The MOST ridiculous gym and fitness equipment you can buy – and what you should buy instead

Don't waste your money on weird home gym equipment, buy these alternatives instead

most ridiculous gym and fitness equipment
(Image credit: ViPR)

It was a real challenge to put together the top 5 most ridiculous gym and fitness equipment list. Not because there wasn't enough home gym equipment to include; on the contrary, there were too many weird harnesses and sticks to add, making it rather challenging to assemble only a short list.

Unlike the best dumbbells and best kettlebells, the fitness equipment on this list won't help you build muscle or lose belly fat, but they will definitely help emptying your bank account for no reason. Ready to see some weird hula hoop replacement and strange neck harnesses? Let's get right into it.

The most ridiculous gym and fitness equipment

most ridiculous gym and fitness equipment

(Image credit: ZNN)

1. Waist exerciser

The full name of this waist-size-shrinking wonder at Amazon is 'ZNN Sport Hoops Yoga Waist Exerciser Hoop- Portable Detachable Belly Abdominal Muscle Trainer Circle Loss Weight Fitness Equipment', so one can tell they won't rely on brand recognition in order to sell the product. The way this contraption works is similar to hula hoops, but with added steps that are completely unnecessary.

You need to adjust the ring that goes around your waist by adding/removing sections from the ring. If this doesn't break the waist exerciser straight away, you pop what looks like a pedometer on a suction cup over your belly button and spin the little 'weight hammer' around by moving your hips.

The worst part? The waist exerciser cost more than most smaller kettlebells and way more than actual hula hoops that are A) less complicated and B) more effective in general.

What you should buy instead: hula hoops, of course. Hula hoops are not only fun to use but they can also help you lose weight and increase trunk muscle mass according to a 2019 study that compared hula hooping and walking.

most ridiculous gym and fitness equipment

(Image credit: New Image)

2. Squat Magic

Surprisingly, Squat Magic is not way more expensive than the aforementioned waist exerciser, but that's pretty much all the positives we can say about it. Apparently, you can perform over 15 different type of squats with this device and as it "guides and supports you on the way down and assists you on the way up".

Probably the main issue with Squat Magic is that air squats are perfectly fine exercises to boost metabolism and to increase heart rate (which in turn burns calories). Squat Magic advertises itself as a low impact fitness machine but you know what else is low impact? Not doing super deep air squats.

Seniors might appreciate low-impact nature but Squat Magic is clearly not aimed at them: according to the description, you can "build a sexy, lifted bottom, toned and defined legs, and a sculpted core" with it.

What you should buy instead: get a pair of the best workout shoes and start doing air squats (squats without weights). Squats are amazing exercises for strengthening the lower body and doing squats also burn a hell of a lot calories too. For more info, check out our 'how to squat' guide.

most ridiculous gym and fitness equipment

(Image credit: ViPR)

3. ViPR tubes

ViPR 'weight bar' tubes are said to "bridge the gap between movement and strength training". The ViPR tubes come in different sizes and weights from 4 to 20 kg and if you ask us, we can't imagine anything scarier than someone waving a 20-kilo ViPR tube around indoors.

Of course, you don't need to use the tubes indoors, but it's not like you can just carry multiple ViPR tubes around to the gym every single time you go? Sounds like a lot of effort to us. Probably the main benefit of the tubes would be the lateral swing motion you can perform with them but that really isn't enough justification to buy them for the price they are being sold.

What you should buy instead: there is another piece of resistance training equipment that can be used for functional training, takes up less space, is highly portable and also builds muscle. That's right, kettlebells.

most ridiculous gym and fitness equipment

(Image credit: KIKFIT)

4. Head harness

Head harnesses are strange. In theory, you can use them to strengthen your neck muscles and the traps (possibly). Better still, some of them are supposedly strong enough to hold up to 250 pounds (~110 kg) of weights so you you can nod with serious weight hanging from your noggin.

Much like many other fitness equipment that's said to train an obscure body part, head harnesses just don't make sense. Whoever needs to train their necks only with 100 kg of weights dangling in front of their chest? Not only it doesn't sound likely, it is just plain dangerous.

What you should buy instead: buy the best barbells or dumbbells or kettlebells and train using compound exercises. If your aim is to train your traps, start doing overhead presses or upright rows, both excellent ways to strengthen the delts and traps. Deadlifts are probably the best way to strengthen most of your upper back and your grip strength too. 

most ridiculous gym and fitness equipment

(Image credit: Vevor)

5. Weight lifting chains

In what world would you rather attach weighted chains to your barbell instead of weight plates? Weighted chains are one of the weirdest gym accessories you can get, and they are not even cheap. For 2/3 of the price of this 16-kilo chain set (16 kg altogether) you can get a pair of 20 kg weight plates (40 kg altogether).

We are sure some people think it looks cool if they deadlift with chains wrapped around their barbells. Some even use weighted chains to do exercises such as bodyweight dips. Here is a friendly reminder to all these people: using weighted chains won't make you cool. On the contrary.

What you should buy instead: for deadlifts, get some weight plates. Presumably you will need these to work out at home and you will impressive literally no one by lifting chain  attached to barbell in your garage. For triceps dips, get a dip belt. You can attach any sort of weight to these and they are also better for your back than hanging chains around your neck.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.