Consumer Reports' easy workout alternatives

August 8, 2011

Two products promise to give you an effective workout at home: the $200 TRX and the $150 Tower 200 from Body by Jake.

Consumer Reports rounded up 14 panelists to try them out.

"We had men and women of different ages, heights, and fitness levels work out with each product," said Consumer Reports' Nicole Sarrubbo.

Using your body weight as resistance, the TRX has exercises that work your entire body.

Alternately, Tower 200 uses resistance bands and pulleys to get the job done.

Consumer Reports also says that both are easy to set up. Each can be installed on almost any door in your home.

Both products come with a workout DVD. The TRX's 35-minute video has two variations of each exercise, one for beginners and a more advanced version.

"The exercises might be challenging for someone with limited strength, mobility or flexibility," said Sarrubbo.

Both products also have some downfalls.

Some panelists initially complained about a TRX exercise where you have to put your feet in stirrups and flip to a plank or push-up position.

With the Tower 200, some panelists complained that the bands rubbed against their bodies during a few of the exercises.

In the end, the TRX and Tower 200 both deliver effective workouts but Consumer Reports says the TRX has the edge.

"The TRX allows you to perform functional exercises at different skills or fitness levels simply by changing your body's position," said Sarrubbo.

At just two pounds, the TRX is easy to take with you wherever you go.

However Consumer Reports says the Tower 200 can provide a good workout as well and priced at $150, it's cheaper than the TRX, which sells for $200.

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