Exercise balls, load-shifting body bars, and sandbags fall under a new breed of fitness equipment that is emerging in gyms, which aims to improve stability during workouts. These devices are being placed into the spotlight, and are now pegged as a hot 2015 fitness trend. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) these fitness tools that help with balance are now being used in bodyweight and resistance training, as well as basic workouts. Additionally, ACSM currently recommends this type training at least two times weekly.
A new stability device that is gaining in popularity is ActivMotion Bar. Created by Derek Mikulski, it resembles an average body bar; however, it is filled with steel balls that move back and forth when exercised on. The goal is to use basic moves, such as curls to lunges, to blast calories, and strengthen your core, as well as help with stability and balance. While ActivMotion Bar was introduced in early 2015 by a handful of U.S. fitness chains, including Life Time Fitness and Powerhouse Gym, the tool was officially launched in 2013. Mikulski wanted to create something innovative to enhance his clients’ traditional workouts. The bar adds a unique disruption to a fitness routine through its internal rolling weights, which essentially challenges the body’s balance before returning to the initial exercise. It was designed to ensure that improved stability exercise could work hand-in-hand with core functional training.
While balancing devices are nothing new to the world of fitness, and have been used in rehabilitation for many years, unfortunately not much research has been conducted on the benefits these pieces of equipment can produce for an individual’s health, and fitness routines.
However with its current upswing in popularity within fitness gyms, this may all change.