The Simply Fit Board was featured on the hit TV show Shark Tank. Investor Lori Greiner made a deal with founders Linda Clark and Gloria Hoffman for hundreds of thousands of dollars in hopes the product would take off. The deal sent the Simply Fit Board into stores all over the United States, and it has been growing in popularity ever since.
The Simply Fit Board is a small wave-shaped plastic board you stand on, then exercise by twisting your torso back and forth. It is meant to tone abs, legs, and core, and improve your balance, all at once. It comes in four different colors, with accessories sold separately. One board package costs $39.99 plus $7.99 shipping and handling.
In one package you will receive the Simply Fit board, a DVD that guides you through different workouts, and a user guide to follow. Simply Fit claims the board will hold up to 400 pounds.
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Simply Fit doesn’t have a Better Business Bureau profile, nor could I find if there was a parent company (likely, but nobody was crowing it).
Company Contact Information: The only contact is a phone number. 800-401-9760
Simply Fit Board Claims
Simply Fit keeps it short and simple in their claims, on their website at least.
- Fun, easy and effective
- Just stand on Board and twist
- Lightweight and Portable
- Stores Away Easily
- Tones Abs, Legs, Core
- Improves Your Balance
Many people wonder generally just how to properly use this board when they first purchase it. The company says,
You should be twisting at the waist, and your knee joints shouldn’t move. A good way to get the motion correct is to hold two hand weights straight down at your sides and swing your arms in a semi-circular motion, with a slight bend in your knees.
They recommend you hold onto a chair of some sort when you first start out so that you can properly learn how to balance yourself.
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Simply Fit Board Ingredients
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind the Simply Fit Board
Twist-type exercise apparatus have been around for a few decades. They started out as “waist-twisting discs,” small circular boards with ball-bearing setups; you stood on them and did the 50’s dance The Twist, and it was supposed to be a workout. You can still buy them. But they’ve always been pretty narrow, and required some decent balance to get them to work properly.
In the 1980s, balance balls —originally invented in Italy in the 1960s—became a staple in gyms across America, and then in the last decade they’ve also migrated into homes and offices as a chair alternative, used to strengthen core muscles while you check your email and write your reports. Then some enterprising person decided to cut a third off one and attach it to a round board. The idea was you could get more intensity out of your weightlifting if you were also trying to balance on this wobbly thing at the same time. Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like a recipe for dropping a weight on your foot or your fellow gym rats if you lose your balance.
The idea behind Simply Fit combines the twist disc and the balance ball. And it allows you a wider stance than the twist discs, which would probably help those of us with larger middles.
The science does exist for benefits of the technology. LiveStrong.com looked at twist boards in general:
A twist board is a round platform on which you stand and perform exercises while twisting from side to side. Similar to a wobble board, a twist board works core muscles involved in maintaining balance. … Twist board exercises have several benefits, but you should also be aware of the potential for injury.
…. A strong core helps you excel in athletic pursuits while decreasing your chances of injury. The spine, hips, abdomen and pelvis make up the core. Exercising on a twist board can help strengthen muscles in these areas by engaging the muscles to help you balance, even as you perform exercises to focus on other specific areas of the body. …
When you stand on an unstable surface, such as a twist board, you engage muscles throughout your core to help you maintain your balance. Think about trying to keep your balance as you cross a stream on uneven, slipperly rocks. Your abdominals and glutes tighten, and you focus more on keeping your spine, hips and pelvis in line to maintain your balance. Even if you’re performing other exercises while on the twist board, your core muscles remain engaged.
The Fitness Test Lab website looked at Simply Fit specifically. They found it usable, durable (to 170 pounds, at least), and interesting, but a bit limited in it scope. In other words, the test guy got bored (but admitted he already has a workout). It was recommended as a supplemental rather than a primary exercise regimen.
Word On The Street About the Simply Fit Board
Amazon.com customers seem to like the Simply Fit Board; 1700 reviewers gave it an average of 4 out of 5 stars, with 56 percent 5-star ratings. But even the high-rating customers do consistently mention one major issue: it breaks quickly.
“Ben C.” (2017, 5 stars): “After 5 minutes you can feel the burn!! I am a big guy in the process of shrinking and this exercise is easy to do. I turn on the tv and twist for about 15 min a day. My only complwint is my pants are too big now…”
“julier” (2016, 4 stars) likes it but offers some caution: “Be careful. Do not get this if you do not have good balance. It’s a good way to break a leg or a hip, if you are older. I had to hold on to a chair to do it. Yes. It helps you twist.”
“Suzanne Ludwig” (2016, 3 stars): “We enjoyed the simply fit board for 6 weeks. While my husband was on it, he heard a snap. He weighs 215 pounds and it cracked under him. The TV ad claimed it could support 400 lbs, a lie. We have been given the runaround by Amazon and Simply Fit, each CSR telling us they couldn’t help us and to contact the other. NO satisfaction guaranteed here.”
“Heidi Rosetti” (2017, 1 star), who even included a picture: “This board arrived on November 9th. It began to crack on February 17th approximately 100 days later. I weigh 150 pounds and used it 30 minutes per day. Product is not durable even for small person.”
And “Lisa” (2017, 1 star): “I fell for it, like everyone else. It slides all over the place, you start doing it and no matter what surface you’re on (rug or hard wood), before you know it, you’re on the other side of the room or you spin all around. It tilts forward and backward. I’m 130 lbs. Maybe this is for someone heavier? I don’t like it at all.”
There was word about a bad batch of blue boards when they first came out, but considering that was 2015 and there are still complaints about breakage, Simply Fit isn’t as durable as they’d like you to think.
Worse, a lot of people had back and knee problems from using it. So far more complicated to use than marketed, as well.
The Bottom Line: Is the Simply Fit Board Worth A Try?
Risky. When even semi-athletic people tell me it’s hard to use this product, I think twice. With so many fitness gadgets and gimmicks out there today, I can think of better ways to spend forty dollars. The rate of breakage, at weights less than half the claims, doesn’t help. You can do twisting-type exercises on a mini-trampoline, for about the same price and twice the good history of durability. And mini-tramps come in fancy bright colors these days as well.