Soloflex Cost 1195 plus shipping

Thanks in part to its well-done ad campaign and elegant design, Soloflex has more name recognition than just about any other home gym. Using rubber "weight straps" instead of freeweights to provide resistance (though they now offer a freeweight option), Soloflex falls into the good-news, bad-news category.

Once again, we're going to offer you a neat little list of the pros and cons of this particular piece of machinery. Let's start with the pros:

> This is a safe and effective machine.

> If a machine can be pretty, this one is pretty!

Soloflex uses rubber straps instead of weights for resistance.

(Photo courtesy Soloflex)

> It provides both positive and negative resistance for all exercises.

> The floating bar feature ensures that you don't favor your dominant side. Some other machines allow you to move the bar evenly, even if you push harder on one side.

> It offers a wide variety of exercises.

> The manufacturers provide a five-year warranty.

And now for the cons:

> The Soloflex offers uneven resistance. Because rubber bands become tighter as they stretch, as you move through the exercise—known as the range of motion (ROM)—it will be either too "easy" at the beginning or too "hard" at the end, especially on longer movements like the squat. To remedy this you can use the freeweights option, but this means spending more money to purchase them as well as taking time to change the weights.

Bar Talk

Freeweights, namely barbells and dumbbells, are freestanding and not part of a machine.

Bar Talk

Freeweights, namely barbells and dumbbells, are freestanding and not part of a machine.

> In the infomercial, it looks like a snap to transition from one exercise to the next. In reality, it's a little more difficult.

Five-barbell rating: 2.5 barbells.

Overall, the Soloflex looks good, but the bands present a problem since the beginning part of the exercise doesn't provide as much resistance as the end does. It feels almost like you start the exercise with a 10-pound weight, and increase it to a 20-pounder by the top of the movement.

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