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As Seen on TV: Fitness Infomercial Gadgets to the Test

Our channel-surfing investigative reporter answers the siren call of late-night infomercials to find out which gadgets shape, slim, stir, poach, and primp as promised.
Ab Doer Twist Beyond the ThighMaster: The Ab Doer Twist

In my opinion a great abdominal device is one that does the exercises for you. If I can't have that, I would like one that makes them marginally more enjoyable so I at least want to do them.

The first contraption to arrive was the Ab Doer Twist, a sort of swivel chair with a flexible back rod and high armrests that allows you to pivot away your muffin top by targeting those often-missed oblique muscles along the sides of your waist. Not complicated. And I did feel the sit-and-cinch sensation as I ran through the recommended exercises, just like the girl in the infomercial.

Only the thing is huge, bigger than any piece of furniture in my house except the sofa. Sure, you can use it to firm other muscles -- it comes with resistance bands and a DVD that shows you how to get a total-body workout -- but there are far better ways to whip yourself into shape than dancing around a big orange throne.

Should You Buy?

The Ab Doer Twist ($215, thane.com)
No. It might shrink your waist, but it definitely shrinks your space.