What Does a Gyro Ball Exerciser Do?

The GyroBall, which is one particular type of powerball, is a piece of exercise equipment in the shape of a small ball that can be used to strengthen muscles in your upper body. Inside the ball is a rotor that spins and thus provides resistance that challenges the muscles. The GyroBall can be used to strengthen and tone the forearms, fingers, arms and shoulders.

Close up of a woman holding a tennis ball, which is about the size of a GyroBall.
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A Look at Powerballs

The lightweight powerball is designed to be held in the hand, so it's about the size of a tennis ball. The outer shell of the ball encases the rotor, and when that rotor spins, it provides torque that causes the ball to rotate and jerk. Depending on the brand of powerball, it has the potential of spinning of 9,000 to 18,000 rotations per minute, which in turn provides about 25 to 40 pounds of torque.

Effects of GyroBall

The GyroBall is typically used for strengthening and toning the muscles in the forearms. This can be beneficial for athletes such as basketball players, who use their forearms when dribbling and shooting. It can also help those who are hoping to be able to type on the computer for longer hours without becoming fatigued. The ball can be used for rehabilitation purposes for those who are recovering from carpal tunnel, arthritis or lower arm bone and tissue injuries. Because you control how much torque is applied, you can adjust the intensity of the exercises to accommodate your training goals. Powerballs can also be used to build strength and stability in the arms and shoulders by moving your arms as you spin the ball. Athletes can spin the ball while mimicking the throwing movement if a baseball player or a punching if a boxer. According to Dr. Sebastian Axel Balan's 2008 study published in Hand Surgery, powerballs were found to increase forearm strength and endurance after four weeks of training and also improved the reflex activation of wrist muscles.

Using the Ball

The rotor of the GyroBall doesn't spin on its own. To use the powerball, hold it in one hand so that your palm faces upward and rounds tightly around it. Flick the rotor with your thumb, and then immediately rotate your wrist to get the rotor spinning. The faster that you rotate your wrist, the faster the rotor will spin. You can spin the GyroBall in both directions. Some powerballs have a power cord to help you get the rotor spinning. Stick the end of the cord into the rotor, and then roll the rotor forward so that the cord wraps around the rotor three times. Pull the cord out quickly, and start rotating your wrist to continue the spinning of the rotor. Stop the rotor from spinning by gently touching it with your fingers.

GyroBall Exercises

The most basic way to use the GyroBall is to get it spinning and continuing to spin it for 30 to 60 seconds. Complete the exercise with both hands and by rotating the rotor in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. Target your finger muscles by holding the ball in your fingers while the rotor spins. To work your biceps, hold the spinning powerball while your arm is down by your side and your elbow is bent to 90 degrees. Extend your elbow to lower your arm by your side and then bend your elbow again. Work your shoulders by lifting your straight arm up in front of you or out to your side until your arm is parallel to the floor, and then lower it back down to your side.

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