Pros: Semi-portable; works like three machines in one.
Cons: Way too much money; challenging only for those not working out.
I love working my lower body. The Hip & Thigh Sculptor by Body by Jake is an interesting idea but...
I want to start with what the Hip and Thigh Sculptor is supposed to do. I will then tell you about the machine, how to use it and my experiences and thoughts.
Jake, the inventor of the Ab Scissor, claims that the Sculptor will transform my lower body. Ill get slim thighs which of course will be sexy, curvy hips (for those I guess who want curvy hips) and tight lifted buns (thus you wont need a butt implant). Ill get this all in just ten minutes a day.
Lets talk about the machine:
I tend not to call items like these machines because I dont see them as such thus the term gizmo. What Jake has done has actually invented a decent product. However for reasons Ill get to it has a long way to go to be worth $400 and a highly recommend from me.
There are three machines that women love. Two of them I would say are exclusively (99%) used by women. These are the abductor and adductor machines. You can work these muscles easily without a machine. The abductor muscles are those on the upper and outer part of your leg. If you stand and lift your leg to the side you are working your abductor muscles. Put an ankle strap on and you are working them even more. This area often shows cellulite.
The adductor muscles are those on the inside of our thighs. If you take your leg and cross it in front of the other leg you are working your inner thighs. These are often flabby and loose even if you are thin if you dont exercise.
The third exercise is the leg press. We all do this. Men love it as well. Youll now find leg press exercises on many of the home gym pieces. Using a real leg press whether on a home piece or in the gym we press against a very large plate or a long bar with plates (weights) on it. This works many muscles including my quadriceps (front of thighs), glutes (butt), and my hamstrings (back of my thighs).
Jake is correct that the leg press will work my calves as well. In fact if you have a leg press of any kind and dont know how to isolate your calves on it just leave me a comment and I will explain. The Sculptor is not intended to isolate the calf. The leg press on the Sculptor is called a compound exercise because it works many muscles at once. This is not a bad thing. It is nice to be able to isolate the quadriceps but for the purposes of this review it wouldnt be essential if this gizmo cost $100.
What you get:
Along with the Sculptor youll get a DVD and a meal planner. I always chuckle when I write a review and have to tell you that youll get a meal plan. Does Jake really think that we dont know that what we put into our bodies is an important aspect to our health and weight? (Having said that there was a recent study with monkeys. Active monkeys lost weight no matter how much they ate. Sedentary monkeys gained weight. What this suggests is that if we exercise we can eat whatever we want. Obviously more has to be done with this one study but I know that if I eat 2000 calories in one day and only burn 100 I will not lose weight.)
Jake says that well learn to shift our focus from what we can't eat to what we can eat. This he says reduces our body fat so we can sculpt our bodies. I say we reduce our body fat not so we can sculpt our bodies but to enhance the work we our doing for our bodies.
The Sculptor weighs 33 pounds. I consider this a semi-portable gizmo. It isnt light enough to carry around with you but it is light enough to move easily.
It measures 35 inches long by 25 inches wide by 26 inches high.
The maximum user weight is 250 pounds.
Jake offers a one-year warranty and a 30-day trial. Of course most products can be returned within 30 days so this trial that he offers is a bit misleading.
Lets use it:
The gizmo is simple to use. There are several padded areas which Ill mention. One is the seat; one is the low back and two are the abductor/adductor pads. Please note: I am not quite 5 feet 5 inches tall. I was not comfortable on the Sculptor. I felt it to be too low to the ground and not long enough.
If you are too tall the adductor/abductor pads will fall in the wrong place. They should be just above your knees. Also if you are tall when you use the leg press bar and bring it in your knees will be very close to your body or in your face depending on your height.
I did use it in spite of it not being the right size. Im used to even commercial high-end products not being the right size because they are often made for men. After sitting on it I put my legs against the pads and moved them outward. That worked my outer thighs. Youll find a knob under the machine but within reach. When I pulled that the pads changed position so I could work my inner thighs.
There is a handle that I moved to change resistances. There are three resistances. I tried them all.
The abductor/adductor part works just like most machines. I could adjust the width of my legs with three pins making three adjustments. The reason this is needed is because if you are new to this exercise you will not be able to pull inward or push outward as far as someone experienced.
The leg press features work via a piston. As I pushed down on the bar the piston offered resistance depending on what level I put it on. The leg press gave me six levels.
The Sculptor is easy to use and easy to move around and store.
It works like three machines that are very effective for the lower body areas.
I didnt have to change any attachment or even get off the machine.
The Sculptor is made of metal but I am really concerned with a one-year warranty. The piston could break or the handle could get stuck. For this kind of money I would want a longer period of time.
It wont work well for tall people. Even at only 5 feet 5 inches (or close) I barely felt like it was suited for me. Now I must tell you that I dug around a little concerned that I wanted to be accurate in my own assessment. Jake says that the Sculptor is good for women seven feet tall. I called customer service and spoke to a very nice young man who told me he has used the Sculptor. He told me it's for people 4 feet 11 inches to 6 feet 2 inches. Jake is off on his own machine by a few inches!
I told him about the concerns I had especially with the leg press. He told me that he pushes down with one foot first because it is true that if the bar is up high and a tall person were to put their feet on it their feet would be in their face. But in all honesty when doing a leg press most of us don't have our legs so close to our bodies but then again some do. This all may not matter since I'm not recommending the machine.
It is much too expensive for what you get.
The resistance wasnt enough for me. I like to build muscle. I asked this same very nice young man what he thought of the resistance. I told him I was a personal trainer and was not challenged. He really didn't argue with me. He did say that he's just out of college, used to play football, rarely works out especially his lower body and finds the hardest level (six) on the foot press to be somewhat challenging.
If you are looking for a bit of toning the Sculptor will do the trick if you have been working out for a while I dont think youll be happy with the level of resistance. If this is new for you then it will be. However the bottom line is that there is no way I would recommend this machine. Maybe, maybe if you are not tall; if you are lightweight; if you are new to exercising and can get it really inexpensively then Id say take the risk. Other than that stay away.
Body by Jake Ab Scissor Ultra
My fitness equipment reviews can be found here. Thanks for reading. jo