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Famous Fitness Fads

Jog your memory: Celebrities and fitness gurus who made exercise fun

Suzanne Sommers posing with the Thighmaster

— Jeff Katz


Many celebrities have tried to transform themselves into fitness gurus (we’re looking at you, Regis Philbin), but perhaps none will ever be as closely associated with a single fitness product as Somers is with the Thighmaster.

Commercials for the V-shaped contraption, which is designed to strengthen hip adductor muscles by providing resistance against bringing your thighs together (though it could be used to strengthen other muscles as well), were nearly impossible to avoid during the early ’90s. Leave it to Wikipedia to provide a wonderfully succinct summation of the gadget’s appeal (as well as countless other fitness tools that promise “amazing” results): “As with most fitness products marketed to homes, advertisements often emphasized that the Thighmaster could be used while doing something else,” reads the Thighmaster entry on the collaborative encyclopedia site. Somers, 64, has enjoyed a successful TV career with roles in long-running shows like Three’s Company and Step by Step, and in her later career she has successfully transformed herself into a health and beauty expert. But to many, she’ll always be the Thighmaster lady.

Next: Taekwando + Boxing = Fitness Fad

Previous: From Fat Kid to Fitness Sensation

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