12 Reasons Armbands Suck (Coolio’s Involved)

The only armband I ever purchased housed a third generation iPod. After wearing it sporadically for a few weeks, the black strap found a permanent home inside my junk drawer. 

That’s because armbands suck.

In reality, people buying an armband to workout with their smartphones are craving a better experience. Maybe their phone slaps against their thigh during a run. Or maybe it’s fallen out of a regular pocket during bench press. Those experiences made them search for something different. What people are actually searching for is something better, but armbands don’t deliver. Armbands keep your device inside a bicep prison. But that’s not acceptable. Can you relate to any of these armband drawbacks?

1. Slide, Slide, Slippity-Slide 

In Fantastic Voyage Coolio sang, “Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage…slide, slide, slippity-slide…I do what I do just to survive.” 

Fast forward 20 years and people are wearing armbands that slide, slide, slippity-slide and each person is probably saying, “I do what I do just to survive.” Surviving your workout with your smartphone intact shouldn’t be the goal. We agree with Coolio, each day should be a Fantastic Voyage.

Armbands fail because they don’t stay in place on your bicep. I think they’re trying to escape, steal your phone, and go back to the junk drawer (evil little devils). Slippage is a real issue. If you sweat it gets worse. When I wore an armband the crook of my elbow became a last defense against falling off. Even worse, if you strap it so tight it won’t move, it feels like an inflated blood pressure cuff. No fun.

2. Blood Pressure Cuff-ish

How fun is it to feel like you’re at the doctor’s office during a workout? Who wants a miniature boa constrictor wrapped around your bicep? Welcome to the world of armbands.

3. Off-Balance Runners. Lopsided Lifters.

A runner’s movements need to feel natural. With an armband, your body has to compensate for the bicep-saddle strapped to one side. This nagging lack of balance hen pecks at your psyche the entire run. And when lifting weights that lopsided addition to your arm inhibits movement during lat pulls, curls, bench press, rows, and more.

4. Changing Music and Scrubbing Podcasts

Shania Twain? How’d that get on my playlist, you wonder? Have you ever wanted to change a song or scrub through a podcast? Step one, if you’re wearing an armband, is to raise your elbow like a chicken wing. Step two, make sure the fluorescent lighting’s not glinting off the armband’s dirty plastic screen. Step three, realize your phone is upside down. Step four, remember how difficult it was to put the phone inside the armband. Step five, give up and deal with the fact that “Any Man of Mine” is your new kettle bell companion.

5. Logging Workouts

Tracking workouts is a great way to measure progress. If you’re using Strong, JEFIT, Gym Hero, or others, you need access to your apps on a frequent basis. An armband makes logging workouts nearly impossible. We designed Kippo shorts around the idea of securing your phone while maintaining easy access. 

6. 9-1-1 What’s Your Emergency?

You’re two miles from home on a remote stretch of greenway trail when something feels wrong. You take out your headphones and look back to see a man with a black hoody coming out of the woods. Your phone is strapped inside your armband. How can you call for help? The man begins running. You run faster. Even though he’s wearing boots he’s gaining on you because you’re trying to get your phone out of your armband. You’re not looking at the trail. You trip. You’re face smashes into the gravel. The next thing you know… 

7. Amputee Athletes

Noah Galloway, the Ultimate Men’s Health Guy, can’t wear an armband because has one arm. If athletes who’ve lost limbs want to use their smartphones during a workout, they deserve the best possible experience. Armbands are limiting. Guys like Noah Galloway don’t like thinking about their limits.

8. One More Thing to Keep Track Of

This one’s self-explanatory. You have enough to remember and tracking down where you left your armband is low on the list of priorities. You should just put on your shorts and go. Shirt optional.

9. Awkward to Strap On

Have you ever tried to strap on an armband? It’s not easy. I found myself holding it in place with my chin while I was trying to find the Velcro.

10. Naked Phones Only (8-hours Gone)

Do you have a case on your phone? Try putting that whole thing inside an armband. It doesn’t work well. If you workout three times a week, and it takes three minutes to take your phone out of its case, put it inside an armband, and then awkwardly strap it on, you’re wasting almost eight hours a year.

11. Uncover the Guns

Strapping a black band to your sculpted bicep? It doesn’t look good. Uncover the guns. Set them free and do the world a favor.

12. New Phone! Ahhh, It Doesn’t Fit

You qualified for an upgrade and just bought a new phone and case. Wait, it doesn’t fit and now you have to get a new armband.

Armband suck. It’s official, or at least it should be. Did I miss any other reasons? Share your sucky armband stories in the comments section or on Twitter using #ArmbandsSuck.


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