BY GARY MCCLAIN

n 1991, physical therapist Bruce Hymanson created a revolutionary vibration and inertia training system known as the Bodyblade, and it has sky rocketed in fitness circles since then. Hymanson’s main focus of  the design was to enhance deep muscle dynamic stabilizers of the spine, sports performance, general fitness, rehabilitation, personal training, improved wellness and muscle function & definition. Bodyblade became popular and fitness equipment companies began making their version of the Bodyblade, known as oscillation kinetic energy bars and according to an article in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, using an oscillation kinetic energy bar works through what is known as oscillation kinetic energy which means that it works by causing simultaneous contractions in the muscle you are targeting and helps develop muscular ability and even nerve control. But are these workouts right for you?

You use an oscillation kinetic energy bar by holding it in your hands by the handle
in the middle and using small movements to make the flexible ends of the bar move back and forth, which causes simultaneous contractions that can lead to faster and more meaningful muscle gains! However, the intensity put forth determines the results you get from those contractions. Small, medium and heavy flexing bars determine  the amount of resistance being applied to the bar which goes along with the intensity of the output to the muscles being worked. Small flexibility in the bar offers the easiest workout since your muscles are not working as hard to stabilize from the vibrations from the moving bar. Heavy flexibility in the bar offers the hardest workout since your muscles are working harder to stabilize itself from the vibrations of the moving bar. However, even the exercises you do and pace you perform these exercises can change the intensity of the workout no matter which bar you choose.

Getting the blade moving is the first step in an oscillation kinetic energy bar workout routine because, while it seems easy to just move a bar in small movements back and forth, the muscle energy your body uses to stabilize yourself against the vibrations can be exhausting in the beginning. It can take some time to get down the movements, but once you do, it is relatively easy to get started with some basic core exercises. As you progress with technique, there are several different exercises you can find and incorporate into your training regimen. There are exercises that can help you target your core (such as standing on one foot, leaning forward and gently vibrating the bar), your chest (raise your arms in front of your chest and gently vibrate the bar), or shoulders (holding the bar with one hand, gently start vibrating it and do an overhead press). As you progress and your muscle develops, you can add a second bar into your routine and give each side of your body a more intense workout by having to stabilize a full bar instead of half a bar.

Research from the Journal of Physical Therapy Science reports that exercise routines incorporating oscillation bars do not cause any particular side effects and are great tools for individuals for a variety of reasons from rehab to cardiovascular workouts to muscle toning workouts. Like any workout though, you have to start gently and gradually increase your routine and resistance or you can cause temporary muscle fatigue and minor damage.

Oscillation kinetic energy bars are great workout tools because you accomplish quite a bit in a shorter time frame because so many muscles are working for a prolonged period of time under tension. The bars can be pricey, but remember that it is a one-time purchase and can be used as an all-in-one piece of gym equipment that can target a variety of muscle groups and when you are using the smaller sized bars, they are fairly portable which means keeping a routine while traveling.