Everyone wants a
hot bod but nobody wants to do the work. That’s where inventors of absurd exercise equipment come in. They create products that make working out look like child’s play – without mentioning the fact that most of them don’t deliver the swole results as advertised in their slick and persuasive infomercials.
But facts have never stopped Americans from dropping their hard-earned dough on products that promise to make them look a little less doughy. While most of these contraptions are hilarious in hindsight now that they’re no longer on the market, the reality is that many of them were not only ineffective but could be downright dangerous. (Peloton treadmills, we’re looking at you.)
Here are eight pieces of ridiculous exercise equipment that never should have been invented. Consider this your excuse for staying on the couch.
Cover Photo: YouTube
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You know how your arm muscles move while masturbating? This weight basically does the same thing and calls itself a workout. All you have to do is hold it. Just pretend you’re trying to stop your best buddy from whacking off in public.
Imagine a hand weight…but flaccid. That’s basically what the Free Flexor was – a limp dick of exercise equipment with a ball on either end. It’s impossible to watch the product’s
infomercial without recalling your worst sexual experience and having a laugh at its expense. Photo: YouTube
Tony Little’s Gazelle
Think an Elliptical, without resistance. What could go wrong? Your legs might detach from your body due to momentum alone, but it was fun while it lasted! Besides, who doesn’t want to look like the creepy, curly-ponytailed dude with the last name Little? As he demonstrated in the product’s
infomercial, you can even force your way onto the back of some Spandexed lady’s Gazelle for a non-consensual couple’s workout! Photo: Reddit
Because who hasn’t looked at their inner thighs and thought, “I need to get these things toned!” Well, Suzanne Somers convinced all of America that they could use some sexual thigh-squeezing action back in the ‘90s and consumers fell for it. Six million Thighmasters were sold in only 18 months. But the love affair was short-lived as this piece of equipment left users with sore groins and cowboy-like strides.
Forget old-fashioned sit-ups! What you need to achieve an enviable six-pack is this bizarre lounge chair/torture device. Simply strap your arms above your head and start crunching for a spine-wrecking workout.
Once again, people can’t be bothered to actually do the boring floor exercises that will give them strong abs. Instead, they want a shortcut disguised as a toy. The Ab Circle claimed that by climbing aboard a round disc and basically wagging your ass back and forth, you, too, could get a washboard stomach. What users actually got was enough spinal torque to cause scoliosis.
If your walking workout hasn’t produced a Kardashian-worthy backside, you don’t need to do more squats, you simply need to upgrade your sneakers. That was the premise behind Skechers Shape-Ups, the wobbly tennis shoes that claimed to tone your butt while you tried to stay upright while walking. Consumers caught on quickly to the kicks’ fraudulent claims, however, and filed a class-action lawsuit. You can still find a pair or two lingering around the internet – but they’re going for hundreds of dollars now that they’re considered a vintage shoe.
And here comes the newest entry: the Peloton Tread+ and Tread treadmills. These treadmills resulted in 70 injuries and one child’s death due to a strange suckage problem (we kid you not) originating around the belt and deck. In one
viral video, a little girl is seen walking on the treadmill when her toddler brother approaches the back of the machine and gets sucked, face-first, under the machine -- twice! (Where these children’s dumbass parents were at the time is unclear – but at least they had the foresight to videotape the incident!)
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommended that Peloton recall the machines, but the company refused to do so, instead issuing an “urgent warning” for users to keep pets and small children away from the treadmills due to "multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under" the machines.
It took a full two weeks for Peloton to come to its senses and recall the treadmills completely. Stick to stationary bikes, guys.