Putting informercial fitness items to the test

January 2, 2013 4:43:51 AM PST
Getting into shape is one of the top New Year's resolutions most put on their list. So we thought we'd take a look at a few infomercial exercises that could be for you this year.

There's nothing like a good infomercial to grab your attention. Consumer Reports tested three -- Jay Glazer's Perfect Punch, Rhythm Rocker by Kymaro, and for women, the CoreBody Reformer.

"We rounded up staffers to try out each product," Kim Kleman with Consumer Reports said. "We called on a fitness industry expert to evaluate each one. We even had our nutrition expert take a look at the diets that came with two of the products."

The $30 Perfect Punch uses mixed martial arts techniques to get you in shape. But Consumer Reports found you can burn roughly the same amount of calories jogging four-and-a-half miles per hour for 16 minutes.

And it was far from perfect.

"It kept rubbing my chin,' said tester Eugene Chin.

"One more time those bands come snapping up and hit me in the ears, I was going to rip it in half," added tester Erin Gudeux.

Next up was the $99 Rhythm Rocker by Kymaro.

The Rhythm Rocker comes with several different workouts and a nutrition guide. Consumer Reports' panelists tried out the eleven-and-a-half-minute dance blast video.

Turns out you burn the equivalent of walking only two miles per hour on a treadmill.

"As for the seven-day diet, it's pretty strict so you could probably lose weight, but our nutrition expert said it offered limited food options and no maintenance program," said Kleman.

And finally, they tested the $250 Nautilus CoreBody Reformer for women. It combines yoga, Pilates, and dance in one workout.

Panelists found some of the balance exercises tricky, but overall this machine did well in Consumer Reports tests.

"The workouts are well-rounded, and if you're somewhat fit and are looking to improve your strength and flexibility, it might be one to consider," said Klemen.

Consumer reports says the CoreBody reformer can also help you improve your balance. Another advantage is the diet. They say it's easy to follow, and you can lose a slow and steady one to two pounds a week.