Are These Fitness Gimmicks Worth Your Money?
Before you shell out cash, let's take a closer look at these products and settle the debate.
Shake Weight1 of 11
"Shake Weight is the flab-busting breakthrough that trims your arms and shapes your shoulders at the same time," according to the makers. Or it might be an instant sore neck.
The six-minute workout, provided by Shake Weight, seems too good to be true—and it is. Testers who tried the workout for 14 to 30 days didn't lose inches off their arms; in fact, they noticed a loss in muscle strength. Don't waste your time or money. Try this toning workout to get sleek-looking arms:
Thigh Master2 of 11
The Thigh Master does target and tone the thighs, but you can also strengthen the thighs while also challenging other leg muscles with squats, lunges and bridges.
If you incorporate exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once, you avoid spending long hours in the gym. Plus, spot reduction is a myth. You can't reduce fat from one area of the body by doing one exercise. To remove fat from your body, you need to work the surrounding muscles. Try these lower-body workouts instead:
Ab Lounge3 of 11
Want a flat stomach?
The Ab Lounge is just what you need to help you achieve your goals...or so they claim. The tool doesn't use your abdominal muscles like ab and core exercises do. Perform these exercises instead:
Six-Second Abs4 of 11
Wouldn't it be nice to get abs in six seconds?
According to the commercial, Six-Second Abs is the magic trick to your dream stomach. In reality, it's more of a muscle-strainer than muscle-strengthener.
Experts say the best way to get a visible six-pack is to eat well and focus on cardio and core exercises. Add these foods to your diet:
Electric Abdominal Belts5 of 11
Electric simulation is typically used in physical therapy to strengthen weak muscles. However, the Electric Abdominal Belt says it can trim fat and give you rock-hard abs.
There aren't studies that show electric simulation can do such things. In fact, there are hundreds of people who have filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission because of false advertising. Many people place these devices on their lower abs in an effort to get rid of their gut. Try these lower ab exercises instead:
Red XL Abdominal Exerciser6 of 11
A device that promises a killer workout without even leaving your chair, the Red XL Abdominal Exerciser allows you to swivel side to side to "tone" your obliques. If you're looking for a new swivel chair, this might not be a bad investment, but you shouldn't count on this piece of equipment to give you the rock-hard abs you've always wanted. Avoid wasting money and try these oblique exercises instead:
Magnetic Bracelet7 of 11
There are several brands that market their own versions of this pain-soothing wrist wear. According to original magnetic bracelet manufacturer, Sabona, the copper and magnets reduce swelling and soothe aches and pains associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
A study from BioMed Central says these claims are not backed by scientific research, and these bracelets may be no more effective than a placebo. While your first course of action should be to consult a medical professional, you can try alternative forms of pain management such as yoga and massage therapy.
Toning Shoes8 of 11
These products have become popular in the last several years that athletic brands such as Reebok, New Balance and Sketchers have all released their own line of toning shoes. The claim is that the sneakers are specially designed to work your legs and butt while you walk, so you can blast more calories and tone up fast.
According to the Mayo Clinic , there's no evidence to back up these claims. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received several complaints about foot and leg pain from users. If a toned tush is what you're after, try these butt-sculpting exercises:
Body By Jake Max Burn Suit9 of 11
If you wear this futuristic-looking fitness suit (or garbage bag) when you exercise, you can supposedly raise your body temperature, burn more calories, and lose weight. While wearing something like this will definitely make you sweat more and lose more water weight, it isn’t the way to lose weight (unless you’re a professional wrestler trying to shed last-minute pounds for your pre-match weigh-in). The weight you lose during exercise will be replaced as soon as you drink a sufficient amount of water post-workout. Plus, since the suit makes you sweat more, that means you need to drink more fluids to offset dehydration. Instead, stay cool and comfortable in your fitness attire and make sure you hydrate properly.
Tony Little Gazelle10 of 11
A gazelle is commonly recognized as a fast, graceful animal, so why wouldn't you want a piece of fitness equipment named after this active antelope? There are several different models of this cardio glider, which is endorsed by personal trainer Tony Little. The Gazelle provides a low-impact workout, so if you have knee, hip or joint pain, you may prefer the gliding motion (like an elliptical) over the pounding from running or jumping.
The biggest problem with these gadgets and gimmicks is that customers expect a get-fit quick solution, but losing weight requires hard work and patience. There's no need to spend all that money. Instead, check out our Fitness section for tips and advice: