by Nick Nilsson
Have a piece of home exercise equipment that's collecting dust? Give it new life with these handy tips!
Almost everyone has bought home exercise equipment at some point in their life, be it a few rusty dumbells at a garage sale all the way to a complicated new home gym, but how many people continue to use it consistently? Here are some uses (that you should never, ever actually take seriously, of course!) you may not have thought of for your forgotten purchases.
1. Dumbells - The original dark basement booby trap
- Dumbells make great children's toys. They are, of course, heavier and more dangerous than a barbie doll or Play-Doh' and are not really as exciting as a video game but they certainly are cheap and hard to break.
- Tenderizing meat - bash the meat with the dumbell repeatedly. Great shoulder and arm exercise too! May increase the iron content of your food significantly.
- Bowling - set them on end and use them as pins. You will need a really heavy ball for this.
2. Ab Rollers - These are the abdominal training devices that feature a head rest attached to a frame that you set your arms on so you can rock, rock, rock your way to six-pack abs.
- Roll cage for a toboggan - for the safety-minded parent. Protect your child from the heartbreak of a rollover accident on the sled hill by having him or her carry this while going down. Nevermind that they won't be able steer because they're holding onto the thing...
- Tenderizing meat - lay the meat down below the head rest and rock violently back and forth on top of it.
- Baby toy hanger - nothing good on tv? Hook some old christmas tree ornaments from the top crossbar and set your baby underneath. You'll both be amused for hours!
3. Thighmaster' - popularized by Suzanne Somers, no closet is complete without this device. You simply set it between your legs and squeeze!
- Keeps doors closed - jam it in the corner behind a door. When you open the door, it squeezes the spring. When you release the door, the stored tension closes the door automatically behind you! At 40 miles per hour!!!
- Tenderizing meat - set the meat on the counter, squeeze the Thighmaster shut with your hands then release the spring on top of the meat like a bear trap.
4. The Ab-Doer' - This is the chair-like ab training device that resembles a chair with no back.
- Tenderizing meat - of course, to accomplish this you'll have to throw the meat at it really hard.
- Playing practical jokes on drunk friends - sit them in the machine then tell them to watch you as you run around it a few times and you'll see what I mean.
- Pretending you're Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise - set phasers on "useless."
5. The Bowflex' - This is a popular home exercise machine that utilizes the incredible power of bending things to sculpt your body.
- ConIdeal Fitnesstion piece - the classic display of this machine in the corner of your living room is sure to spur discussion. "You have how many payments left on this thing?"
- Tenderizing meat - remove one of the bows and slap the meat silly with it.
- Burglar deterrant - set the machine in front of a ground floor window with all of the bows rigged up to the latch. Be sure the thief signs a waiver before attempting to open the window, however, as he's going to get up to 410 pounds of resistance right where it counts.
6. Electric Ab Training Belts - Electrocute your way to a flatter stomach!
- Unfortunately, they aren't very good for keeping your pants up, so that's out of the question.
- Place mat/food warmer - somebody running late for dinner? Set their plate on it and turn up the juice!
- Memorabilia - write the words "Golden Gloves" on it and set it on the mantle right next to your "Big Mouth Billy Bass (tm)" singing plastic fish!
- Tenderizing meat - set the meat on the counter, place the belt on top of it, turn it to the highest level, then lean down on it with all your weight as it tenderizes and sears at the same time!
- Driving safety gear - does your spouse have a tendency to get sleepy at the wheel? That's a thing of the past when they've got the belt on and you've got the controls in your hand...
7. And last but not least, every piece of equipment that has handles, bars, hooks, stacks, pins, corners, rails, seats, clips, stands or attachments and does or does not come in a box...
Nick Nilsson is Vice President of BetterU, Inc., an online fitness and personal training company. Visit him at FitStep.