Hilarious Home Fitness Equipment

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 ’80s, 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 ’80s 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.

Ab Belts

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

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.

Hula Chair

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.

Ab Flex

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.

Related Links:
Home Fitness on a Budget
Do TV Fitness Gadgets Really Work?
How Real are Weight-Loss TV Shows?
Image: A National Acrobat/flickr


Jessica O.
Jessica O6 years ago

The Hula Chair!!! LOL

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

Just go gardening instead of acquiring more useless stuff!

Sheila A.
Sheila A6 years ago

I like what Jane R. has to say about this... Anything that can get you moving is a good thing...

Jane R.
Jane R6 years ago

Sure, maybe they don't do what they claim, BUT anything that gets someone off their butts and moving has some benefit. Your heart rate goes up, (good thing), you burn a few calories, (good thing), you feel better for having tried (good thing), your mood will improve for trying (good thing), makes you happy that you did it, (good thing), gives you encouragement to keep at it, (good thing).
So what's the negative thing about using this worthless equipment? Nothing!!!! Any exercise of any kind is good for you, weather you get the results expected or not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John S.
Past Member 6 years ago

I believe my wife have some of these.

Beth M.
Beth M6 years ago

Love it!

Kamryn M.
Kay M6 years ago


Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson6 years ago

I was dumb enough to have bought a "thigh-master" when it first came out...the inside of my thighs had horrable bruises and Mike took it away and hid it from me!!...I am glad that the older I get, that I actually grow a brain-cell!

Kirsten B.
Past Member 6 years ago

I've heard of many of these, although never seen the adverts. I remember using the vibrating waist thing at a hotel in Iran when I was a kid and thinking that it tickled a lot.

I agree with Leslie G.'s comment about going outside and walking - great for the body, the soul and the figure.

Add a couple of minutes of dancing the twist a few times a week if you really don't like doing crunches, and then you just need to think about your arms .... (I do archery and yoga as upper body).