bender ball

Ever watch Saturday morning infomercials?

You see all sorts of fitness products designed to get you in shape in minutes a day. They usually make the exercises easier too (like doing “easy” exercises is actually a good way to stimulate muscle growth.)

The only worthwhile device I’ve seen advertised with infomercials was the Perfect Push-Up (like the Push-Up Pro I reviewed.) Otherwise you just get some gadget that miraculously gives you six pack abs in minutes a day, no effort required. Quite funny how those gadgets never work yet people still buy the latest gizmo thinking “this one has to work!”

Anyway, something you may have seen is called the Bender Ball. I never paid attention to this but a friend of mine actually bought one…

If you just see a picture, it looks like a nice medicine ball. But in reality, it’s a joke. It is just like one of those inflatable playground balls that little kids use for kickball!

You might as well just get one of those balls for $2 from Wal-Mart. It’s not like the Bender Ball is super expensive, but it is once they sign you up for automatic monthly DVD shipments. Yep, every month Bender Ball will send you a new workout DVD or something like that and charge your credit card without your consent!

My friend called the Better Business Bureau to report them, and lo and behold, the BBB had received tons of complaints already!

All you have to do is Google “bender ball scam” and you’ll find a lot of interesting pages. Such as:

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/

Lots of companies like it when you sign-up for monthly memberships. FRS for example – they will give you a free trial if you sign-up for monthly shipments. But the more reputable companies like that do actually have the terms and conditions listed on their website.

I scoured the BenderBall.com site and there was no mention of auto-enrollment in their membership club anywhere that I could see!

So what should you do?

My first suggestion is to avoid this whole idea. Doing crunches with this ball is just dumb. It supposedly makes crunches “408% harder,” but if you think crunches are too easy, you’re not doing them right.

What you should do is actually focus on working your abs, in which case you don’t need the Bender Ball or a substitute.

And if you actually do need to make your exercises harder, just try your exercises on a stability ball – it’s the same concept where instability requires you to recruit more core muscles into your movement.

My final verdict is…

Avoid the Bender Ball at all costs.

If you go against my advice, at least buy it on eBay so you’re aiding someone who decided they shouldn’t have bought one of these in the first place. Surely you can get a good deal from someone who got roped into purchasing one of these things and now wants to sell it to some other sucker.

What you should do instead, is invest in a full-size exercise ball (i.e. Swiss ball) which is the same price or cheaper, and can be used for a wider variety of exercises. Or just do the plank – it’s better than any crunch variation you can do with a Bender Ball.

Official website: www.BenderBall.com

Buy online: Amazon.com or www.eBay.com

Product Review Details
Company: Bender Ball
Product: Bender Ball
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 1.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2009-02-24
Obtained Product: Tested at local gym.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

Click here if you would like to get your product reviewed on CoachLevi.com.
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3 Comments
  1. My purchase of the Bender Ball resulted in 1) over $100 in additional charges to my credit card which I did NOT authorize, and 2) my cell phone number given out to multiple third parties resulting in me receiving 2-3 marketing calls each day. I’m not happy.

  2. I was reading a study about this on WebMD. They compared crunches on the Bender Ball to crunches on a standard (large) stability ball. They found virtually no difference. That’s a far cry from the claimed 408% more effective Bender Ball crunches.

    Marketing materials for the Bender Ball also say users will get results quickly, but provide no documentation as to what results you might expect.

    So I agree with your “avoid at all costs” judgment. Thanks.

  3. I have used a Bender Ball for a year in Barre class and love it! It has helped to build my abs and core while saving my back. Looking to buy one and this post was helpful as I am not looking for a recurring DVD charge. But do stand behind the ball’

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