The Worst (And Most Dangerous) Home Fitness Devices Ever

Not all at-home fitness equipment is created equal. While some products help you get into shape from the comfort of your own home, others are scams which can’t keep their promises of helping you lose weight. Some devices have such a negative impact, even, that you can end up injured. Here’s a look at 15 of the worst — and a few of the most dangerous — at-home fitness devices. (You may be surprised by the problems the product on page 15 can cause.)

1. Sauna Suits

One rendition of the "sauna suit"

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

These suits are supposed to help you lose weight by trapping your body heat. But as MaxFitness+ tells us, this is mostly due to the suit forcing you to sweat more. So not only will you gain that water weight back once you reach for a refreshing beverage, but the forced sweating can lead to dehydration and other health issues.

Next: You’ve probably seen the infomercial for this device many times before …

2. Ab Rocket

This crazy contraption is one of the many abdominal-focused devices on this list. (Mostly because any device which claims to give you a six-pack without doing the work for it is a total hack.) In addition to reportedly being poorly constructed, it’s easy to over-extend your movements on the Ab Rocket machine and injure your lower back on this lounging lawn chair of a contraction.

Next: Speaking of abs …

3. 8-Minute Abs videos

8 Minute Abs video from the '80s

8-Minute Abs video from the ’80s | GB via YouTube

Sure, having a lengthy abdominal workout in your fitness regimen is a good thing. But the infamous “8-Minute Abs” video from the 1980s  isn’t your best bet. This workout incorporates tons of crunches, which are one of the most injury-inducing exercises out there. The lack of neck and back support from crunches sets you up for spinal injuries — potentially to the point of being too injured to work out at all.

Next: Watch your step …

4. Leg Magic X

Some reviews have slammed this piece of fitness equipment because the thigh exercises performed with it aren’t worth it’s $100-plus price tag. What’s even more concerning is other reviews claim the handlebars come off easily and the foot pedals are difficult to get on to safely. If it’s a safety hazard just to get onto this contraption, an injury is almost guaranteed to follow.

Next: This little device is more dangerous than you may think …

5. Sliding ab device

Sliding abdominal exercise tool

Sliding abdominal exercise tool | Easyliving Brands via YouTube

Sliding abdominal devices had their heyday a few years back when they became a staple in a handful of at-home workout videos. One of the biggest issues with at-home workouts? It’s easy to use the improper form because you don’t have professional assistance in the room with you. And as Stack summarizes, having poor form with an ab slider may result in “moving into a dangerous position that can damage or even herniate the cartilage discs that sit between the vertebrae of your spine.” Ouch!

Next: And then there’s this weird-looking piece of equipment …

6. The Rack

The Rack all-in-one home gym device

The Rack all-in-one home gym device | informercials via YouTube

Yes, this self-proclaimed all-in-one fitness device looks like a walker. But that’s not what makes this portable piece of machinery so terrible. Consumers have complained the quality is poor and it can fall apart easily — and if you’re doing bar dips when it breaks, you could end up crashing down to the floor and breaking yourself as well.

Next: Now this next one is just plain weird …

7. Face Trainer

The Face Trainer

The Face Trainer | official no!no! via YouTube

That’s right — this odd contraption is supposed to help give your face a workout and rid it of wrinkles. Despite reportedly being approved by the FDA, all the Face Trainer appears to do is set you up to have sore face muscles after performing the long list of “exercises” you’re supposed to perform with it on.

Next: This next one probably won’t shock you …

8. Pull-up bar

Man hanging from a pull-up bar

Beware the at-home pull-up bar |

The pull-up bar is one of the most well-known pieces of at-home gym equipment. It’s also one of the most dangerous. Like with the ab slider, it’s easy to end up using improper form while working out with the pull-up bar. As NerdFitness points out, poor pull-up form may result in injuries to your arms, shoulders, neck, and back.

Next: Another truly bizarre contraption …

9. Big Wheel Skates

Big Wheel Skates

Big Wheel Skates | ryan zhang via YouTube

Yes, these dorky-looking skates are actually a thing. And there’s a reason the people in the promotional videos are wearing a ridiculous amount of padding. This piece of skating equipment — which are called chariot skates, among other names — evidently doesn’t have brakes, making crashes and falls a lot more likely.

Next: This next one will surprise you …

10. Diet pills

Pills in bottle

Pills | Luchschen/iStock/Getty Images

You probably don’t think of diet pills as a piece of fitness equipment. But when it comes to losing weight “the easy way” many people turn to pills that claim to help them lose weight without having to break a sweat. Unfortunately, reminds us, many diet pills can be addictive and are not guaranteed to help you lose weight at all. Plus, they also contain drugs that raise your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Next: Now these are just ridiculous …

11. Dumbbell Utensils

Dumbbell utensils

Dumbbell utensils | geobeats via YouTube

This at-home fitness device may not be one of the most dangerous, but it’s certainly one of the most ridiculous. The idea behind the cutlery is that you can do bicep curls with every bite of food and lose weight while you eat. However, the utensils reportedly only weigh about a pound and a half each, which won’t exactly cause you to break out in a sweat — it’ll just take you a little extra effort to put each bite into your mouth.

Next: This device is well-known, but not exactly known for working …

12. Vibrating belts

Vibrating ab belt

Vibrating ab belt | SeenOnTvStore via YouTube

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Vibrating fitness equipment is basically bogus. Forbes points out studies have found vibrations may reduce fat in lab mice, and that doesn’t equate to vibrating equipment helping humans lose weight at home without setting foot in a gym or on a treadmill. So those vibrating belts that claim to take away your belly bulge and love handles? Simply a waste of money.

Next: Yet another abdominal mechanism …

13. Ab Circle

Ab Circle machine

Ab Circle machine | Idea Deals via Twitter

Like other devices of its kind, the Ab Circle can set you up to injure your back due to the twisting motions. (And cause knee pain because of how you have to kneel on the swiveling apparatus. )Additionally, like other devices on this list, this machine has a history of falling apart mid-exercise and setting the user up to get seriously hurt in the process.

Next: Did anyone out there actually think this contraption would work?

14. Hawaii Chair

The Hawaii Chair

The Hawaii Chair | Infomercial Hell via YouTube

The infomercial for this ridiculous chair claims it can help you lose weight while you sit on its swiveling seat. The jingle literally says: “Take the work out of your workout.” Really, the only way you’re getting an ab workout from this cooky contraption is from laughing at the ridiculous infomercial for it.

Next: Last but certainly not least …

15. Shake Weight

Shake Weight

Shake Weight | Amazon

Of all the terrible at-home fitness devices out there, the shake weight may be the absolute worst. This vibrating excuse of a dumbbell doesn’t do enough work to actually stimulate your muscles. (You have to do legitimate resistence training to get those results.) Plus, WebMD informs us the constant, unnatural shaking motion may cause muscle spasms.

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