The body processes information from a variety of stimuli. Proprioception is the automatic sensing mechanism in the body that sends messages throughout the central nervous system. Proprioceptors are specialized sensory receptors found in muscles, tendons, joints, and the inner ear which enable the body to process the stimuli and turn that information into action.
These receptors relay information about motion or position, and make us aware of our body position and movement. While unconscious initially, proprioception can be enhanced with training. By focusing on the improvement of these specialized sensory receptors for specific athletic movement (e.g. throwing a football, swinging a baseball bat, shooting a basketball, or performing the golf swing, etc.), the athlete increases and improves the strength, balance, and coordination that are relevant to the performance of that movement.
Oscillatory movements of the Body Bar FLEX (called DYNAMIC INERTIAL RESISTANCE [D.I.R.] Exercise) involve holding the bar in the center –with either one or both hands– and shaking it, causing the ends of the bar to vibrate back-and-forth rapidly. The hands and arms are held in various positions, offering a remarkably effective way to train the proprioceptors of various muscle groups, and condition them at the same time.
The short, dynamic, inertia-based movements, coupled with the resistance inherent to the Body Bar FLEX, help bring the muscles to a heightened state of fatigue very quickly. The design criteria of the bar make it particularly effective for D.I.R. exercises because the vibrations are dampened. This means that the athlete must continually put more ‘work’ into the shaking process to keep the bar oscillating – in the up-and-down or side-to-side or back-and-forth movement the athlete desires. According to one fitness professional: “I get a much quicker ‘burn’ doing this routine!” So, a D.I.R. workout can be brief, yet highly effective.
Additionally, the vibrating movement of the bar forces the athlete to apply isometric contractions of the torso –the abdominals, core, and lower back– and even the legs. Isometrically challenging the torso and legs to remain relatively stable, in combination with the very rapid concentric and eccentric contractions of the muscles in response to the movements of the oscillating bar, aids in balance, enhances strength in other muscle groups, and improves quickness and coordination.
The science supports that oscillatory exercise enhances the performance of an athlete by training the sensory receptors located in the muscles and tendons – the proprioceptors. Neuromuscular efficiency is achieved by improving the timing, efficiency, and speed of muscle contractions: more effectively activating the right muscles at the right time. The athlete shakes the Body Bar FLEX in a manner mimicking the movement in a particular sport. This training targets specific multi-muscle movements necessary for shooting a basketball, throwing a baseball or football, swinging a golf club, etc., resulting in those movements being executed in a more controlled, effective, and efficient manner.
The Body Bar FLEX is an inexpensive and versatile device which can be used to gain the benefits of D.I.R. exercises. Simple and effective drills, performed several times per week, will improve muscle strength and tone, balance, quickness, and coordination. Incorporating D.I.R. training into the strength and conditioning program of the athlete will ensure performance at the peak of the athlete’s capabilities.
Visit www.bodybar.com/Body-Bar-Store/Body-Bar-Flex to purchase the Body Bar FLEX as well as to access the drills specific to DYNAMIC INERTIAL RESISTANCE. Or call 800-500-2030.