What every best has:
A few people who buy the Malibu Pilates Chair say that the exercises are awkward and the pedals hurt their feet; for some, the resistance is too firm, and for others it is not hard enough. Shorter people can have trouble reaching the pedals. Some reviewers note that all of the exercises can be performed with other, less expensive devices, such as resistance bands and exercise balls. Quite a few people think that the chair is poorly constructed; there are reports of breaking springs. The chair can be folded for storage, but some people find it difficult to do so.
Several people complain that Malibu Pilates Chair pricing is misleading. The infomercial and website advertise a "risk-free trial offer" for $14.95, plus shipping and handling, but that is just to try the chair for a month. If you keep the chair, you'll be billed $49.95 per month for the next six months. The shipping and handling charge is a nonrefundable $29.95. You'll also have to pay shipping charges if you choose to return the chair for a refund within the 30-day trial period.
We found extensive user reviews of the Malibu Pilates Chair on sites such as EzineArticles.com, AssociatedContent.com and Viewpoints.com. Shorter reviews and ratings are listed at InfomercialRatings.com, FitnessInfomercialReview.com, QVC.com, Amazon.com and About.com.
At InformercialRatings.com, about 50 owners give the Malibu Pilates Chair generally good reviews. Many people say they enjoy the workout and experience positive results within a few weeks. This machine seems to work better for people who are already in good shape. There are several reports of poor construction. A few people were unaware of the true price of the chair, and several complain about the cost to return it.
About two dozen owners post mostly upbeat reviews of the Malibu Pilates Chair at this site for fitness products. Owners like that the chair provides an all-over workout, utilizing muscle groups in every part of the body, and several say they notice increased muscle tone quickly. A few users complain that construction is poor and the chair can be hard to fold up for storage. For one reviewer, the Malibu Pilates Chair provides a good stretch but not a good workout. Other owners note that this machine is not for people with back problems, and that some of the exercises are too hard for a beginner.
Questions about the Malibu Pilates Chair prompt about two dozen owners to describe their experience with the chair. The reviews are more positive than negative. Owners say the chair is sturdy and that it provides a good workout. People like that the resistance can be adjusted. Most reviewers say the Malibu Pilates Chair is easy to set up, though some do have trouble. A few people complain that the pedals hurt their feet. Reviewers seem to agree that this chair is best for people who already have experience with Pilates chair.
There are about 10 reviews of the Malibu Pilates Chair posted on Amazon.com, which features both the original and a 2009 version. One review is from a Pilates instructor who thoroughly outlines the pros and cons of this machine. She thinks that the Malibu Pilates Chair matches the quality of professional Pilates equipment and is even safer and more stable than other Pilates chairs. She also says the accompanying DVDs are very helpful. The reviewer notes that the range of motion is less than on a professional Pilates machine, and that the springs are not interchangeable with those from other chairs (which can vary the difficulty of workouts). Another reviewer cautions that the chair is not helpful for shorter people.
About.com's guide to Pilates asks for feedback on the Malibu Pilates Chair. About two dozen owners share their experiences, and the chair receives good reviews overall, even from people who have never tried Pilates before. A Pilates instructor says that many of the exercises are too challenging for a beginner and the DVDs don't provide competent instruction. Several people are very happy with the chair, saying that it provides a good workout. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Giles describes various exercises that can be done with the Malibu Pilates Chair. He is very enthusiastic about the chair, saying that it allows you to exercise "without strain or harm to your muscles, joints, or ligaments," and may be especially helpful for people who are "looking for a leaner core."
In this extensive user review on AssociatedContent.com, Yvonne Cote describes the Malibu Pilates Chair as "a revolutionary exercising tool" that has helped her lose weight and define the muscles in her arms and legs. She likes that several different exercises can be performed with the chair, and that the springs are adjustable. She also likes that the pedals allow her to exercise aerobically. Cote does find the chair to be "bulky," but she says it's lightweight and easy to store.
Right now, there's only one review of the Pilates Chair posted here. This anonymous reviewer is a self-described at-home exerciser who is familiar with yoga and Pilates. She thinks that working out on the Malibu Pilates Chair is fun, and that it exercises every muscle group. She likes that the machine can be used gently or vigorously. She does note that "there is no exercise you can do with this chair that you can't do with something else."