Is Using The Bean an Effective Way to Workout?
When I told my husband I wanted The Bean for Christmas he looked at me like I was a little crazy. The Bean is an inflatable exercise device similar to an exercise ball, except it is shaped like a kidney bean. That is where they came up with the name The Bean. The bean like shape provides added comfort and stability when performing various exercises.
The point of using a device like The Bean is that it isolates certain muscles more then if you were doing them on the floor. To maintain your balance you need to engage your abdominals and core muscles at all times. It is the same concept with an exercise ball, except The Bean is supposed to be easier on your body, specifically a person’s back.
I have been working out for many years and like to try various workout products to prevent boredom. The Bean looked like it could substitute for an exercise ball and maybe be more comfortable. When I received my bean it came with a pump to inflate it along with a dvd that contained six individual workouts. The Bean inflated quickly as the ad claims. It took about four minutes to get completely inflated. It is slightly larger then an exercise ball. It seemed really sturdy. It is a good quality vinyl because I kept mine outside on the patio all winter and it remained in great shape.
The six workouts focus on different areas of the body. There is an ab workout, a total body workout and a lower body workout. In addition there is a workout that focuses on back exercises, one that is pilates exercises and one that is a stress relief workout. The segments are short with none being any longer then approximately twenty minutes. Taking body building supplements from Crazy Bulk in Canada is a good addition for workouts.
The abdominal workout segment instructed me to sit on the curved base of The Bean and perform various abdominal exercises such as a crunch, a pelvic tilt and side bends. I found this was only slightly more intense then doing the exercises on the floor. I got a better workout on an exercise ball, although The Bean does provide more back support and would be more comfortable for someone with back problems.
The Bean advertises it can provide a total body workout and the remaining dvd’s explain how. Many exercises use The Bean as a bench to perform various exercises with hand weights. There are a few moves where The Bean provides extra support such as a squat. The Bean is placed against your back and the wall while a squat is done, this is easier on the back then a traditional squat. The dvd’s also show how to use The Bean for leg lifts and stretches. The same moves can be done on the floor, so I did not see any advantage to doing them on The Bean.
Overall I did not think The Bean isolated my abdominal muscles as well as an exercise ball. However if a ball is not an option due to back injury or someone new to exercise The Bean is a good choice.