You've seen plenty of them — infomercials for exercise machines that promise flat abs in no time flat. No doubt you've wondered if this equipment really works. Consumer Reports just tested to see how they perform in the real world.
"You'll lose 10 pounds and two inches in just two weeks!"
"There's finally a way you can start to totally transform your body!"
Infomercials like these promise a quick fix for flabby abs.
Consumer Reports Tom Mutchler just checked out three of these devices to see if they deliver.
"We wanted to see how well they fit various body sizes and if they would really work."
Tom found many of these devices fell short of their claims. Take, for example, the 93 dollar Emson Smart Abs.
"The Smart Abs comes in one size and is not adjustable."
That means most people won't get a comfortable fit when they use it. Bottom line? Testers say Smart Abs is not a smart buy.
Then there's the $140 Body Dome — a half-sphere with four elastic cords — and lofty goals.
"It'll get you burning off up to a pound a day!"
That's not likely, according to Consumer Reports. And the elastic cords don't provide enough resistance for much strength building, either.
The 115 dollar Ab Swing was another disappointment. You have to lean pretty far back, which panelists found disconcerting. And the handles make it easy to cheat by pulling yourself up.
"With most of the ab machines we tested you're paying a lot of money and not getting a lot in return."
Consumer Reports says regular crunches are the best way to work your abs. And best of all, you don't have to spend a dime.
While these infomercial machines are a bust, Consumer Reports says other “as seen on TV” exercise machines tested work as advertised. Tune in tomorrow and we'll tell you which ones they are.