Fitness fads of the past

Have you ever wondered what happened to that old exercise machine of yours that you never use anymore? Baby boomers had some of the most innovative fitness trends over the years, but many of them have faded into history. Everyone wants to be healthy and fit, but finding the best methods have proved difficult. Here are some of fitness fads of the past that became obsolete, and some that could end up going down the same path:

Vibrating belt machine
Vibrating belt machines were once a method for weight loss, but are now only seen in films and television. A large belt would vibrate several thousand times per minute, promising to trim down the size of your waist. These machines were introduced in the 1950s and 60s, but you'll have a hard time finding one in a gym today. Unless you're looking for a little jiggle, vibrating belts are not the way to fitness. There is no evidence to support that vibrations will help you lose weight. 

Another non-exercise piece of equipment that promised weight loss, Trim-Jeans came about in the 1970s. They were basically a pair of inflatable shorts that one would wear while doing a few light abdominal exercises. These hideous pantaloons were so poorly designed and hilarious that it inspired a sketch performance called "Trim-Jeans Theatre" by Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Shake Weight
While weight lifting has changed some of its methods over the past few decades, the Shake Weight was a questionable contribution to the fitness market. The spring-loaded 2.5-pound dumbbell promised to make you strong and lose wight. While it's only been on the market for a few years, it has actually sold millions, possibly as a gag gift after making appearances on various comedy sketch shows, including Saturday Night Live.

Advertised and made popular by Suzanne Summers, this piece of equipment was meant to strengthen your inner thighs by squeezing the contraption between your legs. However, many fitness experts say this isn't an area of the body that needs to be worked. While the Thighmaster was once popular, there are better ways to strengthen the leg muscles and thighs. You can likely find an old Thighmaster lying around in your basement or at the local thrift shop, as this equipment has been replaced over the years. 

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Pete Blasi