Juliette Kando is a dancer, choreologist, author on fitness and health, and Fellow of the Benesh Institute at the Royal Academy of Dance.
In this article we examine whether the company claims "Get the get arms you'll be proud to show off in 6 minutes a day” are true and suggest safe and effective methods for using the Shake Weight.
How does the Shake Weight Work?
The difference between an ordinary dumbbell and the Shake Weight is its user generated (no batteries) shaking enhanced by springs which facilitate and increase the action while working out. The Shake Weight comes in 5 kg weight for women and 10 kg for men with a workout DVD for arms and upper body exercises.
Warning! For your own safety, under no circumstances should you buy or use the Shake Weight before reading this article to the very end. Although Shake Weight workouts may work wonders for your arms, shoulders and chest, the question is: How to use the Shake Weight safely and most effectively to avoid disappointment and injury.
The Shake Weight for Men
Watch Your Posture
The problem is that any fad used dumbly as an exclusive exercise method is bound to fail the customer. There is more to toning your arms, chest and shoulders than being made to vigorously shake a phallic object, as you well know. Before muscle toning can have any beneficial effect, the base structure, the skeleton, has to be well aligned. Building muscle on a poor structure causes damage. You might aggravate your aches and pains, perhaps even injure yourself. The customer then blames the piece of equipment and discards it. Bye, bye Shake Weight, go and join all your fad siblings on the scrap heap.
How is YOUR Posture?
So How Can it Work Long Term?
The Shake Weight can only work in the long run for those who have a sound posture and have already achieved a good deal of suppleness and strength in the neck, shoulders, wrists and finger joints. The Shake Weight is not for those with:
- poor posture
- permanently raised, forwardly stuck shoulders
- an over-curvature of the neck (those that carry the head in front of the body)
- weak hands
- weak wrists
- fallen foot arches
- weak knees
- weak hips
For people with the above conditions, using the Shake Weight would only make a miss-aligned body hold its miss-aligned body parts in a stronger, even more miss-aligned way, i.e. with enormously increased tension. This would aggravate the conditions and cause further damage to the body. On the upside, anyone can safely use the Shake Weight lying down on the floor. If you are uncomfortable lying on the floor use props as shown in the next picture.
Toning Forearms, Biceps and Triceps on the Floor
- Keeping your elbows on the floor, lift the Shake Weight off the floor and put it down again. Experiment with the height and the angle from your body and establish a sequence. At all cost don’t take your elbows off the floor yet.
- To tone the triceps turn over onto your front (take away the bolsters), keep your neck relaxed, with your head resting on the floor on one cheek, and palms facing up. Now with a straight arm, lift the Shake Weight off the floor behind you, trying a few different heights and angles until you find a comfortable routine.
The number of reps for 1. and 2. above: between 8 and 32 at your own discretion. Try to reach your own limit of endurance and don’t forget to establish a matching breathing pattern, breathing in on the “up”, and out on the “down” motions. It helps a great deal to exercise to your favorite music.
Shake Weight Video for Women
Warning Regarding the Above Video
Bending forward for the triceps toner at 2:51 is asking for back trouble. Either perform the action standing straight or even better, perform the same triceps toner lying prone (face down) on the floor. The rest of the video is OK. After using the Shake Weight always end a session with a recovery move on the floor like the next shoulder loosener and don't forget to relax and breathe.
Shouder Loosener Recovery Move
This little sequence is most useful for anyone with stiff shoulders, even if you have no intention of buying the Shake Weight or as a preparation, even a recovery move after using it.
- Lie on your back, with your arms spread out at shoulder height.
- Pull up your joined knees and place them at your right side on the floor. If they don’t reach, place a cushion or bolster under them.
- Relax. Where is your left shoulder? Has it risen off the floor?
- Now draw a backward circle on the floor with your extended left arm. Look at your hand while doing so. You will now feel where the stiffness in your shoulder is at its strongest (usually where the X is on the picture).
- Gently and repeatedly move through the stiff part of your circle until your left shoulder stays on the floor and your fingers no longer have to leave the floor to trace the circle.
- Repeat on the other side.
Note: If your shoulder comes off the floor while circling your arm, then I’m afraid you are not ready to take your elbows off the floor with your Shake Weight. But you will very soon, once you get your shoulders back into their intended anatomically correct place.
Advanced Spinal Twist and Shoulder Loosener
Arm Swings and Circles
At first, Arm Swings and Circles should be done without any weights at all. At this point, the limp weight of your own arm is enough resistance for loosening and toning your shoulder. Once your shoulders are loose and strong without any additional weights, you may progress to wearing wrist weights, hold a dumbbell or, eventually for the most advanced version, you could try slowly doing the Arm Swings and Circles using the Shake Weight (at your own risk).
- Stand in a stable lunge position, the left foot in front and the right foot behind with the front leg bent and both heels on the floor.
- Swing the right arm up as far as you can until you feel the limit in the shoulder joint.
- Swing the arm down and back, again as far as you can feel it stop in its joint.
Breathe in on the uplift and out on the down swing. Use momentum rather than force, allow the arm to drop as it goes down. Do about eight or more swings while increasing speed and momentum until you are sure that all the little crackly noises (stiffness) have gone from your shoulder joint.
Reverse the position of the feet and repeat with the left arm.
Arm Swings And Circles
Full Arm Circles
Stand in the same lunging position as in the previous sequence and now make continuous backward circles with your arm. Again, breathing in as you go up and breathing out as you go down. Begin slowly and increase the speed of the movement until your arm wants to circle quite fast to throw off all the tension until you feel a tingling in your fingertips. If you look at your hand, it is quite red, full of blood. When you finish, hold the arm above the head and shake the hand to allow all the blood to flow back down again.
Change the position of your feet and repeat on the other side.
Note: Welcome any clicking or crunching noises in your shoulder as long as it doesn't hurt. Your arm swings and circles are oiling your rusty joints. After a few repetitions those noises soon vanish.
Now the Shake Weight Can Work
So like with any new piece of fitness equipment, the Shake Weight can work very well indeed for people with a good deal of body awareness. Being aware of your body does not require you to be a professional fitness expert or an athlete. Anyone can become well informed and increase self awareness in the body with research, experimentation, choosing what works for you and practice.
Have fun with the Shake Weight and please join the conversation by asking questions and sharing your experience in the comments section below.
Where Can You Order The Shake Weight?
Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on October 27, 2014:
Hello miss sue. I try the arm exercises. They work for my arms. I had pain at nigth . They used to get a lot of pain that I woke up. Thank you for writing this article. I am grateful to your knowledge. I like your hub. You did a fantastic job.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on May 18, 2013:
Sorry to hear that Fredls,
I would return it to where you bought it from and get e replacement.
fredls on May 18, 2013:
it's not working , doesn't shake
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 25, 2011:
I'm glad I could be of help. It's all to do with COUNTER MOVES. Watch this video:
"How To Avoid Pain And Stiffness With Counter Moves"
Julie on November 25, 2011:
I have been using the shake weight for a couple of weeks and did have very tight and sore shoulders. Just one day of doing these stretches, and some more I found on another site, and I didn't have any tightness or pain after using it! Thanks for the helpful insights!
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 07, 2011:
You are welcome Robyn, of course you can invent many more exercises as long as you stick to my motto:"No Pain, Just Gain!"
Robyn Klutsky on November 06, 2011:
Very funny video and thanks for the helpful exercises.
debrah on October 21, 2011:
Try the link above
musicalshoelaces on October 02, 2011:
Love this hub! I will make sure to be careful once mine comes in the mail! Also, the body furniture link is expired now . . . any idea where to find some good quality ones similar to those shown? Thanks for your hard work!
Shake Weight Extreme on May 02, 2011:
There definitely needs to be more than just the 3 exercises in Shake Weight's 6-minute workout. We created a few at shakeweightextreme.com
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 01, 2011:
Hello last commenter,
Using your instinct and imagination you can invent your own exercises. You could try slowly doing the arms swings and circles described in this hub. You can also carefully try using the shakeweight in the horizontal position (lying down)to give different muscles a chance to tone. Just play and experiment with it, always baring in mind the golden rules: proper alignment and posture.
just tried it on December 31, 2010:
it is a rod with weights on both end and a mechanical spring on both ends but it works threw air vents on each side basically its spring tension against air pressure differences and if you dont have posture and alignment right this hub is very correct that it wont recoil right and can hurt you, however the video given with the device explains the operation well enough to figure out its recoil with the aid of onscreen, i do complain at the limit on the video to the number of excercises, only 3 which is less then are demonstrated on the commercial
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 29, 2010:
Thak you fadibody, I will write some more hubs soon.
fadibody on December 28, 2010:
You got a very interesting and helpful hub. Keep it up.:)
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 25, 2010:
Does it need batteries? If it doesn't work I would take it back.
bandy32 on December 25, 2010:
I bought my wife one for Christmas and the box was sealed and all, but it does not seem to recoil like the one oon the ads. It does not seem to have the spring effect like in the DVD, either. Could it be a dud?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on September 25, 2010:
I'm glad for you Maria, keep up the good workout!
Maria on September 24, 2010:
I just got the shake weight and it does work. You feel it as soon as you start your workout.
Angus on September 21, 2010:
For weight loss healthy eating and exercise is not always the answer, this doesn’t always work for everyone. Some people have medical conditions which prevent them eating particular foods and prevent them from exercising. Often we crave food we are allergic too.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on September 20, 2010:
Yes, there is a hub on bodyblade but it doesn't tell you very much about it, only where you can buy one. If you've got one Ghomefitness maybe you would like to write a hub on it, giving specific exercises?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on September 20, 2010:
I had a look at the web site ghomefitness has anyone written a hub about it? Let me check ...
ghomefitness from Chicago,IL on September 19, 2010:
www.bodyblade.com is their web site. It is a great way to work core and smaller muscle groups. It has been on the fringe for years for rehab and athletes.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on September 12, 2010:
No, ghomefitness I haven't tried Body Blade. Where can I find out more about it?
ghomefitness from Chicago,IL on September 11, 2010:
Good hub, have you tried the Body Blade? It works on the same concept without the funny ads.
Robin on August 24, 2010:
I have been using the shake weight for about a month and i def see a difference in my arms.
Sara on June 01, 2010:
We are the shake weight manufacturer in China . Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org ,if you have interest ,kindly contact with us
kohku on May 30, 2010:
I loved reading this funny and informative hub. Even without using the ShakeWeight you are giving some great exercises for toning the triceps. Now that I know what to do with it I'll ask my old man to buy me a ShakeWeight for my birthday. Thanks for the good tips.
Dave on May 06, 2010:
A very well put together Hub. You did a very good job with your write-up. I love one of the comments on Amazon about the women hiding it from her Son and his friends because it is so suggestive!!!
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on February 18, 2010:
Advoco I love your comments always so complimenting. How are you surviving the rain and floods and leaking roofs and car hassles in this very unusual Andalusian weather?
advoco from cadiz on February 18, 2010:
A very detailed and knowledgeable hub that will be reference guide for any potential purchaser of the shake weight. Well done
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on February 12, 2010:
I wish you success in using the shake weight prettydarkhorse as long as you observe the cautionary factors mentioned in this hub you should be ok.
prettydarkhorse from US on February 11, 2010:
Hi Ms Sue Adams. This is a very helful hub and I need this, thumbs up!
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on February 08, 2010:
Glad to be of help ocbill.
ocbill from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice on February 08, 2010:
interesting. I was only doing core exercises. I'll just have to incorporate some of this too.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 28, 2010:
The bolsters on the picture are from
madeleine kando on January 28, 2010:
This is really funny Sue. Where can I buy the bolster that you show on the picture?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 27, 2010:
You're welcome Maria. Try doing some of the sequences shown above, you'll enjoy it.
Simply Mariaaaaaa from Sunny South Florida on January 26, 2010:
Thank you sooo much for making me laugh today. I needed it! And after reading the article, it's obvious that you are extremely knowledgeable in your chosen field.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 26, 2010:
Yea, trying to educate and inform and give people back an instinctive trust in their own bodies is my goal. Every little bit helps.
Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on January 26, 2010:
This is really good, Sue. I've seen this piece of exercise equipment on Ellen's show. And thought the sexual allusions were hilarious. But, as you suggested, the thing looks like it really works. Good for you, putting out some much needed info for understanding its use.