With so many new workout accessories constantly hitting the market, it can be difficult to tell the legitimate from the gimmicky. Investing money in your health is one of the best things you’ll ever do, so it’s important to spend your hard-earned dollars on something that works.

Don’t be conned by fitness industry fads. Read on to educate yourself on the worst equipment to avoid and what to buy instead.

Fitness gimmick #1: waist trainer

Not to be confused with a weightlifting belt which helps to stabilise your core while lifting, waist trainers claim to target and trim down the waist area. But do they actually help you lose weight?

Sadly, while you are guaranteed to sweat more with a waist trainer, any extra weight you think you’re losing isn’t fat— it’s just water.

Luckily, there’s one piece of fitness apparel that actually does work your core and help you achieve the obliques of your dreams: the weighted vest.

Weighted vests don’t just add a full-body cardio element to your workout. The extra weight around your torso makes your core work harder, making it the perfect accessory to waist-shaping exercises like Russian twists and even planks.

The PulsoVest is ideal for gym-goers of any fitness level thanks to the ability to increase or decrease its weight in 1 kg blocks. Not to mention it’s incredibly comfortable. Just remember to activate your core while wearing it to really target those obliques!

Fitness gimmick #2: vibrating platform

We’re very sorry to disappoint you, but no, you can’t jiggle your way to a ripped physique. Think about it: do you really think you’re working out by standing on an expensive podium and letting something else move your body for you?

Fortunately, one of the best machines for burning calories is the humble treadmill. This old favourite has even been given a futuristic upgrade— no vibrations necessary!

Curved treadmills are a dream come true for both cardio fanatics and the less cardio-inclined alike— research shows that curved treadmills help you burn up to 30% more calories. They don’t even require electricity! This means that you get a more effective session in less time, which makes it one efficient machine.

Fitness gimmick #3: infomercial ab devices

From rockers to circles and even lounges, infomercial ab machines have been gathering dust in regretful buyers’ garages for decades.

Unfortunately, the swinging motion provided by most of these machines means you’re actually using your abdominal muscles even less during each repetition. Your workout might be easier, but it’s also less effective.

Still want to change up your routine? Look to one of the most reliable inventions of all time: the wheel. The modest ab wheel is easy to use, small, and seriously works your abdominals. Adding in an abdominal mat for floor work makes for the ultimate ab workout.

Not to mention both the ab roller and foam mat are super affordable. That way you can inexpensively level up your ab routine and use the money you saved to invest in some proper aftercare instead.

If you do any kind of strength training — including ab work — then a foam roller is definitely the most inexpensive but worthwhile purchase you’ll ever make. This simple foam cylinder works those sore muscles to provide some serious pain relief. And yes, you’re going to need it after a killer ab wheel workout!

Still curious about the best equipment to achieve your fitness goals? Get in touch with the NC Fitness team today and ask us about custom solutions for your gym routine.