We Try Before You Buy: 'GMA' Gives Infomercial Exercise Equipment a Workout

VIDEO: Becky Worley tests claims made for exercise equipment not available in stores.
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This morning on "Good Morning America" you saw my reviews of infomercial fitness products. I've posted the full details below:

3 Minute Legs: D

Squats and lunges are amazing exercises, but despite their simplicity they are surprisingly difficult to do properly. 3 Minute Legs assists you as you squat or lunge, holding your weight at the bottom of the squat and providing assistance as you come back up.

The device seems well built, but I have some issues with the concept and the promises that the device makes. Conceptually I understand that for many people just squatting their weight is hard, but in those instances couldn't you use a chair as the end point of the squat or a fail-safe if you can't lift out of it? Why pay $113 instead of just using a chair.

Also, when I did lunges on the 3 Minute Legs, I felt my front leg had to splay out much farther than I usually would to accommodate the motion of the rollers.

Finally the infomercial claims the product works on all surfaces, but in the product's instructions and in my tests it doesn't work on carpet.

3 MINUTE LEGS manufacturer response:

"We appreciate and acknowledge GMA and all media looking at products that are marketed to consumer and fully acknowledge your right to come to whatever conclusion. The company wants to fully understand the protocol but did not have the time to do a thorough review of the analysis. The company does stand by its product and has a money back guarantee. The majority of consumers around the world are satisfied with the product."

-- Thane USA

Jump Snap: B+

You've got to be kidding -- a jump rope that has no rope? Why don't I just hold a couple of soup cans and jump around my living room? This was a product I thought I would hate, but I didn't. Jumping rope is primary -- we learn it when we are little and something about it is both easy and hard all at once. The three challenges to jumping rope: it's boring, which makes you struggle to do more than 5 minutes of it; you get tangled in the rope; and it's hard to jump rope indoors without whacking your lamps and snapping the rope on your favorite knick-knacks.

The Jump Snap has solved many of these problems.

Problem 1: Jumping rope is BORING: Because it has no rope, you can jump rope indoors -- AKA, in front of the television. Want to catch up on Desperate Housewives? DVR it and watch it guilt-free while you jump rope.

Problem 2: It's hard to commit to jumping for more than 5 minutes: Because the Jump Snap has a counter on it, it records how many times you jump, how long you jump and how many calories you've burned. Somehow this really motivated me to jump rope for much longer than I would with a traditional jump rope.

Problem 3: Tangles: Since Jump Snap has no rope, you don't get tangled, you don't take as many breaks, but one thing I liked about the Jump Snap was that it has a little noise that sounds like a rope whizzing through the air -- it simulates the real sound of a jump rope, but if your form starts to fail, the sound doesn't play -- it's an audio cue to pay attention and get back on track.

Zumba: A-

Zumba is an exercise craze that combines Latin music and moves with a little bit of cardio and hip hop. It's low impact, lots of twisting and hip swiveling, and great music. The moves aren't totally explained: it's a lot of watch and try to follow, although they do have a breakout portion of the DVD that shows you the basics of each move.

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