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"As Seen on TV" Put to the Test

"As Seen on TV" Put to the Test

Tempted to splurge on that magical device you saw on TV last night that promises to remove four inches off your midsection in just four minutes a day? As you know, I am not one for buying "As Seen on TV" products, but Consumer Reports did the dirty (and expensive) work for you to see what works, or more so, what doesn't. Here are highlights:

  • Ab Lounge XL ($210). This mesh chair mimics the motion of a jackknife sit-up. The signature jackknife move engaged the target muscles, but for most tested muscle groups, it was not as tough as a full jackknife done on the floor. CR's take: Good range of motion, and can provide a good workout, but not a lot more useful than a floor mat.
  • The Bean ($50). On average, results were similar to those with no equipment for this inflatable device that targets abdominal and oblique muscles. CR's take: It might strengthen abs, but the Bean alone won't get you lean.
  • Urban Rebounder ($150). The intermediate workout on this mini trampoline for bouncing, aerobics, and running in place burned about as many calories as jogging at 5.6 mph. CR experts found the device easy to use and a nice change from typical aerobic exercise. CR's take: A good alternative to running, but more than the recommended 15 minutes is required to burn calories.
  • Fluidity Bar ($200). The advanced workout on this floor-standing ballet bar with attached mat burned fewer calories than the no-equipment, circuit-training routine. CR's take: A pricey but potentially enjoyable alternative to strength training, plus stretching. But its heft could make it hard to store.

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realfitness2013 realfitness2013 3 years
Most exercise devices sold on TV today are not designed by anyone with a legitimate background in fitness and body biomechanics. P90X is a complete joke, designed by a "trainer to the stars" with NO background in kinesiology, bioloby, or any exercise science whatsoever. The methods are not understood by Tony Horton himself. The "Biggest Loser" TV show should be referring to its idiot trainers, who regularly put overweight subjects on treadmills and tell them to work through the pain (in absolute contrast with all accepted medical opinion). Personal training and exercise therapy in this country are pathetic.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 8 years
I love watching infomercials. I own a ballet barre and just bought the Dvd's off of ebay...works just fine!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I thought about getting a Fluidity bar, but then I just thought it would be better to put a barre in my workout room on the wall, so I wouldn't have to move it or anything. Otherwise, I'd have to put it in the basement because it's kinda big. Most of those infomercial things are kind of dumb, IMHO...they tell you that you only have to work out for like 5 minutes a day or something stupid, when you KNOW those people using them on TV work out for hours a week.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 8 years
I think a lot of As Seen on TV products are good for elderly, obese, and other people with physical impairments. They're also good if you're just bored with regular crunches--The Bean, for example. I bought the Tony Little Gazelle Power Plus off TV, and also the Total Gym 2000. I loved them both, but they got boring just as everything else does. If you have the money to keep switching it up, it can only be a good thing!
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
I think the Fluidity bar is the most legitimate, I did ballet (briefly) when I was younger and I have done a little pilates, I think fluidity is a great way to incorporate or supplement elements of those two activities in a workout routine. If it's something that interests anyone, I agree that the only downside is the heft..I don't own it myself but it looks like it might be heavier than one would think.
DreaAST DreaAST 8 years
I always get sucked in to the infomercials but normally the stuff is not good.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Good to know!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Good to know!
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 8 years
haha, I love watching infomercials but these reviews are extremely helpful. Thanks!
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
Thanks! I have been wanting to try the Fluidity Bar... nevermind now!
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