There are good ideas in fitness—things like interval training and kettlebells—and then there are… interesting ideas. Gadgets, fitness styles, and overall trends that seem a little strange from the start. Maybe the advertising was bad, maybe the spokesperson didn’t do a great job conveying the goal of the product, maybe the idea just seemed totally bogus. Yet, somehow these wacky trends caught on, at least for a while.
Here’s a look back at a few silly trends that have come and gone in past years and decades. (Aka, more reasons to be glad straightforward workouts like indoor cycling and cross fit are popular today!)
The Shake Weight
More than two million Shake Weights were sold its first year on the market, though I will never understand the appeal of it. It looks like a spoof on exercise equipment, rather than a good idea. (No wonder “Saturday Night Live” had so much fun covering it!) Hilarious.
The BOSU Balance Trainer is an incredibly effective piece of equipment to use in your workouts. The BOSU (which stands for “Both Sides Utilized”) can be used to target almost every major muscle group of the body for strength training, to get a cardio intensive workout, and as a tool for a killer core workout. Exercises performed using a BOSU focus on balance and can be performed on a stable (round side up) or unstable (flat side up) surface.
BOSU has recently launched a new product called Powerstax that will (literally) take your workout to the next level.
What is the Powerstax System?
BOSU Powerstax were created to be used in conjunction with a BOSU Balance Trainer. Powerstax are risers that can be stacked below the BOSU Trainer to add elevation and intensify your workout. The risers are four inches tall and can be purchased separately or as a set of three. The BOSU trainer itself is 10 inches tall, so adding all three risers will elevate your BOSU trainer to be 22 inches in height.
The Powerstax will securely hold the BOSU trainer with the flat side facing up or down, allowing for more diversity in your training. Placing the round side up results in higher total elevation of the combined unit. When the flat side is facing up, it creates a slightly more stable surface (as compared to round side up) and is great for advanced dynamic movement.
One other innovation with the Powerstax is its ability to be used for strength training. Each riser weighs 5 pounds and can be filled with up to 12 quarts of water (which will result in a total weight of 30 pounds). Each quart of water adds an additional four pounds to the five pound riser, making it easy to adjust to your needs. (more…)
The Apple Corporation has filed a patent that will help people workout together and share their results no matter where they are in the world. The patent that was filed last October is for Interfacing Portable Media Devices and Sports Equipment and this new technology would help owners of Apple products like the iPhone share their workout data and performance information with others regardless of where they are in the world. Things like your speed or heart rate would appear in real time on your friend’s handheld display along with their own, provided both users have Wi-Fi or a cellular network connection. Many people are using media players like the iPhone to track their performance as well as to have a distraction while working out, but until now, the missing component was an easy way to insert data into your handheld device and share it in real time with others.
In a statement, Apple wrote, “an exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides sports equipment that is capable of writing workout data to a media player. The workout data may be data related to contemporaneous workout activity. The sports equipment may include a connector or connector insert for mating to a connector receptacle on a media player to form a communication link. The sports equipment may also have wireless or optical circuitry that may be used to establish a communication link with the media player.”
If you forgo the gym to get your workouts in at home, you know outfitting your home gym with a variety of equipment can be just as expensive as a gym membership itself. You don’t actually need to spend tons of cash on cardio machines, weights, kettlebells and resistance bands to get a varied workout- you may have everything you need already right in your kitchen.
The kitchen is usually a place you want to stay away from as much as possible when trying to lose weight, but if you use it right, it can be the home gym you’ve always dreamed of. By using items most people can already find in their kitchen or pantry, you can get in a great workout, and possibly be inspired to make a new healthy dish for dinner at the same time.
Soup cans can double as hand weights. Soup cans are very light, so if you are starting a fitness routine for the first time, these are easy to use because they are light and easy to hold. As you become stronger, you can use heavier objects like jars of coins or frozen water bottles, which have the added bonus of melting while you sweat so you can down some ice cold water after your workout.
There was a time when the only option one had for tracking their activity was a pedometer– a simple machine that clicked over a number after it sensed a step. Those days are long gone. There are many tracking devices on the market and Nike just introduced the latest and greatest this week.
The Nike+ FuelBand was just introduced. It’s a sleek personal accelerometer that measures activity in what Nike calls “Fuel” units. Every motion from walking to breakdancing is tracked by the band and contributes to a daily tally of “fuel” you’ve consumed.
The band contains two arrays of LED lights. The first horizontal strip of lights measures the users progress turning from red to green as the goal is met. The second array is white and serves as a display screen to light up “steps,” “cals” (calories) or “fuel.” These are the categories the FuelBand tracks. The user links the band with a computer to initially set daily goals and then they can track and chart their progress as they move through out their days. The band also pairs via bluetooth to a smartphone app so the user can monitor their progress on-the-go.
Dishwashers, power tools and fitness equipment at Sears? Sure! You may know them as the place for appliances, but now Sears has established themselves as the nation’s largest fitness retailer.
“Whether just starting a new workout routine or a longtime ftness enthusiast, customers want a complete solution,” said Hugo Malan, SVP and president, Fitness, Sporting Goods and Toys at Sears Holdings. “Sears sells more fitness equipment than anyone else and we believe in continually improving our offering, so we have built an online fitness community and developed new destinations that attract customers both in-store and online.”
Sears is continuing an initiative they began in 2011 to help consumers achieve their fitness goals by creating their “Fitness Flagship” store-within-a-store. Now in over 35 sites, the 6000 sq. ft. specialty stores feature polished hardwood floors, tall mirrors, expanded equipment layouts and resemble a modern, high end gym. The staff is trained on both fitness products and fitness trends.
Hanging Christmas stockings never gets old. Even though you may be the one that packs them, it’s still an exciting and integral part of many families’ holiday traditions. Instead of packing them with candy, here is a list of pint sized products – every one of them completely tested! – that can help your family members get a leg up on a healthy, active lifestyle before the New Year’s Eve ball drops!
– Originally created because company owner Jennifer Ferguson couldn’t find a flattering sports bra, this pocket sized product is a dream come true for smaller breasted ladies. Holding you firm without flattening or causing the dreaded “Uni-boob” image, this is the one sports bra that does it all. I let my two older daughters try this bra, and it has already become a favorite. It doesn’t ride up, it flatters and holds everything into place. In other words, it does exactly what it’s *supposed* to do and none of what it isn’t. Attractive enough to be worn alone, or flattering under a traditional work out top, this bra would make a wonderful addition to a Christmas stocking.
Myorope Balls – These “balls on a rope” appear innocent and safe, but one quick trial and you’ll know that these balls mean business! I’ve long been a fan of self-massage and trigger point pressure, even going so far as to carry a lacrosse ball in my boxing bag. It can be tricky to get the ball at just the right spot, which is where the unique design of the Myorope comes in. Offered in 2, 4 or 6, the design allows for one ball to be anchored and lets the rest get into every nook and crevice that needs help. If you’ve got a runner, CrossFit enthusiast or triathlete – or if you are a fan of foam rolling, these will be the hit of the day. (I’ve been badgered for my set every time I enter the gym!)
By Jennipher Walters for FitBottomedGirls.com
Forget ghosts and goblins, the gym can be a scary place. Some of the weight machines look like torture devices out of a horror film and, let’s face it, sometimes the dudes in there grunt and sweat like monsters. But have no fear! We’re here to help! With a little guidance from the gym staff and a bit of confidence, using fitness equipment doesn’t have to be a fright. Follow these tips from the exercise experts at Life Fitness to overcome the spookiness of unknown fitness equipment!
Image via The Independent
Running on the beach is one of my favorite things to do. Unfortunately, I live in the Midwest, so my chances to run on a beach are limited to vacations and work trips to the coast. But a new piece of fitness equipment on the market is hoping to bring that beach-running feel to people in all areas, even those in land-locked parts of the country. Recently launched at the IDEA World Fitness Convention in L.A., the Sproing cardio machine uses bungee resistance and a soft platform to create a running experience that is low-impact.
Unlike a treadmill that has a moving platform, the Sproing has no moving pieces. Instead, you wear a chest strap that it attached to a tethered bungee with resistance and run forward, pulling away from the tethered platform as far as you can. Below your feet is a stationary soft platform. Users have two types of surface options to run on. One is filled with air for an easier workout, and one is filled with special high-density foam for a more intense workout that feels like running on the beach. Although there’s no treadmill belt, the Sproing can measure your movement and steps. With custom built-in sensors, it measures your footsteps and tells you how far you’ve run.
Despite the fact that some studies have linked child weight gain to playing video games, there is a new technology on the block that might actually help you shed pounds.
The NewYu Connected Fitness Monitor is a wearable, connected fitness monitor that tracks all activities users engage in throughout the day, from running and biking to cooking, cleaning and shopping. The monitor syncs with an online dashboard where you can establish fitness goals, track progress, and share your results.
“The more accurate the tracking, the more likely users are to reach their goals,” said Van Krueger, President and CEO of Wellcore, NewYu’s parent company.
The San Jose-based company will introduce the new monitor at the 2011 IDEA World Fitness Convention in Los Angeles.