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Skinny Without Willpower

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Just read on MSN about shape-up shoes, so I thought I’ll give my 2 cents on this. These funky looking shoes turn us into human rocking chairs and claim to give us sexy legs and butt and a strong core. Walking in them almost sounds like a new workout with its own warm-up and stretching routine (since when did we have to warm up and stretch before walking). Check them out here:!

First of all, realize that the models shown in the commercial or any other fitness commercial don’t get those bodies by solely using the product they are promoting. They get those bodies by following a diet plan and by sweating it out in the gym, period. So then the question is, will you get a body like this walking at the mall, wearing these shoes? I thought I already answered it!

These shoes claim to work your calves, legs, butt and core muscles to give you a better tone and additional calorie burn. First of all to effectively work any muscle you have to work it through the full range of motion (ROM) in order to stimulate the muscle fibers into getting stronger or burning any significant amount of calories. The amount of resistance against which the muscle is working also determines how many calories are spent. So walking at a speed of 3 miles/ hour with a body weight of 150lbs will burn about 270 calories/hour. Running at 6 miles/hour which works about the same ROM will burn about twice that much per hour because you push harder against the ground for the added speed. So looking at the women walking with these shoes it doesn’t seem like there is any increase in the ROM (or resistance) anywhere except perhaps the calves due to the rounded sole. As far as working the core trying to balance, all I can say is no one can ever lose any significant weight by doing crunches which directly hit the core. So while I wouldn’t deny that these shoes would burn some additional calories walking in them, the incremental gain (in calorie burn) wouldn’t be more than 5%.This translates to 15 additional calories for an hour of walking. Now is that enough to justify the $100+ tag on these shoes? I think you are better off walking 5 additional minutes or better even use that money to get a membership to a real gym, because when it comes to building sexy toned legs and butt, these shoes don’t hold a candle to good old fashioned squats and lunges.

P.S. if you have any low-back problems or knee pain I would suggest caution or even a physician’s advice before shelling out the green to get a pair of these.

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