Pros: Easy to use for the non motivated.
Cons: Hard to use if you are large. Assembly required. An unnecessary expense.
I am reviewing the Thane AB-DOer Pro one of the new pieces of equipment my moms fitness room has.
I was in Florida recently and have never reviewed any of the equipment in the fitness room of the condominium in which she lives. This piece was new since my last visit to her. I wasnt impressed.
I am going to start by telling you my opinion in general and then summarizing someone elses. The crunch, which requires no money and no equipment, is the best abdominal exercise you can do. Since you can do crunches from side to side also you can target the parts of the abdominal areas that the Ab-DOer claims to.
Wayne Wescott, famous for his enthusiasm for the super slow method of weight training, says, Research shows that the most impactful exercise for your midsection is the lying bicycle.
About this product and claims:
The company claims that the Ab-DOer is ergonomically designed to take pressure off your spine. The thick, padded back rollers massage your lower back in total comfort. It claims to have a unique rotating torso trimmer which will target your upper abs, lower abs, obliques (sides) and lower back all in one easy fat-burning circular motion.
Anyone can do it anytime, anywhere and you don't have to get down on the floor. From one seated position on one machine, you can workout your entire midsection and burn calories while you do it.
What this contraption is like:
There are three positive aspects to this abdominal exercise. For people who, for whatever reason cannot get on the floor, it is true, they dont have to. The second positive aspect is that sometimes having a piece of equipment is an impetus to doing an exercise.
The third is that it is not large it is the size of the desk chair you might be sitting on right now so it doesnt take up a lot of room. It does take up more room, though, than just lying down with your legs bent to do crunches.
One positive aspect I see as a negative. The reason many people cant get down on the floor is because of their size. Many large people have a hard time getting up and down. The fact is the seat of this machine isnt large. For once I didnt measure this product but the seat is about 1/4 of the length of a work out bench and not much wider. Although the handles move, which is what the marketing technique of this machine is, you still have to be able to fit inside the handles of it or you wont be able to hold them. You have to hold onto the handles in order to make the Ab-DOer move.
The handles are thickly padded and I liked that. They were very comfortable to hold. You dont need gloves to work with this machine. The midsection is spring-like and that is what will allow you to move the Ab-DOer so you can work your abdominal muscles. The midsection is a tall thin piece that connects the seat to the handles. In between there are a couple of pins that can be taken out for adjustments. You can adjust the height of the handles and you can adjust the height of the roller that is talked about above that is supposed to massage your back.
The seat is cushioned and comfortable to sit on. The whole machine sits on 2 bases that are stable.
When using this you put your feet on the floor. There are no foot supports raised off the ground.
What I think of it:
There are a lot of ways to work this machine but the basic movement is via the midsection of the machine that allows you to move to the front to do a seated crunch, to the sides to work your obliques and to the back to work various part of your back and lower back.
If you have used a lot of abdominal machines you know that you have to move with your abs, not your arms. I found this machine just too easy to cheat on and I found myself using my biceps to pull me all over the place. When I concentrated and used my abdominal muscles, there is no question, that I felt them and that this machine was working those areas. The machine works your abdominal muscles. I do not doubt that. What I am doubting is whether you want to spend $70.00 on it.
The roller that massages your back feels good going up and down but there is no way I felt as if I were getting a massage. It feels like a roller is going up and down my back and that is just what is happening.
This is a simple machine to use. Luckily I didnt have to assemble it, but it does require assembly. It comes with a manual, which will show you how to do the various exercises.
My final thoughts:
This machine will work your abdominal and surrounding muscles but so will crunches and bicycles for a lot less money. I really can't recommend this machine. There is no proof that it works any better than standard abdominal exercises. Save your money and have a nice healthy meal out.
Other workout equipment you might be interested in reading about are:
Wai Yoga Ball Kit
Precor Stretch Trainer
NordicTrack Classic Pro
Precor Stationary Bike
Precor Elliptical Machine