The Pitch: "Blast your abs like never before"
March 2009. The Ab Rocket, an abdominal trainer designed to assist with crunches, is one of the most common infomercials on TV. The company claims the Ab Rocket will tone and define your abs, while burning belly fat and giving you a massage as you use it. So does the Ab Rocket work to "blast your abs"? Reviewers say that in general, it works fine for beginners, but experts say this exercise gadget is expensive and isn't significantly more effective than doing crunches or sit-ups.
There are both positive and negative reviews for the Ab Rocket, all of which offer a clear description of how the product works. The most positive feedback on user-review sites is consistent: Beginners say the Ab Rocket helps them maintain the correct form when doing crunches. Other reviewers say the Ab Rocket is easy to use and to assemble, unlike other abdominal trainers on the market.
Other reviewers, though, say the Ab Rocket does not fulfill its advertised claims. Lack of back and neck support is one common complaint. Across the board, this is an issue with many ab machines. Reviewers also say the cushions do not massage as advertised. Some experts believe you will get a better ab workout by doing crunches without the machine.
There is a wealth of information for the Ab Rocket, both negative and positive, from users on many review sites, including Amazon.com and InfomercialRatings.com. Online retail sites, such as Walmart.com and Brookstone.com have a variety of helpful Ab Rocket reviews, while experts weigh in on the Ab Rocket at Consumer Reports and American Chronicle.
InfomercialRatings.com is a user-review site that features ratings for many infomercial products. The majority of users give the Ab Rocket a negative rating of just one or two stars out of a possible five. Many users complain that there is not enough support for an average-sized person, and that it is a poorly made product. On the plus side, some reviewers say the Ab Rocket is good for beginners.
Review: Ab Rocket Reviews and Ratings, Contributors to InfomercialRatings.com
More than half of the Ab Rocket reviews are positive. Users say the product helped strengthen their abdominals and was easy to use. Less positively, some users say the exerciser was too easy.
Review: Ab Rocket Abdominal Trainer, Contributors to Walmart.com
Amazon.com provides user-friendly reviews, which are easy to find and provide a lot of coverage on other abdominal machines on the market. More than 125 Ab Rocket Abdominal Trainer owners review the product, with about 30 percent awarding it five stars (a perfect rating). Negative reviews focus on the lack of resistance, as well as poor neck and back support.
Review: Ab Rocket Abdominal Trainer, Contributors to Amazon.com
Consumer Reports editors test three abdominal exercisers, including the Ab Rocket, assessing how well their performance measures up to advertised claims. The editors don't rate the individual machines, however.
Review: Get Fit? Get Real, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Jan. 2009
With a little over 20 reviews, more than half of Ab Rocket owners say the device is easy to use and targets the abdominal muscles. The Ab Rocket earns an above-average user rating, although a few users complain that it's too limited to be of real use as an exercise machine.
Review: Ab Rocket Abdominal Exercise Machine, Contributors to Brookstone.com
6. American Chronicle
John Davenport is a self-described weight-loss and fitness expert. He describes common positive and negative testimonials from Ab Rocket users. After discussing some user complaints, he says traditional crunches will get more results than the Ab Rocket. The source of these testimonials is not disclosed, however, and it's unclear whether Davenport conducted any hands-on testing.
Review: Ab Rocket Review -- Does the Ab Rocket Really Work?, John Davenport, Feb. 2, 2009