(This is a 10 part series in which I am reviewing some of the products sold as exercise equipment, fitness solutions, etc. on infomercials, magazine ads, and cable shopping networks. Unlike most of the ads for these products, this isn’t based on a double blind, major university backed study. It is simply my professional opinion based on my fitness experience and knowledge in the hopes that it will save you some time, aggravation and money.)
The internet never ceases to amaze me. When I began working on this post for #6 on my list, an old advertising campaign popped into my head. “Nothing beats a great pair of legs” was the catch phrase for L’Eggs pantyhose back in the 80’s. Sure enough, the commercial can still be viewed today on YouTube. But I’m not here to discuss my astonishment with the internet or why I can even care to remember those ads (that’s effective advertising I guess). I want to discuss how legs are a critical part to our physique, whether you’re a leg model or not. Those two limbs beneath are hips are a big part of what makes us human. They give us the means to walk, run, jump, hop, skip, climb, pedal, kick, swim, and so on. It is true then that nothing beats a great pair of legs, which is what the makers of Leg Magic are hoping you’ll believe their product can deliver.
A Huge Set of Muscles
Don’t take that the wrong way. Some consider their legs to be the largest part of their body. In fact, they’re right. Two thirds of all the muscle mass in men and women is below the waist. These muscles include most notably the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, as well as the adductor (inner thigh) muscles, abductor (outer thigh) muscles, and the muscles of the lower leg, the calves. There’s a lot of muscle there and rightfully so. Aside from providing all the movement described previously, the muscles of the lower body most notably support us upright. But even more importantly, they are the conduit to producing movement.
The Great Conductor
Locomotion, or physical movement, is the result of forces created in the muscles and the reciprocating ground reaction forces produced from contact with the earth. To understand this concept better, think of throwing a baseball as far as you could with both feet on the ground. Now, think of throwing a baseball while suspended in a swing with no foot contact with the ground. Which one goes further? The one where both feet are on the ground. Why? The ground reaction forces produced by the legs in contact with the earth. So the stronger the legs, the more force that can be produced, the greater the return forces from the earth. Why is this relevant to this discussion? Because the legs are the link between what the brain commands and the motion the body is capable of performing.
Yet Another Piece of ****
You have to watch the video of Leg Magic if you get an opportunity (click the link here to see video). What I find the most amusing is that the woman in the video shows you how to do two of the best exercises for strengthening the legs, squats and lunges, while holding onto Leg Magic for balance, which is probably what it’s best for. Performing squats and lunges puts both feet in touch with the ground, ensuring greater muscular, ground reaction force development which translates into stronger, more functional legs. The inner/outer thigh motion of this apparatus has little to no value to everyday life, unless of course you make a living downhill skiing.
Here’s a tip. You don’t need Leg Magic to do squats and lunges, and if they’re done properly as part of an all around program, you’ll have amazing legs that cost you nothing more than your hard earned time. Yes, unfortunately, Leg Magic will not “tone your legs”, “make your abs fitter” (whatever that means), or “raise your butt” in one month as promised in the ad. It will make a great shirt hanger though.
Stay tuned for future posts with my top 5.
Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.
In case you’ve missed them, here are My Top 10 Most Useless Pieces of Exercise Equipment so far: