The Easy Shaper provides a complete strength training program that tones the primary areas of the body that people most want to get in shape: legs (primarily inner and outer thighs), buns, abdominals and arms. The machine requires assembly before use. Consult the owner's manual for assembly instructions and important warnings for safe use. The package will generally include a DVD with two workouts: a beginning routine that includes about 15 minutes of bun, thigh and abdominal work as well as a routine that takes about 30 minutes. It is called "For Women Only." It is best for everyone to start with the beginner's video regardless of current fitness level, and the routines should be performed barefoot.
Start the workout with a warm-up routine. The DVD provides a routine on the machine itself for both workout levels, or you can do your own. The owner's manual suggests that the ideal warm-up should consist of 5 to 10 minutes of gentle exercises that loosen your muscles and get your heart pumping a little faster. Then you are ready to move through the recommended exercises on the machine, using the beginning DVD routine or the manual. The standard number of repetitions is four to eight at varying tempos.
The first exercise in the beginning DVD routine is the leg press. Lie facing upward with your back on the body bench and head on the head rest, holding onto the hand grips that are on each side of the head rest. Do the first group of leg presses with feet facing forward on the press bar. This works the front of your thighs. Do the second group with the toes angled outwards, which works the inner and outer thighs. The final group of leg presses is done one leg at a time, first with the straight foot presses and then with the angled foot presses.
The next group of exercises is the side leg presses. Lie sideways with your body on the body bench and your outer hand holding the hand grip while your inner arm rests in front of you. Place your outer foot on the press bar with your toes angled outwards and push out on the bar. The second foot position is angled inward. Then change sides and do both positions on the other side.
For the derrière work, kneel on the body bench with your legs as close to the press bar as possible and your hands gripping the front of the head rest. Start with a couple of "cat stretches" in which you round your back upwards and then straighten it. Then place one foot on the press bar, pressing backwards. Do no more than eight repetitions at slow and fast tempos with each leg until you gain strength.
There are two positions for the abdominal work. The first position is lying down with your head on the head rest and your back against the body bench, holding onto the hand grips. In the first exercise, with your feet held straight up, lift the head rest upward four times and contract your abs, then hold that position a few seconds. Repeat the routine four times. Then place your feet on the press bar and your elbows at your side on the body bench while pushing out on the press bar very quickly. In the final abdominal exercise, place your back against the press bar with hands on each opposite shoulder. Push your back against the press bar 16 times.
Cool down. Do your own cool-down routine that relaxes your muscles, or use the one demonstrated at the end of the 30-minute DVD workout.
When you are doing the leg work on the Easy Shaper, make sure you are pushing your heels out toward the bar as hard as you can to ensure resistance. When you feel strong enough, advance to the 30-minute DVD workout. That workout adds upper bodywork.
Do not put your hands underneath the back rest (body bench). You might want to begin with one resistance band only on one side of the machine. When you get stronger, you can put the second band on the OTHER side of the machine. Never use any more than one band on each side of the machine.
Tips and warnings
- When you are doing the leg work on the Easy Shaper, make sure you are pushing your heels out toward the bar as hard as you can to ensure resistance.
- When you feel strong enough, advance to the 30-minute DVD workout. That workout adds upper bodywork.
- Do not put your hands underneath the back rest (body bench).
- You might want to begin with one resistance band only on one side of the machine. When you get stronger, you can put the second band on the OTHER side of the machine. Never use any more than one band on each side of the machine.