Thanks for reading my review.
My name is Mark, and Im from Stoke-On-Trent, I have just joined up to this site today (02.08.2009), so still finding my way around.
It looks very good from what I have seen so far.
Members who trust:12
Circles for the Abs
protects the back, works the thighs and hips
expensive, and needs better knee protection
Value for Money
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I have been a member of DW fitness gym now for about 6 months, and have often seen the Ab Circle Pro advertised on the large TV screens in the gym. I was instantly attracted to the piece of kit, and so the first time I saw it advertised, I decided to go into the sports store (which is attached to the gym) to see how much it was, because the TV advert failed to mention the price! I had it in my head that it would probably be about £70 - £80, but was a little shocked to see that it was actually £120!!
I was not prepared to pay that sort of money, and so I left it, and went home. A few days later I saw it on a shopping channel on TV at home, this time it was priced at £130, and so I realised that the price at DW sports was pretty competitive, but still too much to pay. Luckily for me, a few weeks later DW sports had an offer on for all gym members who made a purchase in the sports store, of 20% off, meaning I could pick up an Ab Circle Pro for £96 - so I quickly decided to get one!
What is an Ab Circle Pro?
The Ab Circle Pro is a piece of fitness equipment designed to work out the abdominal muscles in the stomach, along with the thighs, hips and bottom. The idea of this piece of equipment is that you kneel onto 2 pads, and push your knees around a circular track, whist gripping the bars at the front with your hands, thus working your stomach, without putting the usual stress on the back which is associated with the traditional sit-ups.
Assembly of the kit was very straight forward indeed, and took me about 5 minutes at most. There are a few different options available when setting it up, such as the height of the front legs have 3 different positions, the highest position being the most challenging, and also the hand grips can be altered to suit your body size. Included in the box was an Allen key, which is the only tool needed during the simple set-up process. I followed the instructions in the owner's manual (included), and it was really quick and simple to do.
Does it work?
This is a tricky one! I personally do think that it works quite well in terms of strengthening and toning the sides of the stomach. I did ache in the sides of my stomach after using the Ab Circle Pro the first few times, and although the aching disappeared after I became used to working out on it, I can easily tell that the sides of my stomach are a lot firmer than they were before I started using it. Also to a lesser degree, I think it works pretty well on the thighs, and again I have often found my thighs aching a few times after using the kit. In terms of the abs though, I have not noticed any aching, or any toning or firming in the few months that I have been using it.
~~~ My overall opinion ~~~
During the 2 - 3 months that I have owned my Ab Circle Pro, I have been pleased with the quality of the piece of equipment. It still looks in good condition, although it did get scratched after only a few uses around the track where the rollers under the knee pads roll around, but this was mainly because I had failed to take heed of the advice to wipe down the track after each use with a damp cloth. After noticing the scratching I did start to wipe it down after each use, and this seems to work very well, and has stopped the scratching. There is a little bit of noise made by the rollers on the track as you rotate your knees from side to side, but this is to be expected when you are rolling your lower body from side to side on a metal track, and it is not an irritating noise, and is often drowned out completely if you have music on while you work out.
One of the biggest surprises I have had whilst using the Ab Circle Pro is the fact that it really works out the upper arms, the shoulders, and the upper chest. This was something that I had heard mentioned in the advertising, but I doubted it would work my upper body much, until I started using it, and realised that it was my upper body that started to feel the pressure first!
A big downside though to me is the knee areas. The knees fit into a plastic moulded area, and there are 2 very thin rubber inserts that the knees sit on to comfort them whilst working out, but they are that thin, that they don't really offer much protection! Each time I used the ab circle I was finding that I had to stop using it after 10-15 minutes, not because my abs, thighs, hips etc were throbbing with pain, but because my knees were getting really hot and sore from the discomfort of the kneeling pads. I have since got round this by wearing thick jogging bottoms, which has helped a lot, and I have also got some foam pads from work which take the pressure of knees completely, and in my opinion something like this should be supplied with the equipment, as it surely harms the knees otherwise!
The weight of the equipment is another downside, as it is very heavy to lift, and as I store this upstairs, and use it downstairs, I find it is a workout in itself just carrying it up and downstairs each time!! It does fold almost flat for storage reasons, which is a good thing though. I do think that the Ab Circle Pro is over priced at £120, and possibly even for the £96 that I paid. It does work to a certain degree on the thighs, hips, and sides of the stomach, and it definitely protects the back from the usual pain and discomfort associated with ab workouts. At the same time though it does hurt the knees, which is something that can be solved with thicker clothing, or protection. I suppose what I am getting at is that this does an ok job for an 'over-inflated' price, and has a few little design faults. I personally would probably not recommend buying one of these taking the price into consideration even though it does produce a few minor results to the thighs and sides of the stomach.
I wake up to this advert every morning! the new design looks much better on the adverts, seems like its made a bit better now compared to the picture on this review.. not my thing, better ways to spend money out there lol.. but nicely reviewed :D