Worst Exercise Gimmicks
The goofiest, least-effective work-out machines.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: July 5th, 2012
he weight loss industry has a lot of things going for it, but its greatest advantage is that most people who are trying to lose weight don't want to actively try to do so. This opens up the door for companies to produce some of the worst, most counter-intuitive exercise machines in hopes that people will buy them...and people always buy them. Here's a few of the worst ones out there—don't fall for their traps!
The most notable and most notoriously bad one is the one that requires you to literally do nothing—the electronic ab belt. Wrapped around your waist, this gadget pushed electrical currents through your abs, which, the company claims, will tone your muscles. Obviously, it doesn't work, because if it did, we'd all be really thin. In this same realm of do-nothing machines, there is the vibrating belt. Similar to the electronic ab belt, this one works by wrapping a belt around various body parts (your arm, stomach, butt, etc.) and vibrating. That's it. Since your muscles still aren't actually doing anything, there's no way this one works. If you're still hoping for a belt to work, try the Sauna Belt. This one wraps around you and claims it will "melt the fat away." But, because fat can't turn into water, all this one will likely do is make you sweaty and uncomfortable.
Our next favorite least-effective machine is the Shake Weight. The idea behind this contraption is that shaking a weighted object in front of you is somehow a great workout, which, on its own, doesn't sound too out there, but let's be serious: if you shake around a rock for a while, your arms will probably get pretty tired, and if you don't have any rocks, you can shake around some canned food. The point is, shaking around a heavy object doesn't mean you're getting a good workout. But hey, it made for a pretty funny commercial, right?
Nearly every "ab" roller/twister/sitter machine also earns itself a mention. There's too many to individually name, but these ones usuallly consist of the user sitting in a chair-like seat, and rotating their body in efforts to work the muscles in the abdominal wall. The thing is with these, usually the only resistance is your own body, so you're not working against much.
In the realm of the truly ridiculous things people spend money on, we have the Beamfit Balance and Exercise Beam. It's $80, and it's just a little step, about 3 inches off the ground. Think step aerobics step, but longer and thinner. For $80. Guys. Come on.
One more goofy workout "machine" isn't a machine at all, but a board you put on the floor. It's slippery, and the point is to glide side to side on the board. It gained popularity in the 1990s, but never caught on entirely, thanks to many participants' lack of inner-thigh strength to propel them on the board.
When you're trying to lose weight, a quick fix can seem tempting, but remember—if any of these things worked, we'd all look like supermodels.