What is a ThighMaster&Reg;?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2019
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The Thighmaster® is perhaps better known as an iconic piece of 1990s culture, and one of the products that launched the infomercial than it is as a piece of exercise equipment. Heavily marketed in the early 90s, oddly enough by Joshua Reynolds, heir to the JP Reynolds tobacco company, this simple machine launches a thousand and one reminiscences for most people. It’s also almost impossible to think of this product without conjuring up the image of actress Suzanne Somers, who made a fortune selling the product in early infomercials.

Despite some inherent silliness and a lot of inside jokes connected with this exercise equipment, independent reviews of the product do claim if you strictly follow the manufacturers directions you can tone your inner and outer thighs. Two pieces of foam-covered stainless steel are attached by hinges to a center ball. If you put the Thighmaster® at thigh or knee level between the legs, the resistance action does make for a good strength exercise. Generally you have to commit to about 20 minutes of use a day to see results, and though it will improve general tone of the outer thighs don’t expect it to reduce fat. If you combine the use of this simple machine with cardiovascular exercise, and sensible diet, you have the best chance of reducing overall fat on the thighs and increasing muscle tone.


While some people swear by their Thighmaster®, others see this piece of exercise equipment as more of a curiosity and source of amusement. Early infomercials with leotard-clad women, particularly Somers, who was a 1970s sex symbol, using the Thighmaster® in various ways did catch the attention of people, and the commercial success of the product launched the infomercial as a new television genre, convincing many to sell products during hour long demonstration ads. None of these advertisements hold quite the same fascination as did the early Thighmaster® ads.

Though exercise experts claim the product can work, if used for 20 minutes a day, newer things to do with the Thighmaster®, like arm and back exercises may not be as effective, since resistance is not extreme. Private consumer reviews of the product are varied. Some people really swear by the wonders of the Thighmaster® and others find it a non-impressive piece of equipment.

It’s not expensive; the latest version can be ordered on the Internet, and is now sold in stores like Target® for about $15 US Dollars (USD). If you’re interested in toning the inner and outer thighs, you might consider one. Don’t forget to also consider cardiovascular exercise, which tends to more effectively reduce excess fat.


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Post 3

The first time I used the ThighMaster I had a very pleasant surprise. I had severe chronic low-back pain. About 45 minutes after completing the set of exercises with the ThighMaster, the muscles in spasm in my lower back relaxed! What a great feeling.

Post 2

The thigh master was invented by Ann Marie Benstrom in the 60's. Her health club "The Sanctuary" sold them as the V-Bar and I demonstrated them.

Post 1

I like this small, lightweight piece of equipment. It is not an end-all product, but together with other exercises, I find it quite useful. One particular advantage is that because of its size and weight it is practical to carry in my luggage when I travel.

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