The Thighmaster will not help you lose weight -- but it will tone and tighten your thighs, hips and butt as you apply gentle resistance. To lose weight, you need to do regular cardiovascular exercise to burn calories. This should be supplemented with strength training exercises to increase your lean muscle tissue and quicken your metabolism. Consult your doctor before you start a new exercise program.
Legacy of a Tobacco Heir
The Thighmaster was invented by tobacco heir Joshua Reynolds in the 1990s. Marketed and made popular by actress Suzanne Somers, the Thighmaster consists of two foam-covered looped metal tubes joined by a springed hinge. The Thighmaster comes in two models: the Thighmaster gold that purports to tone the inner thighs, and the Thighmaster LBX that purports to tone the outer thighs. The Thighmaster offers ease of use, and is marketed as exercise equipment you can use at home while doing mundane activities such as watching television.
Debunking the Thighmaster
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends you do a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderately intense cardiovascular exercise or 75 minutes of vigorously intense cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise elevates your heart and breathing rates and burns fat as energy. Using a Thighmaster does not constitute either moderate-or vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise and doesn't burn fat.
Losing Weight and Your Thighs
Though you may assiduously squeeze and tense your adductors and abductors --inner thighs and outer thighs -- with the Thighmaster, it won't help you lose fat from your thighs. The American Council on Exercise stresses you can't spot reduce fat from selective parts of your body. To lose fat from your thighs, you need to do exercises that help you lose fat all over your body.
Losing Weight with Cardiovascular Activities
To lose weight, do cardiovascular exercises such as running, swimming, bicycling and aerobics. Enjoyable activities like walking, hiking, sking, dancing and skating also help you lose weight. According to Harvard Health Publications, if you weigh 185 pounds, hiking cross-country for 30 minutes will burn 266 calories. Thirty minutes of ballroom, disco or square dancing burns 244 calories, and 30 minutes of skiing downhill burns 311 calories for that same 185-pound person.
The Beauty of Lean Muscle
Lean muscle tissue shouldn't be confused with the bulky muscles of bodybuilders and jocks. Lean muscle tissue gives you that sleek, toned look and helps you shape your body. It also elevates your metabolism, enabling your body to burn fat more efficiently. Resistance exercise helps increase lean muscle mass, but according to ACE, workouts that focus only on specific parts of the body won't make you stronger or help make a significant difference in your body-composition. The Thighmaster used specifically on your thighs falls into this category.
Boost Your Metabolism
Supplement your cardiovascular exercises with bodyweight exercises to make you stronger and increase your lean muscle tissue. Do pushups to strengthen your upper body and tone your chest, shoulders and triceps. Keep your knees on the floor if you find full pushups difficult. Do bodyweight squats and lunges to strengthen your lower body and tone your thighs, hips and butt.
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the concept of spot reduction considered a myth?
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 minutes For People of Different Weights
- Suzannesomers.com: Thighmaster
- Advanced Physical Medicine: Debunking 4 Popular Exercise Fads