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The Art of “Non-Exercising”: Vintage Fitness Equipment

Written by eFITology Staff on Wed, Aug 19th 2009 at 12:10 am

People have always wanted to look fit and beautiful being too lazy to actually do anything for that. Hence the popularity of so-called “non-exercisers”, miracle fitness equipment that was supposed to keep you fit with no effort needed.

Here are a few examples of those “non-exercisers” from the past: sometimes really inventive but hardly actually effective…


The Battle Creek Vibratory Chair

Invented in 1900 by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (who was also the inventor of more successful product Corn Flakes) the chair was claimed to stimulate intestinal peristalsis as well as cure headaches and back pain and also increase the supply of oxygen to the body.

The chair shook rather violently and was painful to sit in – but it was supposed to stimulate the muscle tone and thus help you keep fit:

The Battle Creek Vibratory Chair


The MOLBY Revolving Hammock

The apparatus built in 1922 was supposed to stretch your spine and thus make you healthy and fit.

Make Your Spine Young! Stretch it with the Molby Revolving Hammock. Bring back health and vitality. Have a full chest and a small waist. Live longer and enjoy life more. All the keen relish of a healthful existence comes to the man or woman whoso spine is straight, strong and supple, with no tension on the sympathetic nervous system and with every spinal nerve relaxed.

The MOLBY Revolving Hammock


Dr. Lawton’s Guaranteed FAT REDUCER

Invented in 1922 by Dr. Lawton the “fat reducer” was advertised as a simple device making any part of your body thinner within just a few days!

Whether you are 10 or 100 pounds overweight you can reduce any part you wish quickly, safely and permanently by using Reducer a few minutes night and morning. By a gentle manipulation the Reducer breaks down and disintegrates fatty tissue which becomes waste matter and is carried out of the system through the organs of elimination, thereby the blood circulation is improved.

Fat Reducer


Gustav Zander’s Abdominal Machines

1890s: Invented by The Swedish physician Gustav Zander (the developer of the first exercise gym ever) was supposed to raise “sunken vital energy” by hitting the body with perfectly rhythmic oscillating leather disks.

Zander argued that the key to health was not about exercising itself. Instead, one needed to practice “progressive exertion,” the controlled, systematic engagement of the body’s muscles in order to build strength.

Abdominal Machine

Gustav Zander's Abdominal Machines


All Sorts of Roller Massagers

Roller massagers were advertised as vibrating or massaging the fat off – the theory being that fat would be loosened from its moorings enabling the body to flush it out.

All Sorts of Roller Massagers

All Sorts of Roller Massagers

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