December 6, 2022

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It’s better some of these live buried deep in closets and hidden in basements now.
The weighted hula hoop is currently the rage all over TikTok, but that’s just the latest in gadgets and gizmos that promise that if you use them regularly, the pounds will just fall off. Turns out that while some of them may work to some extent, they aren’t the magical weight loss device they had promised. Still, people continue to hope, so here are some of the fitness gadgets and fads that people have tried over the years in their quest to get in shape and while most are still around and available they aren’t as trendy these days.
This padded wedge shaped product was lauded by Three’s Company star Suzanne Somers as a toning device to give the user shapely legs and hips. All you had to do was place this between your legs and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze your way to a better body.
Richard Simmons in his signature short shorts tried to make fitness inclusive for everyone, and made this easy-to-use series of simple aerobic workouts to classic tunes that anyone of any fitness level could do.
Grab your legwarmers and get ready to see one of the original at-home aerobic workouts. The actress donned bodysuits and ‘80s feathered hair for a series of VCR tapes that had everyone sweating in their living rooms.
Not for the clumsy! These plastic steps took the at-home aerobic workout to the next level, with a raised platform that had you going up and over multiple times to get that heart rate pumping.
While still popular in some circles, this dance class reached a fever pitch around 2010, making everyone learn to sort of salsa while they were working out.
Picking up the mantle from Jane Fonda, Denise Austin released a series of targeted fitness workouts that promised abs like hers in just 15 minutes a day.
The Deal-a-Meal system was a series of cards with different foods (proteins, carbs fruits, etc) where you’d use only your allotted cards in a given day. It morphed into the Food Mover system with the same principle of types of foods balance and calorie goals, but in a slightly different card system.
The mid-90s were filled with the motivational (and loud) speaking of Susan Powter who told people to “Stop the Insanity!” and rethink the way they eat.
With Jane Fonda and other super fit aerobic pros out there cornering the market in the 80s on general fitness the Buns of Steel series came along promising targeted toning exercises that would give you the perfect booty.
Billy Blanks mixed boxing and martial arts for this patented Taebo fitness workouts, that became super popular in the 1990s.
Not since the ThighMaster had a workout tool looked so ridiculous. This dumbbell (with some moving things inside) promised that all you had to do was shake it and you’d easily tone up all your muscle groups in a snap.
This torture device is still a favorite among some trainers, allowing you to roll your body back and forth in order to get that coveted six pack.
This sit up machine allowed the lay back and have perfect form for crunches while just rolling themselves back and forth… though one could argue the arms got a better workout than the tummy muscles.
Much like Richard Simmons’s infectious personality Tony Little hawking the easy-to-use glider made working out seem almost fun. And the Gazelle was much easier to use than the cumbersome elliptical machines. Maybe not the most taxing of workouts, and definitely not able to get you cut muscles like Little, but it might make you laugh while working out.
Used by pro atheletes while getting in shape for boxing matches and such, these became popular among regular mortals in the early aughts who wanted to sweat off pounds while running. But not great if overused as they can cause severe dehydration.
This pricey system promises “to help transform your body from regular to ripped in just 90 days.” These workouts are definitely harder than most of the rest on the list with extreme trainer Tony Horton at the helm.

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