Reviewed: I Tried the Kardashian-Approved DB Method for 30 Days

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

4.5

The DB Method The Machine

The DB Method Machine

Lesley Chen/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Easy assembly with no tools required

  • Narrow design takes up minimal floor space

  • Folds for easy storage

  • Foot ramps and seat target squat impact at your glutes

  • Short classes available for a variety of levels and workout types

What We Don't Like
  • Price point may be high for some for a single-purpose machine

  • Can become repetitive over the long term

After a month of using the DB Method machine, I can do longer classes, my glutes feel stronger, and the workouts are a nice complement to my usual cardio-heavy routine. I appreciate being able to target my glutes in a way that requires minimal mental effort on perfecting form, and I love that the classes are short but effective, because that will make it that much easier to make them a regular habit. If you're looking for an exercise machine that specifically targets your glutes, is easy to use, and fits almost anywhere, this is the one.

4.5

The DB Method The Machine

The DB Method Machine

Lesley Chen/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put the DB Method Machine to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

I exercise mainly for my overall health, so I don’t usually pay attention to particular body parts. But I’m game to try anything, and when given the opportunity to review the DB Method, I was more than curious. First off, DB stands for Dream Butt, and while working from home, I spend so many hours sitting on my "B" that it definitely could use a bit more movement. Additionally, the machine already has some high-profile fans including Tracee Ellis Ross, Martha Stewart, Ayesha Curry, and Kim Kardashian, who gave one to all her siblings last year. Needless to say, I was all in, and after 30 days of trying out the DB Method Machine, here's what I thought.

The DB Method The Machine

Best for: All those who want to focus their fitness efforts on strengthening glute muscles.

Uses: A workout machine with a seat and foot ramps that position your body to do more effective squats, whether with the DB Method's official classes or on your own.

Price: $229 for machine only

About the brand: After consistent workouts without seeing the results she wanted, Erika Rayman spent four years developing a machine and method for effective squats. The DB Method uses principles from what Rayman did find effective and assists users in getting the results they want while also reducing the pain that can come with improper squat technique. In just a few years, the machine has attracted fans like Tracee Ellis Ross and Kim Kardashian, and it seems set to stay on top as at-home workouts and glute training continue to grow in popularity.

What Is the DB Method?

The DB Method is a machine designed to help you do better squats. It has hand rails, foot ramps, and an adjustable seat connected to the machine via a tension rod, all to adjust your body position and shift your center of gravity back so more of the work is targeted in your glutes.

An accompanying app has dozens of classes, with new ones and challenges added weekly. The classes are organized by theme (glutes, cardio, full body, etc.) and you'll also find multi-week programs as well as a way to track classes and achievements.

The Machine and Assembly: Sleek and seamless

My machine and accessories (the DreamBandPro, the DreamBelt, and the DreamMat) came in two boxes that were manageable enough for me to carry by myself down the two long hallways to my apartment. Once unpacked, assembly was straightforward and easy. There are no tools needed, and everything snaps and locks into place; the whole thing took me about 20 minutes. I will say though, the machine comes with three sets of instructions that while similar, all have slightly different images and steps. Your best bet is to watch the short YouTube video, but my advice is to watch the whole thing through before you start, lest you untape the part they note “Don’t untape me!” in step 6 like I accidentally did (I retaped it—everything is fine).

The machine kind of looks like half of a see-saw once it’s all put together, but it’s overall pretty minimalist. I can’t remember the last time I’ve owned a legit piece of fitness equipment—probably not since the bulky, low-tech exercise bike my family had when I was a kid. Maybe someday I will have a home gym, but today is not that day. I don’t have a ton of room in my apartment, so it’s a plus that the machine is narrow and takes up relatively little floor space (no wider than a yoga mat), and an even bigger plus is that it’s easy to fold up and store. Once you're done with your workout, just remove a pin and unscrew a couple of knobs, and the machine is compact enough to fit under your bed, in a corner or closet, or possibly under a couch. 

How to Use: Ensure you have proper form

It’s tempting to jump right on the DB Method machine right after it’s set up, but note that 1) even though the seat is cushioned and comfy, you can’t put your full weight on it like a chair unless you want to immediately hit the ground, and 2) the middle bar intentionally wobbles to engage your core, so don’t panic and think you’ve immediately broken the machine once you get on. I’m not saying I did either of these things, but I’m not saying I didn’t. Regardless, it’s worth taking the time up front to make sure your seat is in the right position and you are using proper form.

For reference, I’m 5’6” and my seat is set to a 3, but there’s a helpful tutorial on YouTube as well as an intro series on the app that goes into form, activation, and techniques. The main thing to get used to was shifting my weight back into my glutes. The foot ramps help you press into your heels, and while I still feel my quads working, the machine makes me really feel it in the glutes, just as intended. My machine is also next to a window so I can see myself in the reflection (as can my neighbors), and it helps to be able to do a quick form check every now and then.

Kim and Khloé Kardashian Using the DB Method Machine

@kimkardashian and @khloekardashian/Design by Cristina Cianci

A quick fix if you’re still feeling the burn more in your quads is to slow down. “Slowing down the reps gives you a chance to feel what the machine is offering: a guided squat path that shifts the work into the glutes," says Adam Swartz, a personal trainer and Chief Fitness Officer at the DB Method. "Moving too quickly often means that the body's old patterns—which are frequently quad-dominant—are taking over and preventing you from unlocking the benefits that the machine has to offer."

The Classes: Short but effective

I went for the app's beginner classes, which seemed like a good place to start. Under the Foundations classes, there’s a five-minute burner and an eight-minute activation class that were helpful to get the hang of the machine and the different types of squats (high-zone, mid-zone, and full squats). I could already start to feel it in my glutes, but I personally didn’t find the beginner classes overly challenging, so I quickly moved up to the intermediate and advanced ones.

Once I started moving into the harder classes that used accessories and other moves, that’s when I really started to feel the burn. For example, the Lateral Glute Strength class uses the DreamBand Pro and includes side-stepping off the machine; the Squat Squeeze has high, mid, and low squats; and the Cardio Sculpt gets your heart pumping, mixing things up by adding plié squats and hand release squats. The machine allows you to perform a wide range of squat moves, so you don't get bored of doing the same thing over and over. Equipment-wise, the DreamBelt felt a little awkward at times, but I’m a fan of the DreamBandPro, which not only adds resistance but also helps me stay in proper form on the machine. 

I was also curious to check out the classes that worked other parts of the body. Some workouts include off-machine exercises, like mat work, or the side steps mentioned earlier. But the seat, since it automatically provides resistance on the way back up, can also target your abs, obliques, triceps, chest, and more. All of these workouts are a nice option to have, especially if you don’t own dumbbells or other weights, but the ab exercises on the machine take a little practice to make sure you’re moving your body in a way that’s really engaging your core or obliques. I liked having variety, but I ended up leaning towards the more squat-heavy classes.

The Results: Strengthening has never been easier

Overall, I enjoyed the machine more than I thought I would. Admittedly, squats are not my favorite, and the idea of something dedicated to making me do more of them sounded questionable at best. But the DB Method won me over because it made squats more enjoyable, or at least less painful, which I was not expecting.

Most of the classes fall within the 10- to 15-minute range, which is short enough to fit in at any point of the day, and long enough to break a sweat but not so long that you want to give up. Also, there’s something about classes in general. If you asked me to stand and do 10 minutes of squats in place, I would politely decline, but a 10-minute class that happens to focus solely on squats was something I was happy to try. And in any class that required pulsing at any height, I was more than happy to go back to doing more squats.

It also made me realize that I probably was not going as low on my traditional squats as I thought I was. The machine makes it easier to get into a 90-degree bend and much lower, something I probably would not be able to do unassisted. “The feeling you’re experiencing of ‘going lower’ is the Machine enabling a deep hip hinge while keeping your torso relatively upright," Schwartz explains. "Traditional squats are great, but achieving that same level of hip hinge requires counterbalancing from the torso. This can be hard to figure out on your own, especially if you don't have a coach or trainer guiding you. And a poorly performed squat, like any poorly performed exercise, can have negative consequences on the joints.” The seat, handrails, and foot ramps all help take the guesswork out of a squat, so your body and spine are better aligned, the load on your knee joints is less, and the work shifts more into your glutes. My knees truly appreciated this.

The Value: Can be worth it

The price of The DB Method depends on the kit you get: just the machine ($229); the Essentials ($359), which includes the machine, a DreamBandPro resistance band, a 10-pound DreamBelt, and the DreamMount to hold a phone or tablet ($359); and the Deluxe ($402), which includes everything in the Essentials kit as well as DreamDiscs and Dreamlets (ankle/wrist weights). The accessories are available separately, too. The accompanying app is free to download on iOS and Google Play, but to get full access, the premium subscription is $10 per month. 

Ultimately, this device is affordable compared to other popular workout machines like the Peloton bike, but it does focus specifically on the glutes, as opposed to a full-body workout. If you want to target this area and can commit to the idea of a workout routine that largely centers around squats, the machine's effectiveness and ease of use make it a great purchase.

Similar Products: You've got options

Sunny Health & Fitness Squat Assist Row-N-Ride Trainer: For those who like the idea of improving their squats but prefer a budget option, this Amazon find ($90) could be the one for you. It doesn't fold quite as small or have a class subscription, but there is an introductory video, and the device comes with a monitor to track your goals.

AB Squat Machine Mini Gym: Looking to strengthen your entire core in one easy workout? This machine from AB Squat ($200) also helps you to do proper squats, with an emphasis on your abs in addition to your glutes. It comes with several accessories and a digital monitor, but it does take a bit more space to store, so be aware of that.

Final Verdict

After a month of using the DB Method machine, I can do longer classes, my glutes feel stronger, and the workouts are a nice complement to my usual cardio-heavy routine of running or walking. I appreciate being able to target my glutes in a way that requires minimal mental effort on perfecting form, and I love that the classes are short but effective, because that will make it that much easier to make them a regular habit. I can’t say whether or not I’ve achieved my dream butt yet—most of the time, I’m in sweatpants or something similar anyway—but I have a newfound appreciation for squats, which is a big win in my book.

Specs

  • Product Name The Machine
  • Product Brand The DB Method
  • Price $229
  • Weight 29.5 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 20 x 39.5 x 45.5 in.
  • Assembly No tools required
  • Folded Height 7" at highest point
  • Warranty 1 year
  • Seat Height Extendable for users 5'0"-6'3"

Related Stories