Does It Really? We Test the Bender Ball

17SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/19/2008 5:57 AM   :  309 comments

You may have seen late-night infomercials for the Bender Ball and its accompanying workout DVDs, which promise to deliver amazing results for your abs. In fact, one of their selling points is a big graph that says the Bender Ball is 408% more effective than crunches alone. So does it live up to its hype? Find out what I thought after putting it to the test this past weekend.

The Bender Ball is nothing more than a specifically-branded "mini ball," an inexpensive piece of equipment that has been used for years by exercise instructors and personal trainers. Just as a stability ball engages more core muscle fibers (since it's harder to balance on than a flat surface), a mini ball like the Bender Ball gives you workout options that you wouldn't have otherwise, and increases the challenge of an exercise. It's smaller than a stability ball (about 7 inches in diameter when inflated), but you use it in different ways: hold it between the thighs, knees or ankles or lie with it at the base of your spine, to name a few.

The Bender Ball comes with one instructional DVD that contains two different workout modes. The first is Core Training and it has three levels: 1 for beginners (less than 3 minutes long), 2 for intermediate exercisers (about 5 minutes long) and 3 for advanced exercisers (about 6 minutes long). I tried all three at once and felt my abs working during each one. But in workout 3, my abs were shaking like nothing I had felt before! Don't let the short length of these workouts fool you. I found them to be extremely effective and challenging. Remember that you don't need to do hundreds or thousands of repetitions to get a good workout. These short workouts get the job done!

Next I tried the second included workout: Buns and Thighs. It lasted about 22 minutes. I thought it had a great variety of exercises (including some that I had never seen before myself), and the same high-quality cues and instructions were very helpful. Overall, it was an excellent lower-body workout for people of many fitness levels.

Overall, I thought the Bender Ball was fun, different and effective. The workout instructions were clear, the exercises were safe, modifications were offered, and the participants were pretty relatable (middle-aged women), but men would find this workout just as challenging as women.

Do I recommend this product? Hands down, YES! The exercises on the DVD, in my opinion, are more effective than regular crunches alone, especially as there's a lot of variety and levels to choose from. The set is inexpensive (less than $15) to boot. If you're looking for a new abs challenge or enjoy Pilates (which this is strikingly similar to), then you'll like the Bender Ball. But remember: No amount of strength or toning exercises will get rid of the flab that covers your fabulous abs, so cardio is still essential!

Some customers have complained that when you buy the Bender Ball, they continue to ship and charge you for new DVDs later. Buyer beware, but according to their Satisfaction Guarantee, you can cancel anytime (like before additional products get shipped to you).

What do you think? Would you try the Bender Ball?


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Comments

  • 309
    I have one of these and I love it. It is good for me because, me being an older female I don't want to do a hundred crunches a day. With the bender ball I can follow along with the DVD and I have had a great workout. I am glad that this blogger liked the product. I hate buy something and they it is not up to the quality that it is advertised at. - 1/6/2014   4:40:24 PM
  • DELLMEL
    308
    Going to get one to see what it like. Everyone say it's great. - 5/31/2013   2:51:33 PM
  • DELLMEL
    307
    Have to get one. - 5/10/2013   8:38:19 PM
  • 306
    It sounds like something to possibly add to my "home gym" set up. However, I just got an ab/core support ball with DVD through amazon that is about 6 inches in diameter but set up like a fat 'bone' with bulbs at either end a little fatter than the middle. The whole thing is about a foot long. I'm wondering if it will do the same things? - 3/7/2013   2:27:10 PM
  • ANGE2429
    305
    I love the benderball. - 11/26/2012   12:09:52 PM
  • 304
    I have a Bender Ball and I love it. - 11/25/2012   8:44:48 AM
  • 303
    Hm, I might try it! Thanks for review and all the good suggestions about where to buy it! - 11/21/2012   9:34:19 AM
  • SJSFRANCINE
    302
    Save yourself some money and go to Amazon and get a SloMo ball...that's where this came from anyway. I've been in the fitness field for 30 years and have seen a lot come and go...you don't need to pay extra for someone's name tatooed to the ball. Go to the library and borrow a video. If you buy the Bender set, you'll be doing the same workout and boredom will set in. Save some money, go to Amazon and then take the class at your gym. - 7/10/2012   3:45:32 AM
  • 301
    Sounds like I need to try the Bender Ball. I figured it was just a bunch of hype. Nice to hear it works. - 1/17/2012   3:57:01 AM
  • HEATHER42779
    300
    The bender ball DOES work and it works really well!!! Back when I was actually motivated I used the bender ball and seen extreme changes in my body and I thought it was a lot easier than doing normal crunches!!! I am looking forward to using the bender ball again...I have the dvd but the ball got deflated by my dog! lol - 1/16/2012   10:54:46 AM
  • STARLITEGIRL44
    299
    I have been wondering for over a year now if the bender ball was a good purchase or not or even worked. Thank you. I may go get it today now because I hate to just get down on the floor to do Ab work alone I rather had something to make it fun getting in a good core and Ab work in. Thank you for posted this.
    ~Michaele - 1/11/2012   7:16:51 AM
  • VEGGIE_GIRL28
    298
    Really great to know! I'd love to get a great workout in such a short period of time! - 11/9/2011   1:17:11 AM
  • BAILEE_GRAVES
    297
    I have a lot of problems with lower back pain that make "crunch type" core work impossible. I bought The Bender Ball program over a year ago and I highly recommend it! It's saved me alot of back pain and ALMOST makes me look forward to working out my core!! - 10/29/2011   4:36:38 PM
  • 296
    I found the entire kit at a thrift shop for $2.99! DVDs weren't even opened. I nabbed that sucker up and figured I have less than $3 to lose if I don't like it....I love it! The ball gives really needed support for your back as you do the workout and yes, by the time I went through the entire dvd, (about 20 minutes) I could really feel it. Recommend this product for sure. - 10/8/2011   10:36:03 AM
  • 295
    I'd been considering buying it to add to my fitness arsenal, now I will definitely be looking for it next time I am in Target or walmart...I think I saw it at Dicks' Sporting goods too, so no worries on getting trapped into getting more dvd's if it doesn't suit me. Thanks for the review. - 9/19/2011   12:52:08 PM
  • BDSMITH06
    294
    I'm not sure how the program itself works but for those of you skeptical about ordering products I purchased the program today from my local Target store and it was on clearance for only about $9. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but i figured at that price it was worth a shot! - 9/7/2011   6:29:39 PM
  • 293
    I can't vouch for the dvd's, but we have a Bender ball pilates class at my gym which I tried for the first time last week. I liked it a lot and felt a bit sore the next day so I'd say it worked my muscles pretty darn good. - 5/11/2011   9:59:24 PM
  • 292
    Thanks very informative, I will be adding this to my target shopping list as long as I don't exceed the recommended weight. - 5/11/2011   1:45:05 AM
  • 291
    I have been contemplating purchasing. Now I know it's the real deal. And it's cheap so consider it ordered! - 3/21/2011   4:11:56 PM
  • 290
    ... or you can buy it at the store. This way there will not be any unwanted future deliveries.
    Thanks for the evaluation. I'll have to start using mine again. - 2/22/2011   10:29:43 AM
  • 289
    I knew these are smaller then the Stability balls, but how are they compared to the small weighted balls that Leslie Sansone uses in some of her DVD's? (I think mine are like 2 pounds each - found the dvd and ball set on Amazon just now so they are still around - I'd originally got mine from Collage Video.). It's my understanding that a "medicine ball" is a lot like these balls but larger and weigh more (but they don't weight as much as a kettleball, and kettleballs have the handle - it's yet a different type of workout as well.). - 2/17/2011   9:49:05 PM
  • MJ7DM33
    288
    This looks like somrthing that I'd like to try.Especially based on the information pesented here. - 2/17/2011   9:35:50 AM
  • 287
    I will try the bender ball! - 2/16/2011   7:00:37 PM
  • 286
    Isn't the Bender Ball a regular stability ball? - 2/15/2011   6:19:56 AM
  • 285
    I too, like SunnyArizona experienced back pain. Not sure if mine was inflated enough. - 2/1/2011   9:56:51 AM
  • NURSEMATE49
    284
    I love my bender ball. I have been using it every day and gives you a workout. - 1/28/2011   7:54:38 PM
  • ROBYNPHOENIX
    283
    Love love love it! I bought mine at target for under $20 and it came with 3 great dvd's. I have a 1 year old and a back so bad I'm constantly at the chiropractor. One of the dvd 's was a back strenghthener and its already doing wondders after a few uses. The workouts are so effective in such a short time I can do my back and abs while my little man is napping! Highly reccomend this for all ages and fitness level! - 1/27/2011   11:56:34 PM
  • SWEETJANE53
    282
    I just got my Bender Ball, and I haven't tried to do the DVD's yet, but I have 'Dancin Grannies Beginers' exericise tape, old one, I don't think they have it on DVD. I used the Bender Ball with it, and I found that the rubbery surface of the ball was easier to hold on to, with either my hands, or knees, or ankles, then the toy ball that I had. The Bender Ball started loosing air within 24 hours so I guess I will have to blow it up every day, and I am worried that the plug may get loose after a while, but other then that, I like it. I watched a little of the DVD's and I am excited to try the exercises. - 1/27/2011   7:04:53 PM
  • 281
    I put it on my list to get, for a reward. - 1/10/2011   12:03:46 PM
  • 280
    I will definitely have to try this - found the initial DVD on ebay, at a inexpensive cost. And GMLRENKE thanks for the idea of the kickball. Hopefully I will complete this purchase for under $10! - 1/6/2011   9:00:08 AM
  • 279
    Well, I succumbed to this product when it first came out, I got it virtually FREE. Can't remember why. BUT, when it came, I found that placement of it at the small of my back, caused WAY too much discomfort, pain to be exact, while the larger stablility ball does not bother me. The bender was just too hard on my back. - 1/5/2011   11:59:45 PM
  • 278
    I'm glad you recomend this hands down because I just bought one at Target's. - 1/5/2011   11:54:46 PM
  • 277
    Thanks for the review. I was considering getting a regular stability ball to use at home because I like working on it at the gym. This sounds like it would help me work my abs easier and does not take up too much space. - 1/5/2011   7:28:44 PM
  • CTREEN1
    276
    I got mine at Target. Was easy to do but could feel it working. - 1/3/2011   2:19:15 PM
  • 275
    For future buyers - Do not pay more than $20!!! WalMart always has them in stock (usually in the As Seen On TV section) or you can find it at Target...

    It's great! I can really feel it by the next morning if not that night! Now I need to make more time to use it again... - 12/8/2010   6:43:25 PM
  • 274
    I've tried crunches on the big ball and it did feel more work compare to flat surface. I wonder if this mini ball is available at our local fitness store, I'm too easily get tricked to pay whatever come delivered to my place so don't want to buy online, haha. - 7/14/2010   7:24:12 PM
  • 273
    I bought mine at Dicks Sporting goods for about $20. The ball & 3 dvds. I had problems getting the ball to inflate enough. Got frustrated and finally went to Walmart and got a small ball in the toy dept., let out a little of the air and I was good to go! Does a great workout on my abs! And QUICK! I can do 2 dvds in about 20 minutes! And after about 24 hrs I can really feel it! I recommend! - 5/19/2010   5:46:07 PM
  • RARA2256
    272
    I decided yesterday to order a Bender ball because I have such a hard time with some of the ab workouts. There are some Sparkpeople ab workouts that I really enjoy and they are very effective.
    - 4/13/2010   6:05:14 AM
  • 271
    I found a review of the product on WebMD as well and will attach the link below. I bought mine form Bed Bath and Beyond instead of through the official site and got three DVDs. Core, target abs, and the thighs. This way I didn't have to worry about the dvds that they want to keep sending you for different charges and all the other negative reviews people have out there. BB&B was around $19 for the ball and dvds.

    http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exerci
    se/features/review-bender-ball
    - 1/20/2010   11:44:01 AM
  • PHANTOMSUE
    270
    Sounds like just what I need. I haven't received mine yet....but to avoid all those automatic shipments...I bought mine on ebay for around $24.00....I'm getting the ball with 2 DVD's...Thats all I really wanted...not a bunch of stuff you have to follow up on...then if I don't like it..I'll sell it on ebay..... - 1/8/2010   2:50:13 PM
  • LALALALA99999
    269
    The product isn't that revolutionary to begin with but I couldn't find it at Rite Aid (at the time) and wanted to try it for 19.99. After ordering from the website and tying out the video, I was disappointed, it's a super short workout with about 5 positions and NOT that great of a workout compared to just going to the gym. So I never really bothered with it after that....but then a month later BenderBall charged my card $35, and when I called to get it refunded it was a HASSLE!!! Long waits, foreign country operators, trying to convince me not to refund, trying to sell me other stuff, and just GROSS!!!! In short they said that they would refund my money if I sent back the crappy product, which I did, for $10 shipping. Then, a MONTH later, they put $23 back into my account. So I'm still out $22, because I had to pay for shipping and they DIDN'T refund my $35 as they said. This is a super SHADY COMPANY. I know they've been selling my private info for money too because I've had solicitors calling my cell phone since. - 12/29/2009   7:45:15 PM
  • 268
    it sounds like what i need to get going.....again. thankfully i don't get into another round of monthly charges which am a sucker for...thanks for the heads up and the idea. donna - 11/29/2009   1:15:28 PM
  • 267
    This is good info. Just in case anyone is interested I actually purchased the kit at my local Savemart grocery store. It's been a while since then but check around in places like Walgreen's etc. You can pick it up and go with out the shipping and handling fees and long term commitment. - 11/8/2009   8:51:38 AM
  • 266
    Thanks for the review - was thinking of trying it out. Reading Spark, sounds like you may be able to find it at Target and thus avoid the infomercial ordering problem. - 10/26/2009   12:52:43 PM
  • MOMOFSAN01
    265
    This sounds like a winner. I will try it soon. - 10/8/2009   2:11:09 PM
  • MEOWSER2
    264
    Since you like it I will try it. Thanks! - 10/4/2009   5:31:01 PM
  • 263
    Hmmmm. . . . interesting. I might just have to try this. I like new gadgets. - 10/2/2009   12:52:57 PM
  • 262
    I bought mine at Dick's and it really does work! I also bought some additional videos on line, not through the Bender website. - 10/2/2009   11:08:50 AM
  • 261
    Since reading this blog again, I've gotten my Bender ball back out and am using it. I had forgotten how much this helps. It supports your lower back so when you lean back, you have something there to lean against. This is great for people like me who have back issues. The core is really targetted. - 10/2/2009   11:04:24 AM
  • 260
    Thanks for the review! I had been debating on it since it looked like it would work but I wasn't sure it was worth the money. I think I've seen it at Walmart so that would eliminate the DVDs being shipped in the mail automatically. I am trying to strengthen my abs to improve my running so I think this would be great for me! Thanks again!
    ~Ang - 10/2/2009   10:56:09 AM

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