1986: BowFlex Home Gym
The BowFlex Home Gym burst onto the fitness scene in 1986, offering consumers a new option to use resistance to train their muscles. This made the BowFlex less bulky than other exercise equipment.
1987: Buns of Steel
“Buns of Steel” became a must-own VHS tape for anyone in the 1980s looking to tone their backside. Though it became a pop culture punchline, the video was widely popular. It also included some arm and core workouts as well.
1988: Sweatin’ to the Oldies
Richard Simmons may not look like the typical fitness expert, but his “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” videos are a certified phenomenon. Simmons led upbeat aerobic exercises to classic pop music hits. The video series reportedly sold over 20 million copies.
The Abdominizer was a simple device designed to help people sculpt their abs. It became a successful product in the late 1980s thanks to a series of infomercials in 1988. In the following years, consumers bought over 3 million Abdominizers.
The ThighMaster proved the power of the infomercial. The simple tool was designed to tone and firm the thighs and legs through a series of simple exercises. The ThighMaster made over $100 million, largely thanks to spokesperson Suzanne Somers.
The BodyBlade was initially designed by a physical therapist as a rehabilitation tool. Users wiggle the flexible staff back and forth to tone arm and core muscles. Initially released in 1991, 1.5 million BodyBlades have been sold since.
1992: Cindy Crawford: Shape Your Body
Supermodel Cindy Crawford was world famous for looking great in 1992, so it is no surprise that people would want her workout. She starred in a series of workout tapes, starting with the “Cindy Crawford Shape Your Body Workout.”
The NordicTrack cross-country skiing simulator was invented in the garage of Edward Pauls in Chaska, Minnesota in 1975. Over time, the invention became more and more popular, earning $378 million in sales in 1993.
1994: The Ab Roller
Many fitness fads focus on getting rock-hard abs. The most successful of them may be the Ab Roller. The product supports the user’s head while they do crunches, and brought in $1 billion in sales.
1995: 8 Minute Abs
“8 Minute Abs” marketed itself as the perfect option for people who want a six-pack but do not want to spend a lot of time getting it. The video demonstrated nine exercises designed to sculpt the midsection in less time than it would take to drive to the gym.