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Mother-Of-Five Explains How Pelvic Floor-Strengthening Device Invented By Her Husband Became A Global Hit

Fiona Summers (Collect/ PA Real Life)

This mom's life was ruled by her fear after childbirth drastically weakened her pelvic floor. But, a device invented by her husband to rebuild her muscles changed both their lives.


After the birth of her fourth child, Fiona Summers, was left with a pelvic floor looser.

But her husband Neil, came to the rescue with a device which exercises over 200 muscles. Which helps control incontinence.

And to the amazement of the couple, The Leg Master, became a global success. It has sold over five million devices to people across the world.

“Having a weak pelvic floor just went with the territory of having so many kids," she said.

“I knew my days of going on the trampoline were definitely over, and I'd tell my friends not to make me laugh or if I sneezed, I just be like, 'Oh, God no.'"

Fiona and her family (Collect/ PA Real Life)

"Whenever I went out shopping or to visit friends, I was obsessed with working out where the nearest toilets were," she said.

“And the more children I had the more obsessed I became about knowing their location. If I ever tried pelvic floor exercises I'd always wonder, 'Am I even doing this right?' Eventually I'd convince myself I wasn't and just ditch them completely."

“But my pelvic floor muscles felt like they were literally on the floor – which is why I asked Neil to help me, because I knew I needed a quick fix."

Fiona showing how The Leg Master works (The Leg Master® / PA Real Life)

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So, in early 2005, Neil created the first version of The Leg Master.

“In a nutshell, it's a small piece of fitness equipment that you can either stand on or sit on," she continued.

“The secret behind how it works is the curved bar at the base of The Leg Master and you use it to lift your own body weight, repeating the movement for up to one minute at a time."

“It's intense – no matter how fit you are you'd always feel The Leg Master work, the impact is immediate, and you might only be about to do a few second – but if you do it every day the results are phenomenal even if it is just for a few seconds at a time."

Its success is evident in the astonishing worldwide sales of the $86.99 Leg Master, which are now booming in the UK, New Zealand, Dubai, Australia, France and the USA.

“Studies have been done in the UK, Japan and Australia that have looked and the strengthening effect the Leg Master has on the pelvic floors muscles and the efficiency in how quickly the device works is evident," she said.

Fiona's five children (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“Neil only invented it to help me with my pelvic floor, but we can now say with confidence that it's helping people across the world get a total body workout, which is just incredible."

“Back when he invented the prototype, though, we never for one minute imagined it would sell internationally. Plus, I'm glad we've found a way to make a great device while keeping it affordably priced."

Neil had previously invented a back roller to help people with arthritis. Now, Summers was thankful to see how it would help her.

The strengthening impact of The Leg Master (The Leg Master® / PA Real Life)

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“After I had Isabella (her daughter), Neil knew I desperately needed something to help with my pelvic floor, as my obsession with finding toilets was making everything difficult," she said. “Even a quick trip to the shops wasn't straight forward."

“He knew I wanted a quick fix – something I could do from the comfort of my own home, with as little effort as possible."

By using household items such as old handlebars and parts of scooters, within six months her husband had designed his first prototype.

“He used anything he could find to help build it," Summers said. “I remember he even cut up our daughters' scooters that we'd just got them for Christmas, to use as part of the device. I recognized the handlebars!"

After the first prototype was complete, Summers used the device daily for two months and immediately felt the pelvic floor muscles starting to strengthen.

“I first started doing it and I was like, 'Oh this is great.'" she said.

“I started doing it for 10 or 11 seconds at a time, and then gradually after about four weeks I built up to one minute and, with 1,440 minutes in every day, even I couldn't find an excuse not to do it."

Fiona and her daughter (Collect / PA Real Life)

“And, after about two months, I felt my pelvic floor strengthen, I stopped panicking every time I coughed or sneezed and my obsession with toilets subsided," she added.

“It was instant gratification with only one minute of effort every day."

It took five years before Neil's amazing invention presented the couple with a money-making opportunity.

"Back then I wasn't business-minded at all," she said.

“I was a 24/7 stay-at-home mum and I wasn't in the business world at all."

Fiona using The Leg Master (The Leg Master® / PA Real Life)

“All I was thinking about was my pelvic floor and not about creating a product we could sell," she said.

But in 2010, the couple signed a licensing agreement for the Leg Master to be sold by an American supplier.

“The product just took off in the USA, it was instantly popular, not because of how it helped improve pelvic floor muscles, but because another by-product is that it tones," she said.

"It strengthens and helps slim the inner thighs and outer buttocks as well as using all the leg muscles. The Americans saw it as a great toning tool."

In 2015, she decided to take the business to the next step by selling Neil's invention herself. This time promoting the way in which it improved weak pelvic floor muscles.

“Helping people with a weakened pelvic floor has always been something that has been dear to my heart," she said. “After all, it was the reason Neil invented the device in the first place."

“I had five kids who were all quite grown up by that point, so I thought, 'What else can I do? I know, I can go and sell The Leg Master myself.'. So I did."

Fiona Summers (The Leg Master® / PA Real Life)

They secured a spot-on shopping channel Open Shop in Australia.

“Never in a million years would I have put my hand up at school to read a paragraph out in front of the class," she said.

“So, deciding to host my own show was way beyond my comfort zone. But I knew the product and it worked for me, so I knew there was no one better to sell it than myself."

Fiona Summers (The Leg Master® / PA Real Life)

And it was a huge success, with Summers soon realizing that their product appealed to a whole new demographic.

“We looked at the reviews and plenty of people were commenting on the improvements it had made to their pelvic floors," she said.

“One lady even said she threw out her panty liners after three days of using it."

“But we started noticing a lot of people, aged 70 plus, showing an interest in it. Because it's easy to use – you can do it sitting down or at a desk – it's a simple way to exercise and to improve the pelvic floor."

Realizing the benefits their products offered the elderly.

“Incontinence is one of the reasons people end up in care homes, but it's not talked about enough," she said.

“By using our products, not only will older people improve their pelvic floor, which will help to prevent incontinence, but it'll help them to exercise too."

“Older people can be scared of going to the gym, so out products are perfect."

Fiona Summers (The Leg Master® / PA Real Life)

“It's so motivating knowing you can use it on your own in your pajamas, without having to go anywhere where anyone is watching – it's great," she continued.

“Using The Leg Master also helps older people keep stable on their feet – and mobile, and in turn they have their independence. I think it's so important for the elderly to keep their functional activity for as long as possible."

Fiona and her family (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“My parents are in their 80s and they use it every day. It's great for them and for me, as I don't have to drag them out all the time to exercise," she added.

By constantly amending and updating their product in the 10 years since they launched it, this year the couple believe they have perfected it.

“Nowadays, it's not just Neil who adds amendments to the device – I have a hand in upgrading it, too, because at the end of the day it is me who is using it," she said.

"We are in the process of launching the latest version – The Leg Master Slim – which is a good size, so it can fit in anyone's home – even if you've got a small apartment."

“The handlebars have been adjusted to allow users to strengthen the upper body and the product arrives basically fully assembled."

Now, Summers believes discussing pelvic floor problems is no longer a taboo. And, she is determined to continue to help others improve their muscle strength.

“Nowadays, even celebrities are normalizing having little accidents. They'll appear on daytime chat shows and say, 'Gosh, don't make me laugh,' so I think the taboo of having a weak pelvic floor is a thing of the past," she said.

Fiona Summers (The Leg Master® / PA Real Life)

“We have come a long way and now realize it's just one of those things that happens, but there's a lot we can do to stop it, which is why I want to continue to help people prevent those little accidents," she said.

“It takes just a few seconds a day up to one minute to transform someone's life. It's wonderful to really help women with something that they don't always feel like they can do something about."

She hopes to inspire others to follow suit, since the device has helped her so much.

“If I can help people deal with a situation that they didn't think they had any hold over then I'm happy – it's what I'm most passionate about, and I truly believe I can help them," she said.

“I'm living proof, as I was lazy, I wanted a quick fix, and it worked for me."

The Leg Master® Total Body costs £69.99. For more information please visit www.legmaster.co.uk