We talk shooting, singing & Powerball with a future World Champion
Chris Banfield from Tasmania Australia is currently ranked joint 2nd in the world in WA1500 Pistol Shooting and is hoping to grab the top spot in the world this weekend. As a longtime Powerball user, we asked him if he would be kind enough to answer some questions for us about a sport we did not know a lot about.
Q. How did you first get into the sport? What attracted you to it?
Chris: I got into pistol shooting through my Dad. I started shooting when I was 5 years old and have been shooting for the last 27 years. I have always been competitive so that always drove me to get better.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the technical aspects of Pistol Shooting? Main rules etc.
Chris: WA1500 is a 150 shot match that takes about 1 hour to shoot. The distance ranges from 50yds to 7yds and I have to shoot in multiple positions like sitting, prone, left hand and right hand. At 50yds, to hit the 10cm ten ring, the sights have to perfect to within 0.1mm, so about the thickness of a hair. So it takes a lot of concentration over a long period of time. See below some of the positions that Chris shoots from in his hour-long matches.
Q. In essence it is more of an endurance event really then? Is this typical of most shooting sports or is this more of a marathon event in pistol shooting?
Chris: I would say it’s an endurance race on a tightrope. One mistake or loss of concentration and you are pretty much out of the running to win. I think that’s what I love about the sport, you have so much to remember. There are different distances, time frames, sight settings and shooting sequences. It’s like every sport though, it comes down to your match preparation and training.
Q. We see you are currently ranked 2nd in the world how is the ranking system based and what does grand master standfor?
Chris: I’m equal 2nd. 0.4 of a point off first. High master is the highest grading level in the match. Our scores get submitted from sanctioned matches throughout the year. I have a match this weekend so hopefully, if I do well I can get to first. The ranking is an average of the highest 3 scores from your last 4 shoots.
Q. Congratulations on your success in the World Championships lately, I’m sure there was a lot of hard work behind the scenes, can you tell us a little bit about your sporting career to date?
Matt Lockhart and Chris Banfield after their success at the world championships.
Chris: I put a lot of work in to make the Australian team. Work that was made easy by my friend and fellow shooter Matt. His drive to improve fuelled mine as well. It’s been a long career, too many highlights to name. Number 1 would have to be representing Australia at the world championships in Germany last year. I have won 6 national championships but the one I won last year to make the Australian team was the best. The hard work I had put in and the pressure of trying to make the team just made it so much sweeter.
Video courtesy of Southern Cross News Tasmania
Q. What are your aspirations and goals for the future within the Sport?
Chris: My number 1 goal is to win a World Championships. The world champs are only held once every 2 years and next year it is being held in Australia. To win on my home ground would be awesome.
Q. We would love to get some insight into your training schedule and what getting to the top involves? And how does Powerball fit into your training?
Chris: Training keeps me pretty busy with reloading and keeping everything in working order. Leading up to a competition I practice with about 400-600 live rounds a week. I try and train my weakest link until it is a strength and then chase the next weak link. It’s a never-ending cycle really. As I’m short of free time, Powerball is really good because I can have it with me at all times. The best thing about the Powerball is that it really works on the wrist and forearm muscles the ones I need the most. It’s small and compact so I can take it away with me when I go away shooting. It’s also fun to use so it makes training easier plus it works all the muscles I need for pistol shooting.
Q. You spoke earlier about the amount of concentration that the 1-hour entails, is there anything specific you do in terms of improving your concentration or visualization techniques to improve your shooting?
Chris: It is far too draining to try and concentrate for that long so I try and break it down into short intense bursts. When I’m not shooting, I take my earmuffs off. That is the trigger to relax and lower my concentration. I can talk and have a laugh with fellow competitors but when my earmuffs go back on, it’s game time and the trigger to heighten my concentration. It’s also important not to overthink either, just relax and let your training take over. I have a little trick that helps with nerves or if I’m over thinking. Singing songs in my head helps me to relax and clear out any negative thoughts that may sneak in. It’s a simple and easy method that seems to work for me.
Q. Do you have any advice for young inspiring athletes, and how might they reach the top?
Chris: To a new shooter starting out, I would say don’t over complicate things. Pistol shooting is pretty much 80% trigger control 20% sight alignment. Simple practice drills like Dry firing is the best form of training and the cheapest. When training I would advise to always go for quality over quantity you don’t have to shoot thousands of rounds a week. learn to fire 1 precision shot then you can slowly work on getting faster after that. Most of all have fun. It makes the hard work a lot easier when you’re enjoying yourself
All the team at Powerballs.com wish Chris the very best in his quest for the world number one spot and future challenge for gold in the world championships in Australia. For more information on Powerball and how it can help any sportsperson check out some of our products in-store. Our watch our video for our Autostart Titan Pro below.
Advanced Powerpin Workout
If you are looking for an intense gyroscopic workout then following this 9-minute Powerspin routine is what you are looking for. This workout targets your whole upper body including biceps, triceps, shoulders and core. The workout is purely isometric and will leave you seriously pumped when you’re finished. This is ideal for all ages and all fitness levels. The fitter you are the faster you can spin. The faster you spin the more resistance you will feel. For rehabilitation, Powerspin is ideal for all upper arm, tricep/bicep and shoulder injuries. Allowing you to build strength even when you are injured. Powerspin also tones and shapes your upper arms & upper body like no other exercise product on the planet.
Variable Infinite Resistance
Powerspin affords infinitely variable isometric resistance slow and gentle for rehabilitation or high-intensity workouts which will leave your muscles burning in under 60 seconds. Easy to use, portable and affordable Powerspin is a mobile gym for your upper body. Just stick it in the bag, carry out the 9-minute workout above or any of our other workouts that come included (We find many people make up their own). Powerspin is also uniquely adept at helping you warm up before strenuous activity especially for people with difficulties with shoulder injuries or anyone concerned about picking up injuries.
Find out why this product comes so highly recommended. Check out our Powerspin product page here.
Stop Muscle Loss from Arm Breaks & Arm Fractures
Muscle loss or wastage is a serious side effect and problem in rehabilitation from arm breaks and fractures. The medical term for muscle loss is muscle atrophy and can leave you with substantially reduced muscle mass after you recover from an arm break. The longer you are in a cast and not using your arm the more muscle you will lose from non-use. The amount of muscle you can lose from a broken arm can be clearly visible to the naked eye after you remove the cast. Following a physio designed rehabilitation programme will make a marked difference to;
The condition your arm will be after you recover.
The muscle mass you will retain while in rehabilitation.
The speed at which you will fully recover.
The more work you put in during your rehabilitation period the better place you will be in when you recover.
What can you do about preventing muscle wastage for arm breaks and arm fractures?
1) Doing nothing is always an option, but don’t blame us if you end up looking like this guy once the cast is off!!
2) Consulting with a physio or doctor is always a good thing. Physios will put together a strengthening programme that will help reduce muscle wastage and allow you to recover.
3) Use a Powerball, easy and engaging to use, remove the monotony from rehab while allowing you to maintain muscle mass and to track your progress as you go.
Why is a Powerball recommended by so many physicians for rehabilitation for arm breaks and fractures?
Exercise with Powerball is 100% non-impact isometric exercise. Isometric exercise is ideal for rehabilitation especially when bones and muscles are very weak. Traditional exercise is typically either concentric (shortening the muscle) or eccentric (lengthening the muscle) i.e bicep curls. With Isometric exercise, joint angle and muscle length do not change while you are exercising. This allows you to exercise without putting a strain on mending bones or damaged muscles.
If you are still wondering what the hell is a Powerball or why are you telling me to win the lottery to speed up my recovery bear with us!
A Powerball is a gyroscopic handheld exerciser. Gyroscopes are used in aeroplanes and spacecraft’s as navigational tools, however, they are also used for strength building and rehabilitation. A Powerball has a rotor (green wheel below) that acts as the gyroscope which spins freely inside the Powerball.
This rotor creates resistance/torque against the user. The speed that the rotor spins at is determined by the user. It’s all in the wrists! The faster you turn your wrists, the faster the rotor spins, the more resistance there will be. At low spin speeds Powerball is perfect for rehabilitation. As you recover and get stronger you can increase the speed of the rotor to create more resistance and build more strength. Powerballs are soothing and gentle at low spin speeds but can create upwards of 60+ pounds of force/torque which can be used to build massive strength and endurance.
How early can you start your arm rehabilitation?
Consulting with a physio or doctor is always advisable and they will give you a time frame of when it is safe to start your rehabilitation & strengthening. There should never really be any actual pain when you are using a Powerball as the exercise is isometric and non-impact. If you feel any pain you need to leave yourself heal a little longer. If you can turn your wrists without pain then you are good to go. Starting with lower rotor RPMs (spin speeds). Powerball can reach over 21,000rpms, however, a gentle 3,000 to 4,000rpms starting off is more than sufficient. You can increase the spin speeds as you get stronger.
I was playing baseball for my college team in Jersey when my arm was literally broken in half. I was escorted to the hospital and doctors patched me up, advising I would have to undergo therapy. In therapy there were the usual massages and exercises, but there was also one psychical therapist who had a slightly different approach. She handed me a green Powerball® and instructed on how to use it.
There were 3 other patients in therapy with similar injuries to mine that day and I’d say I probably healed 50% quicker. That green Powerball® literally gave me my arm back, one of the greatest inventions I’ve ever invested in. Thank you.
Jay Kshatriya, New Jersey, USA
Definitive Guide to Finger-Starting Powerball®
Can’t find a cord. Sick of the cat eating them (cats love Powerball cords)! No longer live in fear of misplacing a cord and not having your Powerball in your life! Here we have the definitive video guide to finger starting (thumb starting) Powerball® from Powerballs.com CEO Rory McLoughney – this is the video to watch if you want to learn the correct technique for how to finger start Powerball gyroscope.
If you can’t finger start a Powerball after watching this, do yourself a favour and buy an auto-start from our store www.powerballs.com/shop
Powerball Isometric Exercise Device
Powerball is the world’s most revolutionary isometric exercise device. Combining science and precision engineering to allow punishing isometric resistance training & rehabilitation. In this blog post, we will go through what is isometric exercise & how it differs to other types of exercise. While also looking at the benefits that isometric exercise has for individuals. At Powerball we have been involved in creating isometric exercise devices for the upper body for 20 yrs. We know a thing or two about the benefits!
What is Isometric Exercise?
If you are not familiar, isometric exercise means that as you are exercising there is no change in joint angle or muscle length. Whatever part of your body you are exercising you are stationary. Think planks, pushing against a wall or using a Powerball or Powerspin. With Isometric exercise, your muscles are working hard with the forces from the isometric exercise but there is little or no movement involved. Isometric exercise builds strength but has greater benefits in building muscle endurance. Climbers experience huge amounts of isometric exercise when the climb rock faces/climbing walls. This is why they have some of the greatest muscle endurance in the world out of any athletes.
Concentric exercise happens when you undertake bicep curls or use a leg extension machine to exercise your quads in your thighs. The Concentric part of the exercise is when you lift the weight closer to your shoulder with a dumbbell or when push the weights upwards with your legs when exercising your quads. Your muscles feel like they are bulging and getting bigger. However, this is them also contracting and getting shorter as the joint angles changes as you lift the weights. This type of exercise is good for muscle building and strength. Basically ‘pumping iron’.
Eccentric exerciseis the opposite of concentric in that your muscles are stretching and elongating. The below image shows eccentric exercises with a dumbbell. It is hard to do truly eccentric exercise on your own unless you have someone assisting you. In terms of athlete training, the most common form of eccentric exercise is in relation to explosive movements. Athletes use the power that’s built up in the eccentric phase of the exercise and then returning slowly eccentrically stretching the muscle out.
Will Isometric Exercise build muscle?
Building huge muscle solely with Isometric exercise is probably a bit unrealistic. It’s possible but the best (fastest) way to build muscle is with concentric movements (lifting weights). However, a key element of building muscle is placing enough tension on muscles in order to make them bigger and stronger. You are basically putting your muscles under strain and tension by working out, thereby, anything that does this will be beneficial for muscle building.
You’re missing out…
If you have never seriously tried isometric exercise before then you can make significant muscle and strength gains by incorporating it. At Powerball we are the home of Isometric gyroscopic trainers (Powerballs). The isometric resistance force that can be created can be upwards of 60+ pounds just by simply turning your wrists. Powerball alone will make a huge difference to your grip and forearm strength which will have benefits in other areas of your training.
Complimentary exercise is advised for best results incorporating all types of exercise into your routine (isometric, concentric, eccentric)
Isometric Exercise and Rehabilitation
Isometric Exercise is the most effective type of exercise for rehabilitation. This is due to its non-impact nature which allows you to strengthen your muscles even while you are injured/ in a recovery period. Isometric exercises and stretches have been the mainstay of physicians helping people through recovery and for good reason. Isometric exercise helps the stabilization of joints such as wrists, elbows, and shoulders as well as stopping muscle wastage while in recovery.
If you broke your arm you would not be able to pick up a dumbbell and start doing curls (the cast might get in the way anyways!) However, you would be able to exercise isometrically like using a Powerball. Exercising promotes blood flow which has great health benefits for areas that are trying to heal. Isometric exercise is perfect for;
Sprains, breaks & fractures
Repetitive strain injuries (prevents & rehabs)
Carpal Tunnel syndrome
Tennis & Golfer’s elbow
Tendon damage and on & on…..
If you want to find out more behind the science of how Isometric exercise with Powerball aids rehabilitation visit our How it Works page.
Warming up and Down with Isometric exercise
Whether you’re playing sports, lifting weights or a musician etc it is advisable to warm your muscles up and down to ensure you don’t pick up injuries. Especially, if you are using your body and muscles in explosive bursts. Pitching a baseball, weightlifting (there is too many to mention). Stretching is massively important but so is warming up your muscles. Going straight into concentric exercises can lead to muscles tearing/ damage or repetitive strain injuries over time.
Incorporating Isometric exercise into your warm up routine can solve a lot of those problems for you. Cold muscles can tear a lot more easily than ones that are warmed up sufficiently. That is where Powerball or Powerspin can be uniquely effective at allowing you warm your whole upper body up no matter where you are. They are the only isometric exercise device you will need to stay healthy and build strength at home, on the go or in work!
Powerball Isometric Exercise Device
Powerball is the home of gyroscope exercisers. A Powerball has a rotor (green wheel below) which spins on its axis as your turn your wrists. This rotor creates resistance as you turn your wrists which are known as gyroscopic precision (feels like gravity working against you). The faster the rotor spins the more resistance that is creating against the user. This resistance is purely isometric so your muscles work really hard even though they are static.
If you want to find out more about gyroscopes and how Powerball works please see our blog which will teach you all you need to know about what a gyroscope and a Powerball is!
There is a gyroscopic exerciser to meet everyone’s needs at www.powerballs.com! Below are our Powerballs in all their glory, however, we also have other isometric products like Powerspin. Powerspin is also an isometric exercise device that uses the same gyroscopic resistance as Powerball and is perfect for upper body fitness training and rehabilitation. See more about Powerspin @ Powerspin product page.
Powerball® is a gyroscope but what exactly is that?
What is a gyroscope? Well, an agreed definition is…
‘A device consisting of a wheel, disc or rotor mounted so that it can spin rapidly about an axis which is itself free to alter in direction’
Visually seeing a gyroscope at work makes it easier to understand for the uninitiated. So here’s a little video that sums it up nicely;
Gyroscopes have some really cool applications. Most items that have spinning wheels somewhat resemble a gyroscope. Gyroscopic motion is actually present in bikes and motorcycle wheels as well as kids favourites like frisbees and Yo-yos (Big kids can love these too of course!).
Gyroscopes Keep us all alive….
Ever wonder why or how planes and space crafts can judge their direction with such absolute precision? Gyroscopes are used in virtually all aviation and space technology in order to measure precise changes in orientation and direction. This all gets bit technical so we won’t go into too much detail. Basically, when you try to change the direction of a spinning gyroscope this creates a force that instruments can detect with extreme precision allowing them to make directional changes to the plane or rocket they’re controlling.
A gyroscope also helps items to balance far better once the wheel or rotor is spinning. As you can see from the video above a gyroscope has zero balance while its rotor wheel is stationary – it’s simply a lifeless inanimate object that falls over when you try to balance it. But once the rotor wheel is set in motion, the gyroscope comes alive, demonstrating almost “magical” properties. This allows gyroscopes to perform all manner of what seems like gravity-defying tricks and movements.
Robots, Gyroscopes and not falling over
Robots also use gyroscopes to help them balance. If a robot starts to lose its balance while trying to walk then its internal gyroscope senses this change in direction and counters this with an opposite force to keep it upright. You see, once a gyroscope is spinning and facing in one direction, it doesn’t like to change that direction and will “fight” hard against anything that tries to make it do so. Like a falling robot or an airplane being buffeted off course by turbulence.
Here is a video which illustrates this. (Hint: you might see a familiar object being used as a gyroscope here 🙂
Anyone who is familiar with Powerball® might now be thinking ‘hmm…was that a Powerball® rotor being used to balance the robot?’ Indeed it was…the gyroscopic inertial force generated by the spinning Powerball® rotor keeps the robot standing every time it looks like it might topple over…
Take a look inside Powerball®…
I’ve been mentioning a lot about rotors and here you can now see what a Powerball® rotor actually looks like. It’s that solid green wheel with the metal axle/bar running through its center (heavier, solid zinc rotors are used in metal series Powerball® models). In the example below, the rotor is encircled by a plastic support band which allows the rotor to spin freely in both its ‘X’ and ‘Y’ axis with almost zero friction. This is all then encased in a military grade plastic sphere (or stainless steel in the metal series models) and ready to generate all those amazing forces on your wrists and arms.
Setting the Powerball® rotor in motion…
Similar to how the gyroscope was started in the video above with a string, our cord-start Powerball® models can also be started this way too. The rotors can also be set in motion either using a quick snap of your finger or, better still, on our Auto-start models by simply rolling back and releasing the rotor as seen in the animated video below (the rotor may also be wound back with your thumbs if preferred). The Auto-start mechanism uses the same wind-back-and-release principle you’ll see in those toy cars where you roll the car backward and it shoots forward.
So how does Powerball® work?
Now that you’ve grasped the basics behind how a gyroscope works (and look, if you’re still struggling, just do yourself a favor and go and buy yourself a Powerball® – and find out for yourself!) The two main reasons Powerball® generates such powerful non-impact resistance force against the users are;
Inertial Resistance (AKA gyroscopic precession)
This is the force that fights against you when you try to change the direction of any spinning body (eg, like a Powerball rotor).
So what is inertia? Recently, I was driving to work and had my lunch (which included soup) on the passenger’s seat of the car. I went around a roundabout (a little too quickly) and my soup and lunch went flying off the seat. And this, unfortunately in my case, is what inertia is; an object in motion will continue on its path until it is acted upon. I.e, my soup continued in a straight line until my door intervened!
Inertial resistance in a Powerball works like this;
In Powerball® the rotor spins freely about on its axle.
Once spinning, this rotor wants to continue facing the same direction.
Exercising with Powerball requires that you turn your wrist in a circular motion;
Turning your wrist forces the rotor to change the direction in which it’s facing.
Changing the direction of the rotor creates inertial resistance.
And the faster Powerball® is spinning the greater the effort required to “knock it off direction” and so the more inertial resistance it generates. This can be anything up to a pretty incredible 60+ pounds of force against the user.
Harness the Energy
The inertial energy may also be used for some pretty cool features on Powerball®. For example, the energy can be used to power up little-LED lights embedded in the spinning rotor so that you can enjoy your own personal disco while exercising if you wish (maybe not!) It’s also used to power up the battery-free digital counter now present on some of the latest models, making the product 100% battery free.
Isometric exercise is where joint and muscle length do not change during exercise, despite each being subjected to a constant force or resistance. For example, if you push your palms hard against both sides of a door frame then your muscles and joints will remain static yet your arms and shoulders will be under considerable pressure. When you rotate your wrist while holding a spinning Powerball®, your fingers, hands, wrists, arms and shoulders will all be subjected to a highly targeted isometric force. Which muscles are exercised will depend on the position of the arm as you exercise with Powerball. Isometric exercise like this is uniquely adept at improving muscle strength & endurance as it’s been proven to engage a far higher % of muscle fibers over a given time frame when compared to traditional isotonic exercise (free weight training etc).
For this reason, Powerball® has a long history with climbers, cyclists and arm wrestlers in particular swearing by it.
Unique for rehabilitation
Isometric exercise is also highly efficient for rehabilitation purposes. Concentric & eccentric types of exercises (raising and lowering a dumbbell for example) involve contracting or expanding of muscles. Both of these types of exercise can be very painful if recovering from a broken bone, sprain or fracture and particularly painful if you’re carrying a repetitive strain injury (RSI) where the tendon which attaches your muscles to the joints of the wrist, elbow or shoulder has become inflamed. Because Powerball® exercises and applies its force to your muscles while they are in a static position this means that it is much safer to use when recovering from such injuries. It is highly efficient at [significantly] reducing overall rehab times simply because you are able to strengthen the limbs even while carrying that injury.
You can read more about the science behind how isometric exercise works for rehabilitation on our How it Works page.
So, thanks for reading our small exploration into the world of gyroscopes from Powerball’s point of view – if you happen to know any cool or interesting facts on gyroscopes that could add to this article then please get in touch, we would love to hear all about them and add them to the blog.
Cure Drumming Pain & Increase Endurance
Play Longer > Play Harder > Play Healthier
Powerball should be every drummer’s best friend.
As an art form, drumming places exceptional demands on the body. The lifestyle of a performer does not generally promote good health habits; late nights, and likely little time to warm-up all will all eventually conspire to negatively effect a drummers health. Good habits start today, and with Powerball, we can increase your health and enhance your performance!
Play faster by building fast twitch muscle reflexes in your fingers
Play Longer by increasing your overall strength & drum endurance
Warm up and warm down quickly and efficiently with Powerball to stay healthy
Relieve & prevent repetitive strain injuries
Powerball is an isometric exercise device that strengthens
Trusted by Physios and Professionals
Used and trusted by professional and amateur drummers around the world, it’s suitable for all skill levels. Used for endurance training and for rehabilitation Powerball is recommended by physios worldwide to help aid recovery from painful RSI conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendonitis or breaks and fractures. Powerball is;
Non-Impact – Gentle for rehabilitation / Perfect for warming up and down
Can be High intensity- Powerball can create up to 60+ pounds of force (depends on how hard you push yourself)
How Powerball helps drum endurance/play?
Isometric training is also a highly efficient method of building muscle endurance. This helps you play for longer and reduces the risks of repetitive strain injuries in the elbows or wrists following long sessions. In fact, if you’re feeling stiff or sore following after 60 minutes of play, picking up and spinning Powerball for just 2-3 minutes will immediately reduce any discomfort and ensure full recovery prior to your next session – you can call it body armour for the wrists and arms.
What is a Powerball?
It’s difficult to describe the surreal feeling of the resistance generated by a “live” Powerball until you actually experience it for yourself. However, the tennis ball sized Powerball is a gyroscope – a hollow sphere that encases an internal rotor which spins on its own axis. When that interior rotor is accelerated through the action of turning your wrist in a circular motion, this creates a centrifugal forcethatworks against the user; the faster the rotor spins, the greater the force generated and the harder the person is working. Spinning Powerball increases muscular control and stimulates blood flow, whichaids rehabilitation and strengthening of all the muscles which are critical to playing the drums.
Using a Powerball for as little as 3 minutes daily will improve a drummer’s endurance while also helping them stay healthy from fingertip to shoulder. A full suite of physio designed strength & endurance exercises are available which target all of the muscle groups needed during play (see on this page below or under videos tab).
Pain from playing Guitar?
Play Longer > Play Harder > Play Healthier
Guitar play can cause repetitive strain injuries (RSI) anywhere in the upper limbs but is most common in the wrist. Powerball is body armor for your wrists and upper arms. Used by climbers to build wrist and grip strength it is a revolutionary world class rehabilitation tool from repetitive strain injuries.
Why is there wrist pain from Guitar play?
Guitar can be a pain – carpal tunnel and related repetitive strain injuries (RSI) from playing can be a common occurrence. The repetitive movements associated with guitar play cause damage and tearing to muscles and tendons. These pains can range form the mild up to seriously debilitating which can stop your guitar play completely.
Stop ‘Guitar Wrist’
‘Guitar Wrist’ and repetitive strain injuries or carpal tunnelfrom guitar playing can strike both professional and amateur guitar players alike. The strain that wrists, fingers and upper limbs are under from guitar playing can take it’s toll. This pain should not be ignored as it can develop into more serious problems that can stop people from playing altogether. Feeling hot, cold, tingling or needles can be the first sign of nerve damage that needs to be treated. Building muscle strength around the ligaments and tendons that support the wrists, fingers and elbows is the best way to prevent guitar based RSI’s.
How Powerball Works relieves Repetitive strain injury from Guitar play?
Powerball creates Isometric exercise which is uniquely suited to rehabilitation. Similar to the way the earth rotates on an axis the Powerball has a rotor inside it which spins creating resistance against the user as they turn their wrists. This type of exercise is non-impact so it can be as gentle as you like for rehabilitation. However, it can be high impact up to and incredible 60 + pounds of force when used for strength building when healthy.
Strength & Flexibility
The Isometric resistance Powerball generates strengthens muscles and builds endurance like no other exercise product. Powerball stimulates blood flow and promotes the production of synovial fluid in the wrist and elbow joints, both of which help to greatly reduce the occurrence of inflammation in the surrounding tissue. Powerball both prevents and cures RSI. Powerball is perfect for warming up and down after a long session, however, if it is used for as little as 3 mins daily you will notice an immediate difference in strength and pain relief.
Guitar Wrist pain – Repair & Strengthen
Guitar players have been using Powerball for decades. It is a rehabilitation device and a strengthening product combined. Strengthening damaged muscles and tendons is a key element in your recovery. You will recover from RSI from guitar play, however, another benefit is that your will also increase your strength and endurance as a result also.
Physio designed Rehabilitation programmes & videos
Using Powerball for as little as 3 minutes daily will help you to pick and strum with greater alacrity; relieve pain; guard against inflammation and allow you to play for longer. A suite of physio designed exercise videos and programmes are also available for direct treatment and strengthening of the fingers, wrist, and arm (please see related videos on this page or a full list above in videos tab).
Treat RSI’s from Guitar play with Powerball
Musicians should know about how great this thing works to strengthen your fingers.
As a guitar player, grip and finger strength is very important if you want to play the blues
like the late Stevie Ray Vaughan and Powerball definitely, helps you achieve that“
Buenos Aires, Argentina
My PowerBall has increased strength in my fingers and wrist so that I can play guitar
for hours without fatigue! I use it every day.
Tennessee, United States
”I’m a serious Powerballer and train to push my limits, I want to use this opportunity to express
my thanks on how much Powerballing has improved my guitar playing, control, and endurance!“
Hentie Van Loggerenberg,
Pretoria, South Africa
Powerball®, Usain Bolt and our World Championships
Unfortunately we have not been able to afford to sponsor Usain Bolt (we have been informed unreliably that he uses Powerball® on a daily basis!) however, in the past we have had our own astonishing world champion Akis Kritsinelis who dominated his competitors for years.
(Two record breakers, Usain Bolt and Akis Kritsinelis)
Powerball® has been successfully used and loved by a diverse group of individuals for almost two decades. Whether used for rehabilitation, sport, strength, music or gaming etc. Powerball® has changed lives in small or sometimes life changing ways. On a weekly basis we receive feedback on how customers have been allowed to continue their passions they thought were cut short due to pain. Most of our customers should be aware of the benefits of Powerball® (I Hope); however, you may or may not have been aware that we also have had World Record Holders and a long history of competition associated with our products. Since 2003 we have recorded the world’s fastest male and female Powerballers.
In order to understand how the Powerballs league came about I interviewed CEO Rory Mcloughney to explain the origins.
What is this Plastic Ball?
‘At first we were targeting Powerball as a sport and fitness product, Padraig Harrington endorsed it in 1998 just after he won the world cup of golf. We thought this was the direction to go, however, at first people didn’t take them seriously. A little small plastic ball, no one knew what a hand gyroscope was. We slowly started getting the product out there. The First place tocome on board was Firebox.com; it was one of the first Gadget shops online and they started buying more and more and more. We realised then it was also seen as a gadget not just a sports product. As the product allows you hit the ball further and is great for wrist and arm strengthening we sent it to around 100 golf professionals in Ireland. They were either too lazy or didn’t take the product seriously still! However at this point it had really taken off online.’
Padraig Harrington Poster
Padraig Harrington With Powerball
What is a Good Score?
‘People had started to send in their scores into us. They were emailing saying ‘I got 10,000 is this a good score?’, ‘I got 12,000 is this a good score?’ and so on. We decided to put up a top 100 scoreboard and it grew from there. It took a while to fill the first 100 slots and then it became very popular and for the first six months anyone who got over 14,000RPM’s was a Powerball God!! 14,000 then became nearly the norm to enter the top 100. I think the top 300 hundred positions were all over 14,000 which is seriously hard to do. In the end we had to give a prize for the top score and the highest improver in a month.’
Please put that Drill away!
Take your drill away from your Powerball
‘The scores were coming in thick and fast and we had to moderate them eventually. People had to send in videos showing them doing it when they were getting up to the Top 100. People could use Photoshop and people were getting magnets and attaching them to electric drills and spinning it around at high speeds fooling the counter giving them a high score and winning a prize. If you were in contention you had to submit a video showing you doing a score within 5% of what you were submitting. So if you were submitting 16,000 you had to show the score and then video yourself doing a score within 5% which should be no problem as you always get faster.’
World Championship Fever!
‘People were really engaged and this was before Facebook had become what is today and where everyone can just take a video with their camera phone. Maplin sponsored the first Powerball Spin Championships.’
Competitors warming up
Akis and Ronnie O’Sullivan
These were held in Kidderminster (UK) in Oct 2007. Competitors and shoppers had a chance to win up to £15,000. A grand prize of £10,000 was offered to anyone who could break the world record with a £5000 prize for the overall winner.
Powerball World Championship Finalists
World Championships giant screen showing competitors spin speeds
‘We went over to Telford in conjunction with the World Snooker Championships and we had a gathering of Powerball Anoraks and enthusiasts! Akis came over from Greece and there were a couple of other characters as well. Another year Amazon sponsored the World Championships in Manchester in the Trafford centre surrounded by thousands of people on a Saturday afternoon. It was a huge big thing; there was a massive arena in the middle of the shopping centre with a huge bigscreen. We had the balls connected to a computer so we could see the score live as it was happening. It was really good fun over there.’
‘It then kind of died off a bit as it got too hard for people to get on the boards as the scores were so high for anyone who was starting off. We decided to get rid of the boards but we feel now it is the time to bring them back. We have to have a think about the best way to do it but they will be back. New and Improved! We might have an apocalyptic type restart where the boards are back to zero. Hopefully we’ll get some new people and some of the old competitors will come back.’
No Hulk’s necessary!
‘While it is a rehabilitation or sports product people still want to see how they compare to others. It’s not advisable for people who have bad wrists or who are in rehab to be competing obviously! But if you have strong wrists with good fast twist muscles, with a bit of training for a while with a Powerball you can get a good score. You do not need to be some sort of serious body builder to compete.’
Being hulk however would probably help!
‘When Akis started off he was able to get around 13,000. Over the years he managed to get this up to an astonishing 17,000RPM’s. ‘
For the uninitiated Powerballer who can’t imagine what 17,000RPM’s inside your hand feels like what is the equivalent?
‘It’s like having a Ferrari engine inside your hand or having a Formula one engine inside a tennis ball spinning at 283 revolutions a second powered by your hand. There’s a lot going on in there basically! Only Akis can answer that question.’
As you can see from our Powerball top ten competitors they come from different countries and have very varied interests from harpoon gunning to extreme mouse clicking and everything in between.
Male Powerball Record Holders
Male Record Holders
The Male record set by our very own World Champion Akis Kritsinelis (Greece) at an unbelievable 17,015 RPM’s. If you want to watch what it takes to get a Powerball to that speed watch the world record been broken in the video below.
Our Female Champion Nadine De Fortier (South Africa) set the female record at a sensational 13,491.
Female Powerball Record Holders
Female Record Holders
Thanks for reading a short history of how the Power Leagues came about and keep an eye out for their return and join our varied lists of competitors!
Tennis Elbow Exercise/ Lateral Epicondylitis Treatment and Rehabilitation
Finding the correct tennis elbow exercise program can be a difficult task. Many people have visited physios and doctors to no avail. Powerball is going to show you 3 tennis elbow exercise treatment programs which have had proven results.
Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, affects around 1% – 3% of the population. It is an overuse injury, originating in the wrist extensor muscles, rather than an inflammatory problem. It is brought on by occupational activities and sports that involve a repetitive wrist motion or repetitive gripping action. These repetitive movements can cause pain and lesions in the muscle tissue. The condition is most commonly associated with work-related activities rather than with playing tennis.
There are three types of exercises that sufferers of Lateral Epicondylitis/ tennis elbow can carry out,
Tennis Elbow Treatment types
and isometric exercise.
All three types have been proven to have positive effects for Tennis elbow sufferers.
In this article, we will bring you through examples of eccentric, concentric and isometric exercises for curing tennis elbow.
Eccentric water bottle tennis elbow exercises
1 litre (1kg) for Females, 2 Litre (2kg) for males adding extra weight as strength increases.
Supporting your arm on a chair, bend your wrist downwards and upwards slowly 15 times. 3 x 15 repetitions daily.
This exercise is a basic static exercise which will help lengthen elongate and stretch the muscles in your arms and build strength.
This same exercise can be carried out raising the bottle upwards with concentric exercise, however, studies found this to be less effective.
Concentric dumb-bell strengthening programme
Start with a 1- or 2-lb dumbbell.
Sit on a chair next to a table that has an edge or an overhang.
Bend the elbow to 90 degrees, palm should be facing the floor. Slowly lower the weight, then slowly raise it toward the ceiling. Be aware that performing this exercise can be painful. Lower and raise the weight 10 times or until;
a) it becomes too painful
b) you just don’t have the strength to move the dumbbell any further.
Rest a few minutes.
Fully straighten the elbow flat across a table (you might have to lean over the table or crouch next to it); palm should be facing the floor. Slowly lower and raise the weight 10 times / it’s too painful or you don’t have the strength to continue.
Once 10 repetitions have become easy to do, with hardly any pain, increase the weight by 1 or 2 lb.
Pain should start getting better by week 4 or 6. Continue the exercises once a day, 7 days a week, for about 3 months. If you do not feel any improvement after 6 weeks you should consider alternative treatments.
Isometric exercise is extremely effective in the treatment of Lateral epicondylitis/Tennis elbow. This is due to the non-impact nature of isometric training. Eccentric and concentric exercises for Tennis Elbow especially for chronic sufferers can be very painful, whereby, isometric exercise does not put any strain on already damaged tendons and muscles allowing it to be pain-free.
Why is Isometric exercise so effective?
Concentric and eccentric movements involve shortening /stretching of your muscles. Doing bicep curls is a good example of this. Your tendons connect your muscles to your bones. As you can imagine your tendons will be working very hard while you are lifting weights like bicep curls. Isometric exercise with Powerball is different. There is no muscle shortening/ stretching and so there is no pressure on inflamed tendons.
In every Powerball, there is a spinning rotor/ gyroscope. If you have no idea what a Powerball is please see the video below that gives you a short visual representation of how it works.
Powerball’s spinning rotor creates resistance against the user simply by gripping Powerball and turning your wrists. The faster the rotor is spinning/ the faster you turn your wrists the more resistance the user will feel. For rehabilitation purposes, Powerball is advised to be used at low revolutions. However, Powerball can generate an incredible 27kgs/60 pounds of gyroscopic resistance against the user. With Powerball, you can individually target any of the muscles used from your hands and fingers all the way up to your shoulders. For Tennis Elbow sufferers it is targeted exercise of the forearms and the muscles surrounding your elbows and wrists that is beneficial.
How does Powerball help with Tennis Elbow recovery?
The simple fact that you can exercise and strengthen damaged muscles and tendons without putting any strain on them is the most important factor. 80 – 85% of people will, in fact, heal themselves of Tennis Elbow without medical interventions over time. Powerball just simply speeds up this process considerably.
Powerball’s isometric resistance exercise massively increases oxygen and nutrient-rich bloodto the inflamed tendons. This supercharges your healing process. Using Powerball for as little as 60 seconds at a low to moderate speed will give the user a feeling of massive muscle pump. Similiar to what you will feel after a weights sessions.
Building strength. Powerball is a world-class upper limb exerciser used by climbers and sports people to build strength and endurance and stay healthy. Reducing your exposure to the reasons you developed Tennis Elbow is a key element in treating the condition. This may mean restricting the exercise that brought on the repetitive strain injury. As Powerball is non-impact you can still build strength even while you are in recovery.
Reduce Stiffness, increase flexibility and increase the range of motion in the elbow joint.Using Powerball increases the production of synovial fluid which lubricates your joints.
Stops muscle wastage during recovery.Powerball allows you to maintain muscle strength and mass due to its unique resistance training.
Other complementary Tennis Elbow treatments do we recommend?
Rest as much as possible from causes of Tennis Elbow like impact sports and repetitive movements.
Ice. This will help with the reduction of inflammation.
Massage. With a physio if possible, however, self-massage is also effective. Tennis elbow can cause tearing of the forearm muscles (supinators & pronators) which may need deep tissue massage to resolve. This can be quite painful so it is recommended that you seek a professional.
Physio designed Tennis Elbow treatment programmes and video
In conjunction with physiotherapists, we have designed a comprehensive rehabilitation programme and Powerball tennis elbow exercises which can bedownloaded here. We have also outlined the programme after the video.
Following this short program with your Powerball®, just 2-3 times per week will greatly assist in reversing tennis elbow conditions. This is achieved through stimulating significantly improved blood flow into the arm, stretching out and lengthening the forearm extensor muscle. This takes pressure off the connecting tendon easing the pain. All of which helps reduce inflammation in the tendon itself and increases overall range of movement at the elbow joint. Relief will be immediate. You can check out our Tennis Elbow Page Here.
Step 1 To Begin
Grip Powerball® firmly between thumb and four digits, making sure Powerball® is seated securely in the palm of the hand (see figure 2).
Start your Powerball® in the usual manner and accelerate up to a comfortable spin speed. If you don’t know how, check out the ‘Getting Started’ page on our site at Powerballs.com for videos and instructions. It is very important that you spin only with your wrist and not the arm – rotating clockwise or anticlockwise as preferred.
Spin speed is determined by your personal strength and fitness level as well as the severity of your condition. The purpose here is not to strengthen, but to loosen out and warm up the muscle tissue by bringing about increased blood flow in the limb. Therefore, rhythmic, slower spins of 2-3 minutes in duration (or longer if you prefer) are preferable to short, faster spinning for this specific program.
Faster spinning produces more resistance requiring the wrist flexor and extensor muscles to work harder while gripping. This is useful for the purposes of strengthening healthy muscle tissue but not beneficial in this instance where there is likely to be an accumulation of scar tissue and inflammation. Excess resistance is, therefore, to be avoided during this rehabilitation phase, thus slower spinning is preferable.
Note: It is recommended that you wear a light, skin-tight garment to help reduce possible friction on the skin during the following steps.
Step 2 Tennis Elbow Treatment Pre-massage warm-up process
Once the entire forearm has been sufficiently warmed up in this way, stop the spinning rotor and place Powerball® into your opposite hand, gripping it firmly.
Using ONLY the FLAT base of your Powerball®, begin to slide it up and down the forearm (as illustrated in figure 3). Use firm, fluid strokes from wrist to elbow, applying gentle downward pressure of the smooth plastic shell surface into the muscle.
You may do this as quickly or slowly as you prefer; your objective here is to warm up and loosen out a tight extensor muscle. The speed/pressure of the strokes used will always depend on the severity of your own particular RSI condition and tolerance levels.
Step 3 Deep tissue massage process
Deep tissue/self-massage from wrist to elbow helps reduce extensor muscle tension by breaking down adhesions and surface knots in the actual muscle fiber. Blood flow will have been significantly enhanced during the pre-massage process above and you should now find that the muscle is in a far more pliable, relaxed state and is exerting considerably less pressure on the connecting tendon at the elbow.
Ideally, you would use a professional for some deep tissue massage or use a product that replicates a physio or massage therapist like our own Powerball Deep Tissue Massager.
However, you can also use Powerball® and elevate it to 45 degrees so that the curved edge of the shell is the only part in contact with the forearm (figure 4).
Beginning at the wrist, slowly move Powerball® up along the forearm toward the elbow. Press down firmly into the belly of the muscle as you go. Imagine that you’re trying to lengthen the actual muscle, pressing deeper into the tissue with each stroke.
NOTE: Take care AT ALL TIMES to avoid working directly over the tendon itself or any point in the muscle that may already be inflamed. Sore tendon areas will be far more sensitive to pressure than surrounding muscle tissue. If actual discomfort is experienced, however, simply reduce downward pressure significantly or stop the treatment entirely and allow the area to recover before continuing.
As you proceed, you’ll also likely encounter areas in the muscle that may require more localised pressure. These are trigger points or contraction knots in the muscle fibers. Through breaking these down by applying firmer pressure with Powerball’s shell can bring particular relief to the tennis elbow condition.
In many cases, the highest relief will be felt by applying suitable pressure to the muscle at a point immediately below where it attaches to the tendon (figure 5).
Step 4 Stretch it out
It is recommended that you finish each tennis elbow treatment with a light 30-60 second stretching of the wrist area as illustrated in figure 5. This will help to further lengthen out the muscle, taking, even more, pressure off the elbow tendons.
Continue the massage treatment for 3-5 minutes, stretching the arm out periodically in between. If you’re applying sufficient pressure in each stroke, you’ll notice an immediate increase in pain-free range of motion at the elbow joint as tension and pressure in both the muscle and tendon diminish.
TENNIS ELBOW FROM OVER-USE OF A LAPTOP? PROBLEM SOLVED
I got tennis elbow from constantly using my laptop and it was a major issue. It got so bad, I couldn’t lift a glass of water using my right arm, my elbow would just give way. Firstly, I started some exercise to help strengthen and rebuild but it was hard going, causing me more injury at times.
I got really fed up with the pain and having a useless arm, especially since I am right handed, so I went searching online for something better and discovered Powerball®. I used it regularly and it really has given strength back and reduced my pain considerably, a fantastic outcome. It’s all taken only a few weeks so it’s a great result as I suffered for months before this.