Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Exercise Toys - Do you need them?

A friend told me a couple days ago that she was going to buy some piece of equipment she saw on t.v. that targeted hips, then she could finally get rid of the fat on her hips! As you all faithfully read my blog, you understand that you cannot spot reduce, so any exercise toy that claims to burn fat off a certain part of your body is a waste of money.  

Never believe that something is going to be a miracle and reduce your thighs or your abs or anything else for that matter. You can build muscle by working the specific muscle, but you cannot burn fat in a specific spot. You burn fat by combining weights and cardiovascular exercise with a reasonable diet. That's it. No tricks, no gimmicks.

Some exercise toys and equipment are useful. A good treadmill, elliptical, Stairmaster or bike are invaluable - especially in the winter when you can't exercise in the fresh air. Hand weights and bands are essential and if you can afford it - a cable machine. I also enjoy exercise balls and benches that will adjust.

I cracked up the other day. I was reading a fitness magazine and the editor said how useless exercise balls are and spent several paragraphs bashing on them. Then the magazine included four articles utilizing exercise balls! Exercise balls are not the key to great fitness, but they are fun to mix things up. I love them for ab work, decline pushups and stretching.

The bottom line is you need exercise equipment, but you don't need to spend a lot of money on it (unless you're buying a decent treadmill, bike, elliptical machine, etc.). Try to use free weights, your body weight, and the great outdoors whenever possible.

Happy fitness!


  1. Totally agree!! No magic magic exercise toy!
    But I do love to use Stability balls, bands, and even gliding discs!
    A good one for the hamstrings is to lay on back with heels on Stability ball (legs extended out), lift glutes off floor, then pull heels in toward glutes...mix up the count 2/2, 3/1/, singles...great burn!
    Too bad about that fitness magazine.... Balls can be a GREAT way to change things up!

  2. Thanks, Roxy for stopping by and for the great tip. That sounds like a fun burn!
    I haven't tried the gliding discs. I tried some kind of ball on a cruise ship that was a squishy half ball so you could stand on it and squat or lunge onto it. I loved the balance challenge and really felt that the next day.
    Take care,

  3. Any equipment sold on TV that shows people not sweating and laughing and talking will never equal a good workout. ;)

  4. Isn't that the truth? The other one I didn't mention was all the diet scams. It makes me sad that so many people waste their money on things that can't help them.