagues ban the wearing of jewelry, watches, and additional accessories.  As always, be sure to conduct proper due diligence before wearing any additional items to a game.

Best Heart Rate Monitors for Basketball

How to Choose a Heart Rate Monitor?

Perhaps the most important question regarding heart rate monitors for basketball is just how they will be used.  Typically, if you are using a heart rate monitor while playing or training for basketball, an optical sensor on the wrist will work well.

However, if you are performing high intensity workouts for basketball, then an EKG chest monitor or an optical sensor strapped to your upper arm will perform better.  This is because the intensity of the workout, and the rapid increase and decrease in heart rate, is better suited for an isolated and defined heart monitor, which chest monitors excel at.

Lastly, in terms of accuracy, the EKG chest monitors are, by far, more accurate than their wrist optical sensor counterparts.  However, recent technological advances are narrowing this divide and optical wrist sensors are a great option for casual athletes and anyone looking for quick glances at their heart health.

Differences Between Chest Monitors and Optical Sensors

As mentioned above, the biggest challenge in deciding on a heart rate monitor for basketball is choosing between a chest monitor or an optical sensor strapped to your wrist.  While both devices perform well, chest monitors are generally superior and provide more accuracy.

Chest monitors utilize electrocardiogram (EKG) sensors, which are more accurate and responsive to the rapid increases and decreases in heart rate and the stable positioning of these devices makes for even better data accuracy.  Optical sensors, on the other hand, utilize LED arrays to view the blood pulsing through your veins, allowing for them to estimate your heart rate.


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Best Heart Rate Monitors for Basketball

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap

Our top pick for the best heart rate chest strap monitor for basketball is the Polar H10.  Compatible with nearly all smartwatches and smartphones, the Polar H10 provides supreme accuracy and is one of the most accurate heart rate monitors on the market. 

The strap itself is extremely comfortable and can be easily strapped to your chest.  And with improved electrodes alongside the base of the strap, you will be able to accurately and fully receive the most important information regarding your heart health, when you need it.

In addition, the Polar H10 is fully waterproof, meaning that not only can it be worn while training in a swimming pool, but also outside in the rain and through the occurrence of sweat while both training for, and playing, basketball.

Polar H10 heart rate monitor basketball

Garmin HRM-Pro

Garmin has long been the gold standard in workout accessories and their line of heart rate monitors give justice to the name.  This premium heart rate strap transmits real-time heart rate data over both ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity and pairs extremely well with other Garmin devices.

However, in addition to heart rate information, the Garmin HRM-Pro captures caloric information, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, stride length, and vertical ratio.  Essentially, this device captures a wealth of information and can provide you with specific data points that will help you to improve your basketball efficiency.

Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch

What we really like about fitness smartwatches, especially above chest strap heart rate monitors, is that they can act as both a fitness and technology device.  Seamlessly integrating with your smartphone, these devices can receive timely information and notifications from your phone while still providing you with heart health and fitness information.

The Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch is one of the best smartwatches currently on the market.  Coming in three different color schemes, it is able to measure electrodermal activity which may indicate your body’s response to stress.  In addition, you are able to access your heart’s atrial fibrillation and easily share those results with your doctor.

Similarly, with the built-in GPS, you can track nearly any form of exercise, whether it’s running, hiking, or biking.  And with an on-wrist skin temperature sensor, you can wear it all-day and all-night to see how your oxygenation levels vary.

fitbit sense heart rate monitor basketball

Apple Watch Series 7

If you’re really looking for an all-in-one device, that is a device that provides heart rate monitoring with additional technological advances, then you really can’t go wrong with the Apple Watch Series 7.  The Apple Watch Series 7 is the latest iteration from Apple and comes jam packed with useful health information.

From ECG information to high-low heart rate notifications, and irregular heart rhythm, to the ability to measure blood oxygen, the Apple Watch Series 7 really does do it all and fits neatly on your wrist without providing distraction and comfortability so.

Lastly, this Apple Watch is GPS enabled, meaning you can take it as a standalone product, without needing your phone to receive calls, texts, and other important information.

Best Heart Rate Monitors for Basketball

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