The first thing that comes to your mind when you think early 90’s workout equipment is the ThighMaster. Described as a full-body toning device, the ThighMaster sold 6 million units in 18 months and was one of the most iconic fitness infomercials of all time. Sitcom star Suzanne Somers was the spokeswoman for the product and a quintessential 90’s modern career woman. The product was developed by Joshua Reynolds, of R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company. Along with marketing guru Peter Bieler, Reynolds made the ThighMaster a household name.
At the time the ThighMaster was released, Somers was advertising her book Keeping Secrets on many talk shows. While talking about her book she would also explained how she stayed in great shape with the ThighMaster. Like with most exercise fads, the ThighMaster’s popularity faded quickly although they are still being being sold over the world.
Many users complained that all though the machine gave the appearance of muscles, they did not have added strength in there legs. These superficial muscles were only on the most inner part of the thigh and the rest of the thigh wouldn’t get tone. Some of the negative opinions of this 90’s fad workout include that is shortens muscles and is less effective then doing squats. Some fitness trainers find the ThighMaster is more effective for exercising other parts of the body like the chest, arms, and upper body. Another complaint about the ThighMaster is that even when used correctly it can lead to bad groin pulls which need surgery to be fixed.
Despite its short comings, the ThighMaster revolutionized at home fitness and forever changed how we purchased workout equipment.
Check out this vintage ThighMaster commercial, complete with multi-colored leotards and high waist acid wash jeans.
If your wondering if Somers still gets asked about the thigh master, check out this clip from Anderson Live.
Did you ever use the Thighmaster?
Featured photo via