Late night television is filled with advertisements for the next best miracle-working piece of home fitness equipment. We’re always looking for a way to lose a few inches quickly and these products hit us hard with promises of easy fat loss and six-pack abs. And, when the miracle doesn’t come through and our stomach or thigh’s still jiggle more than we would like, what happens to the “miracle” equipment? Check out the back of your garage and you just might find:
Suzanne Somers’ Thighmaster
Suzanne Somers was well known as the ditzy blond with the great body in the 70’s sitcom “Three’s Company”. In the ‘80’s, she went on to great notoriety for her iconic “Thighmaster” and the commercials that accompanied it. Highly suggestive, the ads served to keep her name in the public eye and to this day, everyone knows of the Thighmaster.
Vibration Belt Machine
Apparently, having your fat wiggled and jiggled while you stand there passively can be great exercise! This system has been around for well over fifty years and is always a source of great humor.
The Abdominizer was invented in the early 80’s and pitched by another ditzy blonde (seems to be a trend) Charlene Tilton. This saucer-like contraption was intended to help you do sit-ups while supporting the lower back. It’s probably been used more as a snow sled, and likely provided more beneficial features in that capacity than its original concept.
What slacker wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea of a simple belt that would stimulate your abdominal muscles into a sexy looking six-pack. Some products come with electronic stimulators and others come with a vibrating feature that promises to passively stimulate the abdominals and break up fat. Much like the vibrating belt machine.
The Gazelle -- what a fantastic name for a piece of exercise equipment! Bringing to mind a fast and elegant animal, this "freestyle elliptical machine" was designed to work out both the arms and legs simultaneously. It was lightweight and easy to move around -- and was more often than not moved right into the basement.
Like belly dancing, the Hawaiian Hula dance can have a wonderful effect on helping you develop a beautiful, slim waist. But, instead of doing the actual hula, why not get the same results at your desk while working, or spending time with friends? You might develop a little motion sickness, but that’s a small price to pay.
The Ab Flex looks a little like an ancient torture device and achieving results likely felt like it. As with many of these now-outdated exercise products, the advertising implies an easy workout, but the reality is actually very different.
In the end, the old saying, “If it seems to good to be true, it probably is,” is right on the money. There is no magic bullet to a svelt, muscled body. But, hope springs eternal, and as long as there are late-night-television-watching couch potatoes who wish things were different, there will always be humorous and ultimately outdated exercise equipment worthy of a few chuckles.