Get Cut: It looks more like something on which you should be skiing rather than the ultimate workout tool, but the Bodyblade is exactly that — “one piece of equipment, one system of training, infinite potential,” says Bruce Hymanson, the physical therapist who created this surprisingly simple core muscle strengthener to help with rehabilitation of shoulder and back instability problems and now uses it for a wide range of motion training with athletes of all shapes and sizes.
Training the body outward from the center, this oscillating, rapidly contracting device (about 270 contractions per minute) works the smaller, dynamic stabilizing muscles to build strength, endurance, muscle tone and coordination for ultimate conditioning in a quick yet sometimes grueling workout you’ll come to love and appreciate. And because of the Bodyblade’s compact size and the need for reps of only 60 seconds (if you can survive the burn and last that long), it can be used virtually anywhere — in the gym, in the back yard, or even while you’re watching television in the living room.
And it’s quite easy to use. Take it, shake it (by pushing and pulling front to back or side to side) and match the rhythm of the blade as it oscillates back and forth. There’s no swinging; rather, it’s the rapid movement that works on your body as you work on keeping the Bodyblade in constant motion. But the Bodyblade is about more than today’s “core stabilization” buzzword. Hymanson wants to train movement, not muscle.
“Nobody stands in one spot and develops the ability to contract their core muscles. What are you going to do when you have to move? What are you going to do when you have to move through a range of motion with high velocity. There are so many factors involved, and that’s where our Bodyblade training comes into effect, with the rapid contraction, the constant balance that needs to take place in the body anytime you’re moving.”
And how does that apply to your golf game? Not only does the helpful wall chart offer a range of movements, but the Bodyblade also has been a regular fixture for years in the HealthSouth Player Fitness Centers on the PGA and Champions tours, with guys like Jay Haas, Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron giving the ’Blade a shake.
“Golfers end up with two major problems — low back problems and shoulder problems,” Hymanson says. “And not by any accident, it’s because of loss of flexibility and timing, and the connection between upper and lower trunk.”
Focusing on those golf-specific muscles, you can put yourself into positions of the swing — address, backswing, follow-through — as you oscillate. The goal, as with all golf training, is to build greater clubhead speed and greater control of the club while strengthening your back, shoulders and inner core to work together as one healthy, coordinated body.
“I want to train your body how to move,” Hymanson says. “And in the process of training you how to move functionally and appropriately, I’m going to be training groups of muscles to work together to provide an efficient movement to get a job done, such as swinging a golf club.”
With approximately three-quarters of a million Bodyblades sold in the past 15 years, the proof is in the progress people are making every day, from mini golfers to fine-tuned athletes to disabled folks rebuilding their bodies. Of all the sticks golfers dream of swinging, this just might be the best one you could ever put in the bag. —Darin Bunch
5 models, Each includes DVD and wall chart are available at our AOK Health website.