The Thighmaster is an exercise product designed to shape one's thighs.[1][2][3][4] The device is essentially two pieces of metal tube bent in a loop and connected with a hinge. The intended use is to put the Thighmaster between the knees and squeeze them together.[5] This exercises the hip adductors. The simple mechanism allows exercising any suitable muscle where a small angle can be created to press it, for example the biceps (elbow flexion) or the hamstrings (knee flexion).[6]

As with most fitness products marketed to homes, advertisements often emphasized that the Thighmaster could be used while doing something else. The infomercials featured people watching television and exercising with the Thighmaster at the same time. It was mainly advertised in the 1990s by the actress Suzanne Somers.[6][7][8]

The Thighmaster was invented in Sweden by then-physical medicine intern (later "Dr.") Anne Marie Bennstrom (Prescott) as the "V-Bar" physical therapy device.[9] It later received US design patent number 343882S as "physical exerciser."[10] It achieved commercial success when marketed under the "Thighmaster" name by Joshua Reynolds (often erroneously credited as the inventor), who also made a great deal of money with his version of the Mood ring. Reynolds is an heir to the fortune of R. J. Reynolds, founder of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.[11][12][13][14][15]


  1. Berkman, Meredith (1992-05-22). "Suzanne Somers and the ThighMaster". Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  2. O'Neill, Molly (1995-03-29). "Time for a Fitness Pyramid?; After Thigh Master, a Stream of Fitness Gadgets". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  3. "A Meeting Of Behinds With A Thigh Master". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  4. "Advice on fitness gadgets: try to exercise restraint fitness experts aren't impressed by most of those items you see advertised on tv - except the butt master". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  5. "Suzanne Somers' Thigh Master - As Seen On TV Fitness Products: Do They Work? | Shape Magazine". 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  6. Friedlander, Whitney (2009-01-05). "Working out old school: Is it time to pull out the ThighMaster?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
  7. "The Newest ThighMaster Vibrates, Is Finally Useful". Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  8. "Suzanne Somers Says Her Vibrating ThighMaster 'Makes Sex More Enjoyable'". 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  9. "Obituary: Dr. Anne Marie Bennstrom Prescott 1928-2018". Idyllwild Town Crier. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  10. "Physical exerciser USD343882S". Google Patents. USPTO. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  11. "Inventor Of The Thighmaster Stays On The Ball - tribunedigital-orlandosentinel". 1993-03-17. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  12. "O.C. inventor squeezed ThighMaster into American culture". Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  13. "Thigh Master - In Photos: 10 Corny But Effective Cable TV Ads". Forbes. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  14. "The Indispensable Book of Useless Information: Just When You Thought It ... - Don Voorhees". Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  15. "Debunking 4 Popular Exercise Fads – Advanced Physical Medicine". 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2015-10-22.

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