At first glance, it may seem more like a children’s toy than a training accessory. However, the Powerball provides important benefits for both physical therapy and muscle strengthening.
More and more health professionals are investigating the possible uses and benefits of Powerball. Next, we will discover its main functions and benefits.
The Powerball, also called synergetic, contains spheres that are made of polycarbonate and have a gyroscope inside. It is a symmetrical body that rotates on its own axis, in the opposite direction to which we rotate the ball. As the speed of the Powerball we created increases, the gyroscope will reach a higher number of revolutions. Consequently, the resistance generated will be greater and we will need more force to turn it.
There are different models, which vary in their weight and design. Some reach a weight of up to 10 kilos, while others weigh 20 or 25 kilos. All Powerballs are the same size as a tennis ball. As for the design, we can buy basic or advanced versions. The advanced versions indicate the number of revolutions per minute, with LED numbers. Its price varies between approximately 20 and 60 euros.
There are several types of Powerball, so it is convenient to know them to choose the one that best suits our needs.
Pull-Start Powerballs use a cord to initiate gyroscopic motion within the ball. They are easier to use than other models, and you won’t need to use a lot of force to make the ball spin. It is recommended if we want to exercise the wrist, since it will not force the wrist muscles when we start it.
To use a Powerball with a rope, it is advisable to follow these steps:
- We will hold the Powerball with the rotor exposed towards us. We will hold the Powerball with the non-dominant hand with the rotor facing up. Inside the rotor, there is a gyroscope that spins perpetually as we turn our wrist after throwing the ball.
- Move the rotor until we find the small opening for the cable. The rotor is on a track and can only move in 2 directions: forward and backward. We will move the rotor in any direction until it finds a small hole in the center of the rotor. This is where we insert the string to wind up the Powerball.
- We will insert the cable into the hole and hold it in place with our thumb. We will take the cable and carefully slide it into the opening in the rotor. Once we’ve pushed the lace 1 to 2 inches into the hole, we’ll place our thumb over the opening to hold it in place. There is no locking mechanism for the cable, so we have to hold it in place with our thumb to prevent it from slipping out of the hole.
- Turn the rotor away from us to wind the ball. With our thumb holding the cable in the hole, we will slide the rotor out with our free hand until the cable slides under the case. We will then use one hand to continue turning the rotor away from you while holding the cable firmly with the other hand.
- We will stop winding the ball once you have 3 to 4 inches of string left. As we roll the ball, the cord will lay on itself along the grooved track. We will stop winding the rotor once we have between 7.6 and 10.2 cm left. Next, we will grab the string with our non-dominant hand and hold the ball with our other hand.
- We’ll quickly pull the wire out to start spinning the ball. We will rotate the ball so that the rotor is facing down. We will then rip the lace off the ball with our non-dominant hand until we have completely removed it from the ball. The harder we pull, the faster the ball will spin.
Most Powerballs have LED lights that let us know when the gyroscope is moving. If the gyroscope is working, the lights stay on. Once you slow down or stop, the LED lights turn off.
The wireless Powerball is suitable if we want to control the speed. Wireless Powerballs must be spun by hand to start them. They require more effort to start, but many people enjoy manually starting the ball and trying to get it to spin as fast as they can.
- We will rotate the Powerball with the non-dominant hand so that the rotor is facing up. We will hold the ball in the non-dominant hand. We will rotate the ball until the rotor, the exposed section of the ball inside the box, is facing up. We will try to move the rotor with our finger to find the direction in which it travels. The Powerball’s rotor only moves back and forth, so we need to play around with it a bit to find the direction of the track.
- We will use our fingers to spin the rotor brushing it quickly. We will raise the dominant hand and we will stick out the flat fingers as if we were going to perform a karate chop. We will then quickly run our fingers across the top of the rotor as if we were cleaning the surface of the rotor. We’ll do it as fast as possible to start spinning the rotor.
- We will rotate the ball in the hand with the rotor facing up to start it. With the rotor spinning, we’ll use our non-dominant hand to move the ball in a circular motion. We will keep the rotor up and a constant speed. Once we find the correct cadence, the gyroscope inside the rotor will start spinning. When the ball starts to rumble or move, the gyroscope spins and you can stop spinning the ball in your hand.
We will buy an automatic Powerball if we are using it for physical therapy. Autostart Powerballs are the easiest version to get started. These balls don’t require any physical pulling or twisting to spin, making them ideal if you’re treating carpal tunnel syndrome or strengthening your wrist after a strain.
If we are trying to keep track of rehab progress, it is recommended that you have a digital display. These balls can be set to run for a predetermined period of time, making it easy to monitor therapy sessions.
- We will find the arrow printed on the exposed rotor of the ball. We will turn the Powerball over in our hand until we find the exposed section of the inner ball, called the rotor. We will turn the rotor in the direction in which it moves freely until we find the arrow that is printed on the ball. The rotor is on a track and can only be moved in 2 directions. The arrow indicates which way the ball spins.
- We will pull the ball back in the opposite direction of the arrow to wind it up. Once we find the arrow, we will grab it with both hands. We’ll use our thumbs to pull the exposed section in the opposite direction. Once we feel some resistance, the ball will begin to roll. The more we roll the ball, the faster it will spin.
- We will release the exposed section of the ball to start it. Once we have rolled the ball, we will release both thumbs. The rotor will start spinning in the opposite direction, which will spin the gyroscope in the middle of the ball. Once the gyroscope is turned on, we will feel the ball rumble and move in the hand.
This spinning ball has numerous advantages in strengthening the wrist.
Kinesiologists are increasingly using Powerballs. Its main function in this context is to rehabilitate muscles and joints of the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow and shoulder. It is also very effective in helping to restore neuromuscular efficiency in these areas. That is to combine the different connections of the brain, with the different muscles to produce the necessary movements, strength and stability.
Those people who have never had problems with their wrists, arms, elbows or shoulders can use these spheres to train strength, endurance and stability. In all cases, controlled use is recommended. It should not cause extreme pain or tiredness. In fact, many musicians, mainly guitarists and drummers, use them to strengthen their hands. The same goes for many athletes, artists, and people who work with computers; due to wrist wear.
Also and as we mentioned before, Powerballs are frequently implemented in kinesiology. The most common injuries that are rehabilitated with this tool are:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Injuries in any of the areas already mentioned
- Chronic pathologies or overuse
- Sprains, dislocations or fractures
- tennis elbow
Does not generate much vibration
These balls can reach a vibration of only 250 kHz, so they do not negatively affect bones and joints. Although, with a higher vibration, instead of producing benefits, it could lead to a stress injury. However, it is important to be careful when stopping the movement of the sphere. The internal structure rotates so fast that the user can be burned when trying to stop it with his hand.
Also, it is not recommended to leave it on a surface if it is still moving. The energy it generates will move it and it could fall, and even damage nearby objects.
It is a very effective accessory as it allows us to work on our muscle strength in a matter of minutes. With two or three sets of short daily exercises with the Powerball, we will exercise our hands, wrists and arms.
These spheres generate forces of different intensity and in random directions. In response to this, the body must activate the muscles that allow it to control and continue with the desired movement.