There are a million different ways to get that perfect “summer bod.” Whether you’re sitting on the ground doing crunches or heading to the gym at night, one of the main sticking points with getting fit is often that it feels too much like work – after a long shift at your day job, the last thing you’ll want to do is dedicate an hour to a boring workout routine.
STEALTH isn’t the perfect exercise device—with limited free games, one-dimensional exercise, and rather simple interface for the price—but it does provide an ultra-intense workout without making it feel like a second job. Over at Slickdeals, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the STEALTH Core Trainer.
- STEALTH Core Trainer – Sale Price: $99.00 | Regular Price: $149.00
What is the STEALTH Core Trainer?
The STEALTH Core Trainer is a fitness board that helps strengthen core muscles by holding the plank position while working your way through a variety of mobile games. The board itself resembles a kite, with a bright yellow design and comfortable foam cushions for your arms.
How Does STEALTH Core Trainer Work?The STEALTH Core Trainer is incredibly easy to get started with:
- Get into a plank position with your elbows at the back of the board
- Place your smartphone into the center cutout
- Load up one of its many games and start playing
All of STEALTH’s games require you to carefully tilt back and forth to control the action, and you’ll feel the burn in your abs, arms and legs within seconds. Four titles are included for free, with an additional 19 offered to premium members who pay $4.99/month. There’s also a variety of ways to track your progress and join challenges with other users, including a leaderboard for each game.
STEALTH Core Trainer Pros & Cons
- Simple to use
- Sneaky fun way to work out
- 60-day free trial
- Free meal plan
- Supportive online community of fellow STEALTH users
- Expensive initial cost with limited free games
- One-dimensional exercise equipment designed for only planks
- Slow app interface
- Hit-or-miss games in the library
In addition to the basic beginner STEALTH model for $149 (now marked down to $99), there’s the deluxe version that has bigger surface area for your arms and additional padding on the sides for $169, as well as the pricey professional model for $269 that’s bulkier and heavier if you need the stability.
What’s the STEALTH User Experience Like?
1. Physical Design
Despite how much you might want to, don’t step on the STEALTH Core Trainer. Multiple warning labels remind you the board won’t support your full weight. It’s a bit of a shame, too, because every time I look at the trainer, I think about how much fun it would be to try and balance on the wobbly board.
STEALTH is ultimately built for just planks – and it’s built well. I’ve pushed and pulled and tilted and turned, and STEALTH performs better than when it arrived. Its arm pads are comfortable for extended use, although I found my workouts limited to less than 15-minute intervals before needing to step away for a break.
Depending on your height, you might have to use the core trainer in different positions than others. For example, folks who are over six feet tall like me will need to grasp the front of the board to get their elbows on the pad, while shorter users should be able to easily put their entire forearm and hands on the cushion. It’s not a dealbreaker – and STEALTH itself offers a quick guide letting you know either position is fine for the workout – but I’ve found myself worried on a few occasions that my dangling fingers would get pinched between the board and floor if I leaned too far during frantic game sessions.
2. User Interface
You’ll be prompted to download the free STEALTH Fitness app through Google Play or the Apple App store.
The app layout shows the following icons: Games, Gamemix, Challenges, Quickstart and Stealth Nation. You can track your fitness stats over time, as well as compete against fellow STEALTH users through the Challenges and Leaderboards. Navigating the games catalog is somewhat clunky – the software isn’t smart enough to auto-rotate if you’re playing a horizontal game, so you’ll need to remove your phone from the holder every time you want to start a new one.
Once you click on a game, there’s a quick rundown of how to play it. There are two options: Endurance, which you control when to stop the workout, and Countdown, which the game ends after whatever time you want to set it for.
3. Game Selection
The STEALTH Core Trainer interactive titles revolve around the same mechanic – tilting your body while holding a plank – and only about half of them are exciting enough to make you want to power through the pain.
As for the games? They run the gamut from incredibly fun to incredibly average. Of the 20+ titles available to premium members, I found seven that managed to hold my attention, six I’ll steer clear of and a bunch I’ll only play when I need a change of pace.
You’ll almost definitely need to spring for the $4.99/month membership plan because only two of the four free titles are high quality, with the others offering nothing more than a barebones introduction to STEALTH.
4. STEALTH Nation CommunityIf you’re someone who enjoys working out within a community, then STEALTH Nation Community is for you. The app icon will send you to a private Facebook group where you can meet other users, take part in monthly challenges and get access to videos that break down how to take full advantage of the exercise board. The company will also post live workouts so you can see what variations of planks you can incorporate into your own routines.
If you need accountability or just the fact that you’re not alone in your fitness journey, the group helps people get inspired and motivated by user testimonials of their fitness journey. Plus, you can share your own progress with people who are looking to get in shape just like you.
5. Health Benefits
While STEALTH is a piece of equipment that allows for only planks, the exercise itself is full of health benefits. Planking can be a full-body exercise that gives an intense workout to the core, back muscles, quads, glutes, shoulders and biceps.
You may think there’s not much to it, but over time, you’ll find that consistently doing planks on the STEALTH will help with your posture by strengthening the abdominal and back muscles. If you sit at a desk all day, it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually slouch. Try this exercise board to help ease your back pain and boost your balance.
Be mindful that you have to be diligent about maintaining a good planking posture while using the STEALTH Core Trainer so you don’t injure yourself. When performing planks, you’ll want to keep a straight back and suck in those abdominal and glute muscles, but remember to avoid holding your breath! For beginners, try maintaining a plank first on your knees and then work your way up to a full plank using your toes.
What Are the Best Games for the STEALTH Core Trainer?STEALTH is only as good as its best games – and its best games are actually really fun. Here are the titles that’ll make you excited to crawl onto the core trainer and work out every day.
- Color Chase (Free): Roll a ball through a winding course, attempting to hit obstacles that are the same color as you. Every so often you’ll go through a Color Gate that changes your color, meaning you’ll need to pay close attention to upcoming hazards and carefully plan your moves if you want to get on the leaderboard.
- Space Escape (Free): It’s Doodle Jump, but the action is controlled by tilting side to side. This is one of the few instances in which a “knockoff” game actually works – and it’s one of the best you’ll find on STEALTH.
- Treasure Hunt: This is a simple hidden object game, although the entire room will go dark after just a few seconds of searching. Once that happens, you’ll need to twist and turn your body to move a flashlight and find your target.
- Plank Timer: Hold a plank position as long as you can, earning bonus points for keeping your core centered on the target. It’s a simple game but one I found myself returning to every day as I attempted to beat my old score.
- Speed Racer: Played in a third-person perspective, you’ll need to navigate the dangerous terrain and avoid geometric shapes hurtling toward you. The course becomes more elaborate the longer you last, with the game require gut-busting twists and turns once the timer hits the one-minute mark.
- Baseline: Slowly work your way up a mountain by completing a series of challenging levels. Each level sees you keeping your core centered on a moving target, steadily increasing the time required for completion.
- Mini Golf Mania: Each level might look like a mini-golf course, but this is essentially played like the old wooden Labyrinth games. Tilt your body to tilt the gameboard, navigate the “golf ball” toward the hole and avoid the moving obstacles and sand traps that get in your way.
The rest of its catalog consists of uninspired knockoff games, with Fitman – a hilarious Pac-Man clone – being the worst offender and a variety of less-than-exciting racing sims. STEALTH is at its best when it’s not trying to emulate other titles and focuses on simple, engaging mini games. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay an extra $4.99 a month for games beyond the four titles that come with the original purchase.
What’s the Best Way to Work Out with STEALTH?If you’ve ever tried to hold a plank for more than a few minutes, you’ll immediately understand how intense the STEALTH Core Trainer is. Not only are you holding a plank, but you’re putting your arms on a wobbly exercise board, twisting your body as you try to beat your old high score.
Depending on your current fitness level, however, your initial workouts might be quick ones. I’ve found myself typically setting games to run for two minutes, with my time consisting of 55 seconds of planking, ten seconds of resting and another 55 seconds of planking. I’ll then repeat this multiple times depending on the day of the week. As noted earlier, you can make things easier on yourself by widening the space between your feet – or even dropping to your knees for a half plank.
There’s no option to program in a rest period, so you’ll just need to keep an eye on the timer and create your own workout regimen. For a full workout, try doing squats, jumping jacks or burpees in between a few rounds of STEALTH.
Is the STEALTH Core Trainer Worth It?
While there are plenty of things to nitpick about this exercise board, those who buy the STEALTH Core Trainer truly rave about what it’s done for their fitness levels. If you absolutely abhor the boring routine workouts, you’ll find you’ll actually look forward to getting a sweat in while playing some enjoyable games.
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