While we’ve all seen the infamous Shake Weight at the end of aisle at Target, I never knew how many people actually bought one. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), in its first 12 months, the company sold 2 million Shake Weights!! They’ve now surpassed the 4.5 million mark.
Isn’t that crazy?! So – are people buying it as a gag-gift or as a real exercise option?I know what I’m buying for our Dirty Santa now after getting 2 naughty books and a leopard Santa hat last year as a gag, but is it an actual good gift to give after all?
What is the shake weight for?
The Shake Weight is a modified dumbbell that has weights on each side that are attached by a spring. The idea is that by oscillating, it uses more muscle fibers during an exercise.
How does it work?
If you’ve seen the infomercial, the company claims it works through “dynamic inertia.” Due to this science, the use creates the shaking and no battery is required. Without going into a science class, the amount some examples of inertia are:
- fruit falling down when a tree branch is shaken
- a standing person falling over as a train stops
- whipping a garden hose up and down with your upper body
The last example of the garden hose is about the equivalent of what the Shake Weight does. So for no extra money, you can get the same “ground-breaking” workout by watering your lawn.
How much is the Shake Weight?
Does it Actually Work?
In short, no and it can even be dangerous. Consumer Reports found the Shake Weight’s exercises to be inferior compared to conventional exercises that target individual muscles. The also found the amount of calories burned during a Shake Weight workout is less than walking at 3 mph.
Since the Shake Weight only moves a little on each side, none of the movement is functional to the muscle or our daily lives. So even if you were to build strength from the shaking mechanism it’s only going to be in a very small way that won’t show up in your daily practices in life.
Furthermore, the Shake Weight may cause injury.
Since the 5lb Shake Weight is 13.5 inches long, it can be difficult to use in certain upper body exercises. Its shaking motion is also unnatural and may case muscle spasms that could lead to injury.
If you’re dying to try one anyways….
It would be best to start training your muscles in their full range of motion first, and then add in a Shake Weight as a “superset.” For example, do your regular set of bicep curls followed immediately by a timed set of isolated bicep curls.
What is a better alternative to the Shake Weight?
Any workout really. The truth is to lose weight and tone up, it takes working out and eating right. My favorite workout for beginners to intermediate exercisers is the 21 Day Fix. When I did my first round, I lost 9lbs and 5.5 inches.
It’s a simple take on exercise and nutrition. You can eat any food group – including treats like wine and chocolate – in moderation. You receive a full nutrition guide and pre-portioned containers to outline how much you should be eating at each meal and each day.
It also includes 7 different workouts which are all 30 minutes long. There is a modifier in each workout showing you a low-impact move if you have knee or back programs. Plus, it’s helpful to follow her if you’re just starting your weight-loss journey as well.
It requires 3-8lb weights. I personally used 5lbs most of the time.
The best part is it’s something that you can see results from quickly, but it’s also something that will continue to work for you after the 21 days. We have clients that have done multiple rounds and lost over 80lbs in less than a year with the meal plan and workouts.
Check out the 21 Day Fix here!