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and Other Flimsy Workout Machines

The following is an unbiased review of the Leg Magic. At present, this machine is being heavily promoted by its manufacturers, and heavily praised by an army of seemingly unrelated people. My Google search for the term "Leg Magic Review" returned plenty of positive comments from satisfied customers, and almost no negative feedback. I must admit: I'm at a loss as to why this happens.

The problem is: I own the Leg Magic (I bought it due to the overwhelming hype around it), and my experience with it didn't corroborate this "magical" picture.

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What is the Leg Magic? It's a minimalistic workout machine, consisting of a vertical stand with 2 laterally outgoing tracks at the bottom. To use the machine, you step on 2 pedals which glide on these tracks. So basically, you'll be moving your legs in and out while gliding on these tracks. This should allegedly work your abductors, adductors, buttocks and "all other leg muscles". You must initiate the outward gliding motion, and then stop it and reverse to an inward gliding motion.

Sounds beautiful, right? You get to work all those hard to reach leg muscles, like a magical bullet! The manufacturers claim you only need a 1-minute workout, repeated several times throughout the day. Just hop on the machine when you have a moment (literally), and give it a minute of gliding, and... reap the results!

I must admit that the principle behind the Leg Magic struck me as interesting. Working the adductor muscles is rather hard with conventional methods, and this machine seemed to offer an attractive low impact option. It sounded fairly good in theory, so I bought it.

Now lets see what happens in practice: Once I got my Leg Magic, I could hardly wait to unwrap it and set it up. This however proved rather difficult, since some of the components wouldn't fit together quite right. Suffice it to say, the setup took quite a bit of creative engineering.

Now as to the performance of the machine itself:  Once I hopped on and started gliding, I noticed right away the rather harsh impact on my knees. Stopping the outward gliding motion and shifting to an inward motion puts quite a bit of strain on the collateral ligaments. At this point, I understood the reason behind the 1-minute workout time: It's simply a safety issue. Moreover, the machine lacks cushioning entirely. Your feet are gliding on a hard steel frame, with nothing to absorb the impact.

Upon completing the 1-minute workout time, I also noted some pulling in the groin area, which precluded me from using the Leg Magic for the next few days. Please note that I am accustomed to working out, so these problems cannot be attributed to my being out of shape.

After absorbing this disappointment, I went and read the instructions on the machine in detail, to ensure I had done everything as directed. It turned out I had, so I couldn't blame the negative outcome on an error in device assembly or workout technique.

While reading the literature that came with the Leg Magic, I was amused to find a detailed workout plan (independent of using the machine), consisting of down-to-earth aerobic and muscle toning routines, to be done on a daily basis. This really made me smile: Of course, doing this would take care of the weight loss part, with or without the Leg Magic.

This being said, I still believe the Leg Magic has some value in working the adductor and abductor muscles, but its role for weight loss has been greatly exaggerated. Moreover, to be a halfway decent machine, it would need some additional cushioning of the pedals.

The above scenario is unfortunately typical of most flimsy workout machines. There is a fundamental business principle that cannot be ignored: "Most of the time, you get what you pay for." A decent workout machine typically costs hundreds to thousands of dollars. Anything less is a sign the respective machine is questionable.

For me, this principle held true for countless inexpensive purchases. The gadgets either broke within hours, or proved impossible to use.

The only inexpensive workout machine I used with good results was the Ab Doer (from John Abdo). And I'm happy to say, this device provided some visible results as far as midsection sculpting, along with some unexpected aerobic benefits.



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