Pros: Very easy exercises, I suppose
Cons: Cumbersome, nearly useless,provides very little challenge, not enough variety
I love to try new fitness gadgets and equipment. I know I should have learned my lesson years ago but I just cant help myself when I see a new product that touts itself as innovative and multifunctional. And, once again, I bought right into the hype of a product and then realized it was essentially useless. Say hello to The Body Dome, a combination stability exerciser, body toner, and aerobic conditioner in one. Or, as I like to say, a big waste of space in my Closet of Doom where I keep exercise equipment that didnt make the cut.
What is the Body Dome?
Well, officially, this is what the Body Dome is. This is taken from several websites selling it.
The Body Dome is NEW, and as you will discover, is super effective. The Body Dome is based on CORE training. CORE is promoted as the ultimate fitness technique by personal trainers worldwide. You will experience a workout from your Body Dome that is different from any other exercise equipment. If this is your first time exercising, the Body Dome was a smart purchase, because the Body Dome works for every fitness level. Whether you're a novice or a trained fitness professional, the Body Dome will combine the best features of Yoga, Pilates and Aerobics - all from one exercise.
What it is, is a large, rubber dome shaped thing that is inflatable. You inflate the dome (with the included plastic hand pump) until it is bouncy. It sits on a hard plastic bottom and has a set of long and a set of short stretch cords connected to the bottom of the unit on two sides. The dome is round so you have to be sure to set it up with the bands aligned on each side of you. In theory, you can do exercises standing on the inflated dome, using the cords or not, and work your core because youre off balance, and also strengthen and tone your muscles. As an extra, you can do aerobic work on the dome and get the heart healthy benefits of aerobics combined with the challenge of a balance board type workout. Sounds pretty good, huh? Well, thats what I thought. Then I got it home and the fun began.
The dome came uninflated and I pumped it up with the enclosed hand pump. That took forever. Once it was inflated, I set it up it up and stepped on it. It was a very minor challenge to stay balanced on it. For some reason my Body Dome was blue although the photo of it was yellow where I bought it and everywhere else that I have looked. But whatever. Colors dont matter to me (unless purple is an option then I want it!). I received only one video although I was promised three. However, upon inspection, I realized that two workouts, Total Tone with Kathy Derry and Awesome Abs with Kathy Derry, are on one tape and are about 10 minutes long each. The third, a short cardio workout was nowhere to be found.
The dome itself is about 17 pounds and very cumbersome. It measures roughly 21.5"L x 23.0"W x 10.5"H. Its large and very hard to store. The outside has raised bumps on it to keep you from falling off and to provide resistance.
Once I lugged the heavy thing to the front of the TV, untangled the two sets of stretch cords, and popped in the video, I was already worn out. But like the trooper I am, I persevered. The 10-minute Tonal Tone workout is just a bunch of exercises using the resistance bands, which are super lightweight, while standing on the dome. There are a few lunges and things with your leg on the dome for wobbly support. The ab workout is a bit better with ab work done while lying across the dome and also with your feet on it. However, none of these exercises, in either workout, challenged me at all. The only challenge was trying to explain to my husband why I bought yet another piece of useless equipment for him to store away.
I didnt get the cardio workout but one can easily make up a workout by doing any cardio exercise walking, fast walking, marching in place, etc on the dome. I tried this and, while my heart rate did elevate, there just wasnt enough space to DO anything but to sort of march on this blow up dome thing. I added the resistance bands for more of a workout but, as I said, even the shorter length was very, very lightweight and easy to pull and stretch and provided almost zero resistance.
And then I stood there.
I had this big ole inflated eyesore in my living room and had absolutely nothing of value to do with it. If I wanted a good balance workout, I have a stability ball that certainly does the trick. I also have the Reebok Core Board that, while limited in its use, provides a better challenge and more variety.
As for toning, the resistance bands wont tone anyone. Even the weakest of people will not get benefit from these bands. I have weights, medicine balls, and other, better resistance bands like the Harbinger Heavy Resistance Exercise Cable that I can use for resistance.
With just 10 minutes of toning exercise and another 10 of ab work to do on this unit, I bored of it the first day. There just simply isnt anything to this unit that you cant find better (and probably cheaper) elsewhere and that will serve you better.
I relegated The Body Dome to my Closet of Doom days after I bought it. I would have sent it back but, at almost $40.00 shipping and handling to do so, I chose to just take the loss and fill up my closet with another truly useless piece of exercise gadgetry.
The Body Dome is being sold on several website for between $89.99 and around $129.99. Sometimes they tout it as having three workouts included, other times as having two. As I said, I got two on one tape and boy, were they lame. Do comparison shop because the prices are falling and, if you think this unit is something you might want, at least get the best price you can for it. Then, when you find its practically useless, it wont hurt so much to shove it in the back of a closet or in the basement.
I believe you can also buy The Body Dome at some brick and mortar sporting good stores. I highly suggest you actually see it and try it before purchasing it as its very hard to believe how truly useless it is without actually trying it out for yourself.
I love anything that gets me moving and I love variety. The Body Dome seemed to be a cool, new fitness gadget that incorporated balance, toning, cardio, and elements of yoga, Pilates, and strength training in one unit. Trust me on this, its all hype. Like many As Seen on TV fitness products, this one is best left on TV rather than next to yours. The videos are short, dull, and so easy that even the first time exerciser can easily blow through them. The ab workout is a bit tougher (or maybe it is just for me since ab work is one area that I truly dislike) but still poses no threat to any of the ab machines out there.
The only good thing about The Body Dome is that you can deflate it when you realize it is useless and it will take up a bit less space wherever you store it.
Seriously, I cant recommend this to anyone. I have to go with 1 star. This is a dud. A $100.00 dud. You would be better off buying a stability ball and a resistance band, getting a good workout DVD for each of these pieces of equipment, and youll still have money left over for cute workout outfit to inspire you.
*You can read all my exercise equipment and workout video/DVD reviews on my profile page where all my reviews are broken down by category and with links for easy access.*