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Does It Really? We Test the Bender Ball

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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PATRICIAAK 11/27/2020
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PATRICIAAK 2/27/2020
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PATRICIAAK 12/14/2019
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I would love to give this one a try! Report
Have to get one. Thanks, Coach! Report
Thanks. Report
We worked out with balls today, I don't know if it was the Bender Ball. I do know that it was a powerful workout. Report
Interesting, will have to look for it. Report
Check thrift shops! Report
I would like to try it. I can't up from the floor, but wondering if I could use it on my bed. The mattress is pretty rigid. Report
I bought one and I love it for days I don't want to go to the gym, or don't have a lot of time. There's more videos out there (I got mine on Amazon and got three DVDs with it). It was really worth the $19 I spent on it. Report
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. Report
Going to get one to see what it like. Everyone say it's great. Report
Have to get one. Report
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? Report
I love the benderball. Report
I have a Bender Ball and I love it. Report
Hm, I might try it! Thanks for review and all the good suggestions about where to buy it! Report
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 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. Report
Sounds like I need to try the Bender Ball. I figured it was just a bunch of hype. Nice to hear it works. Report
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 Report
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 Report
Really great to know! I'd love to get a great workout in such a short period of time! Report
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!! Report
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. Report
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. Report
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! Report
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. Report
Thanks very informative, I will be adding this to my target shopping list as long as I don't exceed the recommended weight. Report
I have been contemplating purchasing. Now I know it's the real deal. And it's cheap so consider it ordered! Report
... 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. Report
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.). Report
This looks like somrthing that I'd like to try.Especially based on the information pesented here. Report
I will try the bender ball! Report
Isn't the Bender Ball a regular stability ball? Report
I too, like SunnyArizona experienced back pain. Not sure if mine was inflated enough. Report
I love my bender ball. I have been using it every day and gives you a workout. Report
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! Report
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. Report
I put it on my list to get, for a reward. Report
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! Report
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. Report
I'm glad you recomend this hands down because I just bought one at Target's. Report
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. Report
I got mine at Target. Was easy to do but could feel it working. Report
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... Report
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. Report
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! Report
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.
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.