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The Bender Ball: What It Is

The Bender Ball, as seen on many a late-night infomercial, is a 9-inch inflatable plastic exercise ball used to perform a variety of abdominal and Pilates-type exercises. The ball is part of the Bender Method fitness system, developed by trainer Leslee Bender.

According to the Bender Ball web site, by giving you a greater range of motion during exercise, the ball provides an abdominal workout that’s up to 408% more effective than ordinary crunches. The web site also says the soft, flexible Bender ball produces a higher intensity workout than you can get with large exercise balls.

You can order the ball from the Bender Ball web site for $12.98 (plus $7.93 shipping). The price includes the Bender Ball, Bender Method Manual, and a DVD/video featuring two Bender Method workouts: The Bender Method of Core Training and Buns & Thighs.

But be aware that when you place an order, you're also agreeing to buy two additional workout DVD/videos every month for a monthly fee of $19.99 plus $6.99 shipping. This could come as a surprise when you see additional monthly charges on your credit card bill. If you don't want the additional workouts, you have to call customer service to cancel that part of the order.

It took about five weeks for the ball we ordered to arrive. In the interim, we had to make several calls to try to straighten out the order.

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