Buy It & Try It: AbSwing

(Columbia) May 6, 2003 - All this week Judi Gatson and the Troubleshooter team are focusing their Buy It & Try It tests on products designed for self improvement in a series called "A Whole New You."

Commercials for the AbSwing make some heady claims, "In the last 14 days I lost seven pounds and seven-and-a-quarter inches, and I can't believe it." The AbSwing claims users just sit and swing and inches will disappear in two weeks.

Tara Dunn and Erin Hundley, both student athletic trainers at USC, helped Judi test the AbSwing. They say it usually takes more than one exercise to get results, so the claims seem too good to be true.

They still tested it, clicking the seat into place, pulling out the leg bar and sitting down, "It says relax on machine with back straight."

Erin's went first, and after two sets she said she could fell it "Slightly, you can feel in your lower abs."

When Tara's turn came, she was worried about her balance, "I does kinda scare me a little bit and make me feel like I'm about to fall back," but she eventually gets the hang of it.

After one workout, Erin's verdict was mostly positive, "I liked it. It was a pretty good workout."

Tara like that it didn't put pressure on her back, "I have back problems, and it bothers me when I do regular crunches, and it didn't bother my back at all."

Erin and Tara used the AbSwing for three more weeks to get a better judge on longer term results. After the testing period Erin reported they amount of exertion was low, "It's real easy. It doesn't take that much effort." But she says, "You sit here and do it ,and you can't feel anything. I don't feel my stomach muscles getting tight."

Tara continued to praise the AbSwing for taking pressure off her back, but she, too, just didn't feel like she was getting much exercise, "It just feels like you don't really get a good workout. You can't feel it in your abs. Usually when I do crunches, you can feel it burning, but you can't really feel anything."

That's all the Smart Shopper needed to hear. She says the AbSwing is not worth the $90.

Some of the guys at USC tried the AbSwing, too, and complained the machine was not big enough. Some trainers say everyone has a six pack, but most are covered up. They say you have to put in some sweat equity to get results.

By Judi Gatson
Posted 6:00pm by Chris Rees