Weird Fitness Gear That Just Might Work

From a bike designed for running to an elliptical on wheels, they’re thinking of everything these days.

Photograph courtesy of the Fliz Concept blog.

Here at Well+Being, we’ve tried a lot of strange fitness classes over the years. There was the cycling class that didn’t actually use stationary bikes, and the workshop where we learned how to run without using our legs. And let’s not forget our attempt at a flying trapeze conditioning class.

But if we thought those classes were special, that was before we heard about the FLIZ, a concept bike that’s designed without wheels and is actually built for running.

Confused? Yeah, so are we. Which made us wonder what other weird fitness gear is out there that—as weird as the description might sound—could be worth checking out? Besides the FLIZ, we’ve tested the following equipment once or twice. Our lesson learned? Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.


What: The FLIZ is a German-designed bike without wheels that, as the designers once explained, allows the user to “run free—a completely new driving experience and a very gentle way of moving.” They suggest that the concept bike causes the user’s bodyweight to be distributed over a larger area, making the ride (or run?) easier on the joints. (Visit the James Dyson Award site to watch a video of the FLIZ in use.)

The ElliptiGO

What: This elliptical made for the road is all but guaranteed to turn heads. It takes a little getting used to, but professional athletes and everyday commuters alike rave about the great workout it offers with zero impact. (Read our review of the ElliptiGO and find out where you can do a test ride in Washington.)

Battling Ropes

What: Sure, everyone’s played tug-of-war at one point in their life, but battling ropes are a little more intense than that and require a lot more coordination then you might think. The ropes—which are heavier than they look—are favored by professional athletes because of their ability to work the entire body with high-intensity workouts. (Try Mint personal trainer Lance Breger’s workout.) 


What: Those yellow and black straps you see hanging at almost any gym are TRX Suspension Trainers, which were developed by Navy Seals. With proper training, you can perform almost any strengthening exercise with them, including pushups, squats, and bicep curls. (Try Sports Club/LA trainer Monica Pampell’s workout.)

The Power Plate

What: Shop Around fashion blogger Sarah Zlotnick came back to work in high spirits after a go on the Power Plate. Basic exercises such as pushups and squats are performed on the machine, which vibrates, causing muscles to contract and provide deeper stimulation. Short bursts on the Power Plate are an ideal warmup to a longer cardio session. 

Have you tried a strange fitness class or gear before? Share it with us in the comments section.