I Tried Kim Kardashian’s Favorite Squat Machine For 30 Days
The DB Method promises a full-body workout in just 10 minutes.
I am not one of those people who loves working out. I exercise in the same way I wash my sheets: regularly and perfunctorily. My preferred type of physical activity is something I can do while I do something else. I do a lot of cycling while reading magazines, for example. Despite that, I’m always convinced that a new type of gadget will make me suddenly discover my love of exercise. A couple years ago, I was influenced by Kim Kardashian, the goddess of influencing herself, into getting a DB Method squat machine.
The DB Method squat machine is sleek and easily foldable. It’s the absolute opposite of most gym equipment, where you have to adjust 32 knobs and practically put together a piece of Ikea furniture simply to target a little muscle in your back that you didn’t know you had. There are a couple variations and modifications available, but the machine mainly does one thing: It helps you squat. It’s designed to relieve pressure on your knees and back — Jillian Michaels credits the workout with helping her get back in shape after a major back injury and now works with the brand.
The company claims the machine delivers a full-body workout in just 10 minutes a day, though, of course, its main target is the derrière. The prospect was, in a word, alluring. Sure, I would like to be healthy for reasons like living longer, but also, a lifted butt is a lifted butt. Unfortunately, right after I got the machine, I discovered a noncancerous tumor in my boob and then had surgery, which made using the machine impossible for a while. She languished like the Beauty and the Beast furniture characters for a while until I decided to dust her off (literally) and use her for 30 straight days. (Disclaimer: I skipped two days. One when I dog-sat for a friend and one when my power went out. Otherwise, I was a perfect scientific angel.)
Price: The machine costs $329 and is currently on sale for $299.
Best for: Someone looking for a quick at-home butt workout.
What we like: Simple, storable, good results.
What we don’t like: Not much variety in workouts, might need to troubleshoot your form.
What Is The DB Method?
The DB Method uses a foldable squat machine that shifts your stance, resulting in a modified squat that is meant to target your glutes while reducing knee and back strain. The brand says it delivers “perfect squat form” for a “low-impact” workout that takes just 10 minutes. It also claims that 100% of users (in a study of 1,591 reviewers) “reported a more lifted appearance” in their butt.
The DB Method machine gets a lot of points from me for being easy to set up. Putting it together required no tools and I did it totally on my own in about 10 minutes. Folding it up and storing it is also easy, although it’s not exactly tiny when you do that, and you will have to keep track of the key and gear knob that come off when the machine is folded.
At first, I was a bit confused by the fact that the machine isn’t adjustable, at least resistance-wise. (You can change the seat position to fit your height). There was no clear way to make the workout harder or easier, which felt very unfamiliar for a workout machine. I actually Googled it, assuming I was just missing something, but no, as their site explains, “The secret of The DB Method’s signature ‘deep burn’ is its pre-set resistance system of 220 lbs. The controlled resistance is scientifically tuned to create an isolated and controlled movement that gets deep into the muscles to tone, tighten, and sculpt your body.”
The proper form was not immediately obvious to me, either. The first time I tried using the machine, I didn’t feel anything in my butt — the very thing the machine claimed to target.
Frankly, 10 minutes of doing squats is… a lot of squats. I set a timer for 10 minutes and I needed multiple breaks. That said, my muscles were on fire the next day, which I guess is the point.
Using The DB Method
Once I watched three YouTube tutorials, my absolute limit for the entire year, I fixed my form. The most important thing I’d been missing is that your arms need to stay straight and you shouldn’t be using them to help pull you out of the squat.
To use the squat machine correctly, put your heels on the labels that say “place heel here.” Holding the handlebars, push off your heels and sit back, shifting your weight backward and activating your glutes and core as you squat. If you’re feeling it in your back, your knees, or too much in your legs, your form is probably off and they have a troubleshooting video for you.
Once I fixed my form, the workouts got harder, which meant I did shorter ones. I found that doing a couple little spurts of activity throughout an episode of Poker Face was not that bad, and I actually felt it the next day. I tried to vary between doing full squats where you go all the way down to the floor and faster, shorter mid-zone squats.
About halfway through the month, I remembered that the machine lets you do arm workouts, too. As it turns out, there are tons of videos with DB Method workouts. They also have an app ($10/month), sort of like Peloton, with thousands of workouts and classes as well as nutrition and wellness guides. I’m not a video workout person, despite my Jane Fonda tattoo, but the ones I watched for free on YouTube were helpful and easy.
If the humble squat doesn’t give you sufficient thrill, DB Method has come out with some add-ons. You can get a 10-pound weighted belt, 2-pound wrist and ankle weights, a resistance band that goes around your legs, a clip that lets you hook your phone or tablet up to the machine, and more. I didn’t use any of the accessories, and I still found that the machine was incredibly useful.
After a month of regular use, I have much more defined upper abs and my arms feel a lot stronger. I also feel like I’m able to cycle further when I do stationary bike workouts. I don’t weigh myself for mental health reasons, so I can’t say if the number on the scale would’ve changed. I wish that I could say it lifted my butt to a magical degree, but I don’t think it did. I do think my butt looks better, but I also might be the only person who would notice. (Hey, my opinion counts the most!)
I liked being able to do a very short workout — I really only ever did six minutes, not 10. It didn’t feel like a massive commitment and I was able to do it while watching TV. While my boyfriend probably won’t be on board with me leaving the squat machine out in the living room all the time, the DB Method is easy enough to move.
To me, this is the toaster of workout machines: Yeah, it’s pretty much designed for only one thing, but it does a darn good job at that one thing. This was great for a short, daily workout, although I don’t think I’d center all my exercise on it. For one, despite the workout videos offered, I really can’t see myself using this for 20 minutes. I did some arm workouts on here (designed by myself) and they were… fine, but the squats are the star of the show. I wouldn’t say it was life-altering, but it was simply a nice way to stay active for a short amount of time every day. I don’t plan to use this daily, but I do think I’ll keep using it frequently.