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Khloé Kardashian’s body transformation has been astonishing
regardless of all the surgeries, and I respect how hard the girl grinds in the gym when she’s not in post-op. She’s been the most publicly open about her fitness journey of all her sisters, she came out with a Good American fitness wear line, and she has her own fitness-centered transformation show, Revenge Body. So when I was given the opportunity to try out a piece of at-home workout equipment that Khloé’s featured on her app as a “must-have,” I had to say yes.
The machine is from the DB Method. It’s a foldable contraption that looks like half of a see-saw that works your butt. Honestly, that’s kind of what you’re doing on the machine—see-sawing with yourself—which might bring back traumatic kindergarten memories for some of us. There are two vertical handlebars in front of the seat, and a place to put your heels when you’re sitting. The seat is adjustable length-wise, based on your height. You also have the option to get the machine with a DB DreamBand, which is a thick adjustable rubber resistance band, and a DB DreamBelt, which is a 10 pound weighted belt.
Their website provides demos of exercises for your whole body using their machine, but the bread and butter of this machine is to assist the user in doing a proper squat. I wrote about why squats won’t get you your dream butt, and a large part of that is because many of us have weak glutes, so when we squat, we place the force in our quads. The movement of the squat itself utilizes the whole lower body, which is great, but because it does not isolate the glute, it is easy for us to overcompensate the work intended for the glutes with the quads. The concept of the DB Method machine is that by placing your legs way in front of you and by having you sit, your hips swing back and at the bottom of the squat, your legs are at a 90-degree angle, and your back and chest is up and straight (impossible to achieve when you do a squat on your own). The machine aims to really nix the problem of quad overcompensation during a squat. So I get that, and while I love that journey for many of us, I had to try it out for myself. Here’s everything I have to say about this machine, the good and the parts that have room for improvement.
It’s Great For Beginners… But The Advanced Won’t Be Challenged
I can see this being a difficult but doable workout for a beginner, especially if you’re really trying to focus on building your butt, because the machine will help you target your glutes in a squat. Now, keep in mind that I’m far along in my fitness journey and I am someone who has worked out five days a week (three of those days are lower body focused) for years. Did I feel my muscles working in the correct areas? Totally. Are there better options for me to do, considering my fitness goals and where I am strength-wise? Definitely.
This machine was fun to play with, but if your regular workout routine is pretty hardcore (if it consists of heavy lifting, plyometrics, combined movements, etc.) it might be too easy for you to see or feel much. Beginners will likely achieve fantastic results with this machine, but the advanced will need more. I actually spent TV time on this machine because you’re sitting and you’re still moving, but you don’t have to think about it too much. For someone who can’t sit still, it’s great. I felt my butt being worked, but not to the point where I know I’m getting any crazy change from it. I was not sweating, not out of breath, and I was still fully able to hold a conversation. It’s kind of fun to be see-sawing with yourself, but for the advanced gym-goer, you’ll still need your gym membership.
It’s Great For Injuries… But If You’re Healthy, Don’t Limit Yourself To This Machine
One of my girlfriends and a fellow personal trainer is still suffering from a knee injury (she fell down the stairs texting LOL) that prevents her from excess knee flexion or placing too much weight and resistance on her knee. I had her try this machine and she said it was great for not putting pressure on her joints, and she was able to get back to squatting as deep as she used to without bothering her knee. It’s a great low-impact option. Again though, if you’re perfectly healthy, a regular barbell-loaded back squat does not bother you, and you already know how to activate your glutes, there are more efficient options for you. The machine also doesn’t offer you any type of resistance adjustment, so if you’re trying to progress, this machine doesn’t give you the option of adding more weight (aside from the belt and band). The only progression tactic on this machine will be with additional reps, and the accessories, which I’ll get to in a minute.
It’s Great For At-Home Gyms… But There Are Cheaper Options
The machine is priced at around $230, not including the belt and the band. The storage and space-saving factor on this machine give it an edge, not to mention you get the bragging rights for having a piece of Kardashian-approved equipment. But for $230, you can also buy some dumbbells, gliders, resistance bands and a step for at home. There are endless moves you can do with a set of those, whereas there are only about 1 to 2 moves per body part that you can do on the DB Method machine. It’s important to keep in mind that you can also work on improving glute activation without placing so much emphasis on the squat exercise, like, you can do glute isolating kickbacks and deadlifts, neither of which you can do on this machine. For $230, your options are kind of limited, I won’t lie.
Now, let’s talk about their band and belt. I LOVE the belt. I use it to perform single-leg bridges. The belt is nicely padded and fits perfectly on your hip so you can really move. It can also go across your shoulders for squats and lunges without the pain of putting metal dumbbells on your shoulders. It’s kind of like a Bulgarian sandbag, but way more aesthetically pleasing. I wish it came in heavier variation, but 10 pounds is good enough for a light day (for me).
Their band is a thicker variation of those rubber circular resistance bands, but my favorite part about it is that it’s adjustable, so you can progress with the band. I honestly have nothing bad to say about their accessories.
My bottom line about the DB Method machine: it’s a sleek at-home addition for the glute-building newbie, but the already-fit will not find much value in it. It’s a great tool for someone who is not used to activating their glutes or unable to properly activate their glutes during lower body exercises. There are also other moves you can incorporate to work other areas of the body, so for a machine that saves on space and is somewhat versatile, it’s a great option. However, if you are someone who’s already in shape, goes to the gym often, and just wants to take everything to the next level, this machine will not provide you with the adequate resistance and challenge to do so.
Images: DB Method (4)