Pros: Works many different body part; inexpensive, well made machine.
Cons: Lack of resistance options.
Most gyms have a piece of equipment on which you can do leg raises. Most have pieces of equipment on which you can do chin ups and dips. I was delighted to see the Chin Dip Leg Raise Machine (CDL-153) by Yukon.
About the CDL
I will get the specs out of the way first. This piece of equipment weighs 118 pounds. It measures 83 inches high by 48 inches wide by 57 inches long. The weight capacity of the user is up to 350 pounds. (If you see it online somewhere with a weight capacity of less than that that website is incorrect.)
It is made of steel. The unit is very stable. It sits on a base that looks like two skis. However I consider the weight of this to be fairly light so honor the weight limit please.
Yukon stands behind their products. I have been impressed with the pieces of Yukon equipment I have used. However if you are not satisfied with your purchase, Yukon will refund you 100% on the purchase price less shipping costs.
Yukon Fitness Equipment warrants its products against defects in materials and workmanship outlined herein. Welded structure, pulleys, and bushings are guaranteed for the life of the registered owner
Why use this and how to use the CDL
The CDL is unique because it combines a piece of equipment (I wont call it a machine since it has no moving parts.) for hanging leg raises with one that allows me to do dips, chin ups and push ups. I will briefly go through these exercises so you can understand how much it works. There are many types of leg raises I can do on the CDL including hanging raises, bringing my legs straight up, and bent-knee which is done with a pelvic tilt and acts as a reverse crunch both of which work your abdominal muscles particularly your lower abs. I can also do twisting leg raises which work my oblique muscles (muscles on my sides) as well as other muscles such as the serratus and intercostals.
Many of us (Im a Personal Trainer.) believe leg raises to be at the top of the list for best abdominal work. Because you abdominal muscles dont attach to your legs some experts believe that raising and lowering legs only work the ab muscles indirectly. That may be true but if done correctly which means really tilting your pelvic area to get a crunch, I find these really effective. They are done on the CDL fairly easily however if you have never done these you may only be able to start with one leg raise. I can almost guarantee that as you work out and gain strength in your upper body you will be doing 12 in no time.
There are two steps that are raised off the floor. I stand on them with my back facing the machine. The trick is to press my back against the nicely padded back as I lift myself so that my arms rest on the padded arms of the machine. My hands are holding the top of the padded handles. For many this alone is difficult. I remember teaching my daughter and she thought I was crazy. She now thinks nothing of using a leg raise machine. My legs are now hanging and I am supporting my weight with my arms on the pads. In that position I can do a bent leg raise or a twisting leg raise (my two favorites).
Yukons Chin Dip Leg Raise machine when used for leg raises is a traditional machine. It becomes really interesting when I go to do dips. Dips are often used to work the pectoral muscles (chest) but if used in a certain way they hit the triceps (The back of your upper arms.) When we work our triceps we work our pectoral (chest) muscles as well. With a slight variation the dip will turns into a chest exercise. (If interested in learning this, e-mail me.)
This is where the CDL becomes too challenging for the average person. Let me explain. On other types of machines where I do chin ups (The Stairmaster Gravitron not yet reviewed) for example I can adjust the weight that I am lifting. For example rather than having to raise 100% of my weight which I have to do on the CDL, I can put in a pin and the Gravitron will assist me as much as I want. Using the CDL I will be facing the machine and step onto the step-ups. From there I hold onto bottom of the padded arms and lift myself up. I am now holding my own weight. From here I do what are called dips. I am going to raise myself up which my arms straight. As I bend my elbows I lower myself leaning backward. From the bottom of this movement I press myself back up. I like to add a squeeze to my triceps at the top of this movement. The CDL allows me to work my triceps really well and my chest also. However I consider this an advanced exercise.
Much of the above paragraph I can say for chin ups which Yukons Chin Dip machine allows me to do. Chin ups work the back and as they do so they work the biceps as well. This is very difficult to do for most women. Pulling up your own weight requires upper body strength. If you are new to weight training this will take some time to accomplish. I step on the same step-ups I used for the dips and reach for the bar. The bar has padded handles. However I hold the bar in many areas depending on what part of my back I want to work. For example if I want to work on widening my back and working the latissimis dorsi muscles (know at lats) particularly the upper and outer areas, I will grasp the ends of the bar on the CDL with an overhand grip. I am now hanging from the bar and pull myself up. Again this is very hard. The first time you do this you can have someone assist you. He or she can hold your legs and lift you up. Your muscles think they are doing the work (really) and will get stronger even with this assistance. One nice thing about doing chin ups on the Yukon CDL is that the padded back stops my legs from swinging. I find that having my legs swing requires extra effort on my part so this is just an added benefit.
Yukon has even put push up handles on the base of the machine. Push ups strengthen the chest muscles. You may wonder why use handles when I can just do them on the floor. Actually there is a very good reason. You may have seen handles sold separately in stores to use as a prop for push ups. Push ups are harder to do using handles however they keep my hands straight which I like. When I do push ups on the floor I put my hands on dumbbells to keep my wrist straight. Holding the handles eliminates the bent wrist position which you will have on the floor unless you are using weights or handles. Since using the Yukons handles are harder what I do is start with the handles and when I fatigue I then go to the floor.
Push ups can be done straight legged which is the real way to do them. However many women just are not strong enough to do them like this. It is fine to bend your legs. You will strengthen and tone your chest, triceps and shoulders even with bent knees.
Jos Final Thoughts:
The Yukon Chin Dip Leg Raise Machine is really a fantastic piece of equipment. I highly recommend it for the advanced weight trainer or someone who is just strong. It will be a waste of money unless you are determined to work up to being able to pull yourself up using your own body weight. It is almost inexpensive enough for me to say that if all you will use it for are abdominal exercise work and push ups it is worth the money.
I am giving it 4 stars rather than 5 because of its limitations, i.e. lack of ability to give the consumer resistance options.
Other reviews of Yukon equipment:
Yukon Competitor Lat Pull Down Machine • Yukon Economy Lat Pull Down Machine • Yukon Seated Calf Machine • Yukon Inversion Table
All my fitness related equipment is listed on my profile page. Thanks for reading. jo