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Ab Circle Pro
Member Name: cha97mw
Ab Circle Pro
Advantages: works different muscle groups, was easy to assemble
Disadvantages: hard to use, takes up lots of space, boring to use
I bought the Ab circle pro on a bit of a whim I have to say just after my 33rd birthday earlier this year. I think I was feeling a bit frumpy at the time, and after watching the little video clip on amazon I was convinced that I was on a winner as you do. The woman on the video looked lovely and made it look really easy. So I parted with £78.99 of my birthday pennies.
So how has my experience of this piece of kit measured up?
At first I was really pleased with this machine. It arrived from amazon very promptly, with my only disappointment being that the machine was far larger than I had pictured in my head, a common problem of mine where I just can't seem to picture sizes of things unless they are in front of me.
This did require a little bit of assembly as it was all in pieces. There was a handy allen key provided, and the instruction manual must have been ok as I had assembled it myself without waiting for the ever patient husband to come home and do it for me.
This was a bit scary making sure all the moving parts were on tight enough and it wasn't going to collapse underneath me the second I put any weight onto it.
The premise of the machine is quite simple. There is a large circular track going round the main circular part of the machine. This is raised off the ground by a frame with handlebars. There are different height settings, and the more of an incline you set this at, the harder you have to make your body work against gravity and the more toned you should get.
To operate the machine, you simply kneel on it, with your knees in the foam cups with padding, and your hands on the handlebars. What you can't see so well on the above photo is that there is a metal bar between the two knee pads. If this is in place, you can rotate your body from side to side up and down the track. This is to tone your abdominal muscles. You can also take this pin out and move your knees together and apart in a scissor motion, and this is to tone your legs and bum muscles. It is not really recommended to try and do the rotating movement with the pin out - I think in my case I would do myself a mischief.
So, quite simple then? Are you still with me?
So in theory, this is a good piece of kit as you are using the weight of your own body as a resistance weight to tone your flabby bits, the machine is quite fun to use compared to other apparatus, and you can work several muscle groups with one piece of kit.
In practice, it is not that comfortable to kneel on this even using the knee pads. I don't know if that is just me as I have slightly dodgy knees anyway, but I find it hard. I also find it really hard to perform the movements in a smooth non jerky manner, so I am very wary of it in case I get injured. It requires a lot of strength in your arms and shoulders to get your body moving in the first place in the rotating movement. Once you start, momentum does make it slightly easier, but this requires a fair amount of fitness to use. The scissor movement is a lot easier, but once your legs begin to tire, again, it is hard to make small controlled movements.
As a result (of me being so unfit probably) I find that I cannot really use this machine for more than 5-10 minutes at a time, and that is on the flattest level. Even if I were stronger, there is only so much going round and round you can tolerate, and it is a bit noisy as you move round the track so you wouldn't want to do it while watching the telly. It is also a bit heavy to move it to a part of the house where there is enough room to use it without worry of crashing into something, and it doesn't even fold flat enough to fit under a bed like I imagined it would, so it is leaning upright against the wall in the spare bedroom looking like an instrument of torture.
Would I recommend this? I would say unless you are super fit already, then I think not. And if you are superfit, you are likely to find it a bit boring, and already have much better methods than this machine for toning your body. It has become yet another of my expensive whims that is under used and utilised. #should have just joined the gym.
Summary: Yet another bit of fitness kit gathering dust in our household.
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