Exercise equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. There are a lot of quality products out there, but we want to address one segment of the market teeming with the bizarre and outrageous. Namely, there have been some examples of utterly ridiculous pieces that ”guarantee” remarkable results in little to no time.
Some of you who watch late-night infomercials as a guilty pleasure may have heard of them. In any event, they mimic the creative appeal of genuine fitness innovation, but without all the good stuff attached to the price tag. So, welcome to the world of fitness gimmicks, the realm where apparently, impossible is nothing.
These clunky tennis shoes gave many people an offer they could not refuse: effortless weight loss. Namely, Skechers Shake-Ups were supposed to do everything from recruiting lower leg muscles and improving the posture to stimulating calorie burn and alleviating back pain. That is pretty impressive for $80 pair, right? Well, none of the effects were scientifically proven. Regardless, a TV ad featuring Kim Kardashian helped bolster the sales and secure the iconic status of this contraption.
Sitting back and relaxing while an abdominal stimulation device does all the work seems like a tempting proposition. All you have to do is strap it to your midsection and turn it off. Allegedly, this legendary product uses heat and vibration to induce muscle contractions. There was something going on there, but Vibro-Belt never really delivered on its promise. Slight toning properties were proven, but it goes without saying that this one is not for those who want real muscle-building results or people who are ticklish.
The name of this exercise tool already sounds like an oxymoron. Yet, this product, marketed as an “ultimate abdominal machine”, boasts its ability to sculpt abs like no other. Users just have to lie or sit (preferably on the beach) in the chair and then crunch in an exaggerated fashion. This quite resembles something we saw with La-Z-Boy Recliner. The only problem was that Ab Lounge is more useful as a weird chair then a piece of exercise equipment.
There were many instances of weird exercise equipment on TV commercials, but a buff dude with a big ponytail on an elliptical machine together with a discomforted girl is certainly one of the highlights. They were swinging their back and forth and the whole thing looked like borderline sexual harassment. And although Gazelle claimed to be a full-body workout machine, it was more of a cardio contraption. Apart from that, you can always get those creepy vibes when swinging together with someone on it.
Next on our list, we have another star of fitness infomercials. It took out TV screens by the storm in 1991 and many have fallen to the subsequent fitness craze only to be left deeply disappointed. As it turns out, strengthening and toning thighs is more demanding that spending a bit of time on a resistance machine. Also, spot-targeting fat on your legs was a ludicrous notion all along. So, you might want to stick to exercises that are tried and tested and come for free: squats, lunges, step-ups, etc.
This odd, modified dumbbell is one of the most suggestive fitness products to ever hit the shelves. Perhaps that is why it was first advertised for women, although the male version appeared after some time. Its proud creators promised customers that they will be able to increase upper body muscle activity by 300%, which turned out to be a preposterous claim. There are still many parody videos floating around and even celebrities like Emma Stone had some fun with it on live TV.
Hmm, what to make of this one? To me, it always looked like a poor eel fighting for its life in someone’s firm grip. Anyway, it is called Body Blade and it is another piece that relies on vibration to yield impressive results. Presumably, users can target specific muscle groups by varying positions of the body or direction of the blade. Not only that, this standout product holds rehabilitation power. It is a small surprise that customer reviews beg to differ and dismiss this product as a hyped ruse.
Unless you want to freak out your family members and neighbors or shed some pounds like crazy, you have to reason to own a Sauna Suit. It looks like a glittery trash bag and what is worse, wearing it involves risk like heatstroke, cramping, and dehydration. Long-term benefits are practically nonexistent. The only thing it is good for is making your sweat your buns off. The problem is, all the weight you lose this way comes back afterwards, as soon as you desperately shove water down your throat.
One of the more recent additions to the infamous list of fads is Power Plate. It is essentially a large and expensive platform for doing push-ups and squats. The makers asserted that vibrations from the plate would cause more muscle contraptions than you would spur by doing this exercises in a standard way. Many people were convinced when Madonna, Sting, Clint Eastwood and others started praising this machine. I am going to make a wild guess here, but maybe they were paid well to do so you know.
The good, the bad, and the ridiculous
The good, the bad, and the ridiculous
There has never been a shortage of quirky fitness products that lure people into thinking that results sometimes come free of sweat. Well, sorry to break it to you, but there are no easy roads to real fitness results. That being said, we are allowed to have some fun along the way, aren’t we? More misleading hype than helpful tools, we can also use these fitness gimmicks as a lesson— those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
In this article, we presented some of the most absurd and hilarious examples, but there is plenty more where that came from. So, feel free to dig deeper. Just remember that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is not. All in all, you are better off saving your money and getting active the old-fashioned way.
What is your favorite most ridiculous exercise equipment?