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Shake Weight: Fitness Expert's Review

By Michael Esco, PhD
WebMD Expert Review

The Shake Weight is a dumbbell in which the weights on either end are attached to the handle by a spring. It is sold by a company called Fitness IQ. It can be purchased online, in some retail stores, and from television infomercials.

There are two versions of the Shake Weight: one for men and one for women. The women’s Shake Weight weighs 5 lbs and costs $19.99 before shipping and handling. The men’s Shake Weight weighs 10 lbs and costs $29.99 before shipping and handling. The package is shipped directly to your door and includes one Shake Weight, a workout DVD, and instructions.

How It Works

According to the Shake Weight’s advertisements, it works by a method called "dynamic inertia." 

The weight bounces off the ends of the handle by the spring as it is shaken back and forth. The user performs this shaking motion in various positions to target the major muscles of the upper body, such as those in the chest, shoulders, and arms. The movement of the device is generated by the user and is not battery powered. 

Basically, it moves only when you shake it.

The Shake Weight Workout

The Shake Weight includes a 6-minute workout DVD that focuses only on upper-body exercises. 

During the workout, the instructor on the DVD guides you through a series of exercises that involve shaking the weight in various positions.

For example, to target the shoulders, the instructor grips the handle in both hands with one hand being placed on top of the other. The arms are held in front of the body and the Shake Weight is rapidly shaken toward and away from the body. To target the triceps, the weight is held by both hands behind the head while quickly shaking it up and down. The biceps exercise involves holding the weight with one hand at about the level of the head while continuously shaking it toward and away from the body. The shaking exercises lasts approximately 20 to 30 seconds each.

In between the shaking sets, you do active recovery, which involves either some type of stretch or a movement that is similar to traditional dumbbell training (such as doing a standing chest fly or bent-over triceps kickback) while holding the Shake Weight.

There are no instructions about how often the workout should be performed.

Pros

The Shake Weight is affordable. The exercises can be easily performed. You can carry the device almost anywhere. The exercise plan offers a quick workout. The company claims that there is a 100% money back guarantee for unsatisfied customers. The weight is very light, so almost anyone can perform the exercises.

Cons

For a muscle to be fully stimulated, resistance must be applied through a full range of motion. The Shake Weight does not deliver this and will not result in the same muscular activity as traditional dumbbell exercise, despite what the company claims.

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