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These Fitness Gadgets Are a Total Waste of Money – The Cheat Sheet

We try our best to have a regular workout regimen and maintain a fit lifestyle. But even the most avid exercisers fall victim to scam products claiming to make them more fit in a shorter span of time. But buyers beware — many self-proclaimed “wonder products” are nothing more than a poor use of your funds. Here are 15 fitness gadgets that are a total waste of money.

Ab toning belt

Vibrating ab belt | SeenOnTVStore via YouTube

Price: Around $70 on Amazon
Long story short: There’s no miracle contraption that can give you a flatter stomach without you working for it. And the idea you can get chiseled abdominals by sitting on the couch and wearing a vibrating belt is just plain ludicrous. You’re better off buying a pair of Spanx than investing in this scam.

Next: On a similar note …

Vibrating platforms

VibroSlim vibrating exercise platform | Vitality 4 Life via YouTube

Price: $90 and up
Don’t be fooled by the “science” behind these products. While vibrating platforms may have shown to stimulate muscles — to a small degree, mind you — there’s no proof they actually help you build muscle or lose weight. Really, if standing still with little to no vibration helped you lose that much weight, everyone would get a workout by standing on a train platform, right?

Next: Back by popular demand …

Thigh Master

Suzanne Somers' Thighmaster Suzanne Somers’ Thigh Master | Ye Olde Commercials via YouTube

Price: $9 and up
Here’s a great lesson in celebrity advertising: Just because a famous person appears in the commercial doesn’t mean you should buy it. Enter, the Thigh Master. It became a household sensation thanks to having Suzanne Somers as its poster girl. But while the idea of adding resistance to your lower body workout is a plus, this funky device doesn’t allow enough movement to get a legit thigh workout in.

Next: Thankfully these gadgets have finally gone out of style …

“Toning” shoes

Toning shoes | Top Tenly via YouTube

Price: Upwards of $300
Yet another case of celebrity endorsements for products that aren’t all that great. It became a trend among B-listers a few years back to bop about town in yoga pants and so-called “toning” shoes that claimed to shape your legs. But as Mayo Clinic tells us, not only is there no proof these kicks improve your exercise regimen but they can also cause foot and hip problems. Talk about money for nothing!

Next: Of all the ridiculous devices out there, this one takes the cake …

Shake Weight

Shake Weight tutorial | Casey Temple via YouTube

Price: $19.99 to $29.99
Granted, the Shake Weight is known for looking ridiculous than anything else. But here, again, is a so-called exercise gadget that is nothing more than a waste of your money. Your arms won’t become toned without properly moving them and working those muscles. Staying stationary with a Shake Weight is a waste of time and money — frankly, all it really does is make the user look silly.

Next: Here’s where things get interesting

Ab Rocket

The Ab Rocket The Ab Rocket | My Yoga Time via Twitter

Price: Around $120
To be fair, the basic idea behind the Ab Lounge isn’t bad. The movement it allows for your body can do something to stimulate your midsection. However, the lack of neck and back support sets users up to get injured, leaving users with a chiropractic bill that far exceeds the cost of this gadget’s trial.

Next: From bad to worse …

Free Flexor

Two men trying out the Free Flexor | The Free Flexor via YouTube

Price: $39.95
And you thought the Shake Weight seemed inappropriate! The Free Flexor — which is basically just a flexible dumbbell — is even more suggestive. To make matters worse, this gadget introduced itself by boasting “patent-pending  Circular Strength Technology”. Trust us — throwing any amount of money at something clearly not proven to up your fitness level is going to hurt your wallet.

Next: This contraption can cause serious health problems …

Sauna suits

One rendition of the "sauna suit" One rendition of the “sauna suit” | Ultimate Nutrition via Twitter

Price: Anywhere $9-$20 at Walmart.com
Think of Bradley Cooper wearing a trash bag in Silver Linings Playbook and turn that up to 11, and you get the Sauna Suit. On top of looking incredibly retro, this ensemble set is also incredibly dangerous. The suit’s ability to trap in heat puts you at risk for fainting and heat stroke. Plus, it’s really only helping you sweat off water weight, which you can gain back once you eat or drink anything.

Next: 

Chariot skates

Big Wheel Skates | ryan zhang via YouTube

Price: Over $4,000
On top of being incredibly dorky-looking, these mini chariots for your feet are a safety hazard. The poor souls in the infomercials are wearing a ridiculous number of pads is likely because Big Wheels Skates don’t have breaks on them! This sounds like a gadget that will end up sending you to the doctor’s office — and that’s going to cost you even more than these unfortunate-looking skates will.

Next: Who the heck thought this was a good idea??

Face Trainer

The Face Trainer The Face Trainer | official no!no! via YouTube

Price: $199
We’ve heard of creams and potions to help you get rid of wrinkles. But a contraption that allegedly gives your face a “workout” and makes it look younger. Really, all it does is give you aching facial muscles. (Maybe that’s why it looks like a full-blown head and neck brace.) How this gadget ever got FDA-approved is beyond us.

Next: Now we’ve heard everything …

11. The “Exercise Pill” scam

Many diet and exercise pills use false advertising | David McNew/Getty Images

Price: Over $600 annually
They aren’t exactly “gadgets” per se, but they are a waste of money and can be quite dangerous. Things such as the now-debunked Enforma Natural Products’ “Exercise In A Bottle” claim to do the exercising for you. As you may have guessed from the rest of our list, there’s no such thing as a pill that can exercise on your behalf. It’s no wonder the FTC banned Enforma’s falsified ad campaigns.

Next: If used improperly, this gadget can do harm …

Ab rollers

Ab roller wheel in white background An ab roller wheel | iStock.com | hideto111

Price: Around $20
Thanks to home workout videos such as “Insanity” and “P90X” this contraption has found itself in the homes of many hopeful humans looking to kickstart their workout regimen. What many of these folks don’t realize, however, is that the ab roller isn’t really intended to be used by beginners, leaving many first-time users sore and dejected. Plus, improper use can lead to chest and shoulder injuries.

Next:

Phiten necklaces

Phiten Necklace | Phiten – USA Lifestyle Products via YouTube

Price: $30-$50
These bad boys weren’t just celebrity-backed for a couple years — some athletes may have even believed this titanium neckwear actually did improve their balance and decrease fatigue! Nevertheless, there’s no shortcut when it comes to being a top-notch athlete or pushing through the aches and pains of athletics. All these necklaces do is cost you a pretty penny.

Next: And you thought toning shoes were bad …

Workout apparel that claims to tone your body for you

Happy young women talking in gym. Female friends taking rest after fitness workout | iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Price: For a whole ensemble? You’re probably going to shell out a couple $100
Fitness apparel is expensive enough, but at least it outfits you to move practically during your workout. But clothing that does all the work for you? You’re probably better off wearing a girdle. Plus, there’s no actual evidence that such clothing works. (No wonder Reebok got sued for false advertising.)

Next: Last but certainly not least …

Weighted utensils

Dumbbell utensils Dumbbell utensils | geobeats via YouTube

Price: $141
If you need this one explained to you, you may as well just be looking to waste your money on something.

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