Crescenta-Cañada YMCA offers Zaaz machine workouts

Malinda Farrington, of La Crescenta, and Bonnie Compeau, of Montrose, follow the directions of an instructor who is showing them exercises they can do on a Zaaz machine at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA. The Zaaz exercise machine was demonstrated to a group of members on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / July 30, 2013)

The Crescenta-Cañada YMCA is helping its members shake up their workout routines with the purchase of eight whole-body vibration machines said to improve muscle tone, balance and coordination.

About 100 people headed to the Y on Tuesday to try out the new Zaaz machines, which use a fast-moving vertical oscillating platform to trigger involuntary muscle reflexes throughout the body.

All members will have access to the machines, but the purchase specifically targets the physical needs of seniors under the Y's "50 Moving Forward" fitness program, said Healthy Living Director Craig Strazzeri.

Among users, the buzz was positive.

"It's an interesting sensation … but pleasant," said Jet Propulsion Laboratory systems engineer Dan Dvorak, adding that vibration machines have long been used by NASA to help astronauts retain muscle mass and bone density during space travel.

"It felt like a deep-tissue massage," La Crescenta resident Sharion Zeimantz said.

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Follow Joe Piasecki on Twitter: @JoePiasecki.

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