One of my clients sent me an article regarding this, the Shake Weight, and asked me my thoughts. Was it a waste of time?
I often say there are no wrong exercises (there are unsafe ones, which might make them “wrong”), but there certainly are inefficient ones.
So what’s the deal with this Shake Weight, suddenly popular among women due to it’s sleek and light (2.5 lbs!) design. Women have been looking for a way to “tone up” their bodies without breaking into the realm heavy weights, or man-infested weight rooms (although the Shake Weight is trying to grab a male demographic). But what is “toning up,” really? It means lowering ones body fat percentage, so that underlying muscle is more visible. To do that, you need to burn fat and create a caloric deficit.
Vibrating technology is not new. Anything that makes you shake and shimmy is “harder” than traditional exercises. Whenever something is placed under more tension, it has to work harder. There are vibrating platforms, squishy pads, Bosu balls, and hydro-fit-”technology” you shake yourself. But what’s the point, really, if all you want to do is tone up and feel the burn?
I would say the Shake Weight isn’t so much a waste of time, as everything new can confer initial strength, fitness, or body composition changes. I will, however, say that it is a waste of money. Twenty bucks for something that weighs a mere 2.5 lbs that you will adapt to in a week, maybe two. Then what? You’ve got this piece of crap littering your house.
In just 6 minutes a day, you can get results! You’ll feel a burn, guaranteed!
You know what else? 6 minutes of push-ups will sculpt your arms, and in far less time than six minutes. Plus they are free, and you don’t have to pack them when you travel.
Vibration technology has its purposes. I can imagine downhill skiers might find a vibrating platform functional for their sport. A co-worker of mine made some very critical remarks about the Bosu ball being an unsafe waste of time, but the Bosu’s instability and shaking resonated with the former rowing athlete in me, much accustomed to the unbalanced conditions of boats.
Before you drop twenty dollars to get your teeny weeny shaking weight (plus your “$15-value” burned DVD, which we know is NOT worth $15), ask yourself how it will actually contribute to your fitness.