I haven't done the fifteen or the thirty minute workout that comes on the DVD that comes with the Shape Ups, but, yes, I can definitively say that they ARE indeed a real work out and that after two days of walking I can feel my thighs and buttocks reacting and toning. This was not assisted by the mouthfuls of holiday cookies I had ingested but there is hope on the horizon.
Skechers Shape Ups are a more widely sold, more affordable version of a very expensive shoe which is called 'MBT'. MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology. This term comes from a group that studied the Masai people and found their issues with feet, back and hip injuries were virtually nonexistent. They realized that since the Masai people are mostly barefoot, they can adjust their posture in a more natural, holistic way and do not suffer the same health problems with feet, legs, hips and back as we do in industrialized countries. To read more about MBT shoes, click here: http://www.walkerswarehouse.com/mbt-shoes-skechers-shape-ups/review-compare-mbt-shoes-shape-ups.asp
MBT shoes were therefore created to emulate the barefoot walking style of the Masai people and to lend support and allow people to use muscles which were previously underutilized in the process of walking with traditional shoes. By strengthening hamstring, gluteal and lower back muscles, the posture naturally falls more easily into proper alignment, the legs become stronger, reducing the appearance of cellulite, the feet are not aching because they are not taking all the weight of the body, and the buttocks become firmer, being more efficiently used to walk.
While there is no magic bullet for weight loss and health, if you like to walk, using Shape Ups may be a great first step toward your health and fitness goals. Personally, I go in an out of being able to stick with my cardio-fat-blast-hand-held-weights-and-cool-step-up-thingy DVDs -- sometimes I go for months and use them religiously, getting all proud and toned and red cheecked and other months I can't bear to press play -- I need to be outside, I need an exercise that's sort of NOT.