It is great to see more and more tools appearing in our industry that are challenging the body in a far more intelligent manner. The end user is now demanding that new tools incorporate the “guiding principles” of movement to enhance the responses in the body required in everyday encounters.

Client movements need to mimic everyday life challenges throughout their training sessions for a successful outcome. Information in the past has focused primarily on the body’s “appearance” only and ignored what the body/brain really needs to be successful in life; happiness, wellness and movement!

The body/brain craves variation, gaining maximum stimulation in all responses when movements or exercises are constantly changing. Repetitive movements are what “dumb” the body and brain down and in many cases are the reasons for the pain  and discomfort we have in our bodies. Most people train to get “better” but in fact are doing just the opposite!

Some of the “guiding principles” of movement required for an effective efficient body are;  

  1. Integrate the entire body making sure that the ankle, hips and thoracic spine work together.
  2. Vector variation, the tissues require varying movements of force and direction
  3. Load to unload, eccentric lengthening of the myofascial (muscle & connective tissue) system to concentric contraction.
  4. Rhythm & Timing, stimulating the body to mitigate the stress effectively.
  5. FUN, decreases stress and inflammation in the body caused through cortisol.

One manufacturer aware of the necessity of these “guiding principles” is Hyperwear. They produce many products but I want to focus on the brilliance of one, Sandbell and how it provides great outcomes for all people whom use it.

The SandBell, at its most basic level, is the combination of strengths from some of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment— sandbag, dumbbell, barbell, grip bag, medicine ball, stability pod, gliding disk and kettlebell. 

These tools are filled with sand but they have a neoprene cover. The feel, texture and smell play a powerful part in the enjoyment of using these challenging tools on an emotional, mental and physical level.

The continuous shifting medium (sand) inside the SandBell stimulates a reaction from the finger tips (grip strength) through to the T Spine, Hips and Ankles constantly challenging and up-­‐regulating the entire system; loading the spine from the top down.

This makes the Sandbell ideal for any type of program goal, whether it is weight loss, lean body mass, wellness or sports specific. It can be used in every traditional manner but more importantly encourages creativity, freedom of movement and 3 dimensional strength challenges.

The amount of challenges/games that can be created is incredible and the hormone response achieved encourages the building of lean muscle and burning body fat. To see this happen with smiles on faces makes this extremely powerful in keeping clients motivated to continually exercising. Give it a go and observe how you feel!

Here are some simple exercises that you might like to try I am sure they will challenge your entire system. I would suggest that you start with a lighter weight first and get the rhythm of the movement, do it for 45-­‐60 seconds.

SIT & REACH- VERTICAL SWING TO TOES

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BENEFITS:

  • this exercise provides a rhythmical way to load the entire body in the upright position whilst increasing a hormonal response
  • a great exercise to condition the system for more challenging tasks in everyday life.
  • improves extensibility through the hips and thoracic complexes

MOVEMENT:

  • from the starting position, allow the SandBell to swing down to the floor (load) between the ankles
  • at the bottom of the swing (load) allow the SandBell to change direction and drive vertically towards the ceiling (unload) in a rhythmical manner
  • the SandBell  will stop above the head driving the client onto the forefoot of the ankles complexes
  • gently return to the bottom of the movement and repeat exercise

PRONE-­‐ SINGLE ARM PULL/PUSH WITH TRUNK ROTATION

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BENEFITS:

  • this exercise challenges the body greatly from toes to nose.
  • a great exercise to condition the system for everyday strength.
  • necessity for conditioning clients to rise from the floor

MOVEMENT:

  • with overhand grip pull the SandBell towards the chest
  • rotate the body and head and push the SandBell  vertically towards the ceiling
  • return to the starting position and repeat
  • keep the movement rhythmical and work within the clients bubble
  • once fatigue is observed stop, change sides and repeat

PARTNER, DOUBLE ARM MULTI DIRECTIONAL THROW/CATCHES

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STARTING POSITION

  • Standing opposite each other in a “sports position” (approximately 1 body length), one person holding the SandBell
  • Holding the SandBell with both hands

CHALLENGE

  • Throw the SandBell to partner with both hands in a gentle, rhythmic manner
  • Partner will catch the SandBell with both hands, allowing the entire body to accept the force and return it in a similar manner
  • As the exchange of throws and catches improves, change one or all of the following;
  1. direction 2) distance 3) height of the SandBell to progress the challenge Do this until one or both people fatigue or for a specific time (45-­‐60secs)