PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If getting into shape is high on your list of New Year’s resolutions and you’re wondering if exercise devices can help get you there faster, you’re in luck.

Consumer Reports just put a bunch of them to the test.

First they started with three “As Seen on TV” products: Jay Glazer’s Perfect Punch, Rhythm Rocker by Kymaro, and for women, the CoreBody Reformer.

“We rounded up staffers to try out each product,” Kim Kleman from Consumer Reports said. “We called on a fitness industry expert to evaluate each one. We even had our nutrition expert take a look at the diets that came with two of the products.”

The $30 Perfect Punch uses mixed martial arts techniques to get you in shape.

However, Consumer Reports found you can burn roughly the same amount of calories jogging four-and-a-half miles per hour for 16 minutes. And it was far from perfect.

“It kept rubbing against my chin,” tester Eugene Chin said.

Tester Erin Gudeaux said “one more time those bands come snapping up and hit me in the ears I was going to rip it in half.”

The $99 Rhythm Rocker comes with several workouts and a nutrition guide. Consumer Reports’ panelists tried out the eleven-and-a-half minute dance blast video.

It turns out you burn the equivalent of walking two mph on a treadmill, and the seven-day-diet that comes with it was pretty strict and offered limited food options and no maintenance program.

The $250 Nautilus CoreBody Reformer for women combines yoga, Pilates and dance in one workout.

Panelists found some of the balance exercises tricky, but overall the machine did well in the tests.

“The workouts are well-rounded, and if you’re somewhat fit and are looking to improve your strength and flexibility, it might be one to consider,” said Kleman.

Testers liked the diet that came along with the product.

Consumer Reports also tested a hot new trend: elliptical cycles, which are sort of a cross between a regular bicycle and an elliptical trainer.

“They are kind of weird looking,” tester Karin Weisburgh said. “It was kind of intimidating to get on there the first time.”

Testers found the cycles more comfortable to ride and a better workout than a traditional bike.

“Like a bicycle, pedaling these puts less stress on your joints, but unlike a bicycle there’s no seat so you can’t sit and coast, which may give you a better workout,” Rich Handel from Consumer Reports said.

Consumer Reports tested two elliptical bicycles with 14 different panelists. Because the elliptical bikes don’t handle as well as a regular bicycle, testers found they worked better on paved trails away from traffic.

The StreetSider Sprinter has three wheels and you steer by leaning your body, like you’re skiing. The handlebars move back and forth so it’s a full body workout, but the $1,600 price tag will give your wallet a real workout too!

The second bike, the ElliptiGo rated a bit higher. More like a bicycle, it has two wheels and uses handlebars to steer, but it is also expensive at $1,800.

Both cycles can be used indoors, but you have to buy a separate stand for another $300 to $400.


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