Gyro Ball Exercises
Gyro balls, sometimes called powerballs, are finely engineered exercise aids. Training with these spherical, tennis-ball size devices, can help tone and strengthen the muscles of your fingers, wrists, arms and shoulders. Whether you're a sportsperson, musician, computer operator or someone who may have limited movement and lacks coordination, performing gyro ball exercises can be beneficial and therapeutic. In addition to the benefits, gyro balls can add an element of fun to your exercise routines.
About Gyro Balls
The gyro ball is a hand-held gyroscope consisting of a rapidly spinning wheel called a rotor. The rotor weighs approximately 200 g and is enclosed in a hard outer shell. There are no batteries or motor involved. When the rotor spins, resistance is generated. The faster you get the rotor to spin, the more resistance you generate. Depending on the model, as much as 40 pounds of resistance is possible. Some models have a digital counter which can keep track of the number of revolutions per minute. It’s possible to reach 16,000 RPMs with some models.
The most obvious benefit is that a gyro ball is small, lightweight and can easily be taken and used anywhere, even at your office or while traveling. Unlike free weight exercises which usually target just one muscle group, a 7-minute gyro ball workout will test up to 90 percent of the muscles in your arm, according to the Powerball website. Because of their low-impact action, gyro balls are also used to rehabilitate broken bones and sprains and to treat arthritis, tendonitis and carpal tunnel.
How to Start the Gyro Ball
Cradle the gyro ball in one hand with the back of the ball lightly touching your palm. Hold your hand with your palm facing the ceiling. Take the thumb of your other hand and flick it across the rotor and then turn your hand over and start rotating your wrist. If your gyro ball has a start cord, insert the end of the cord into the hole of the rotor and slowly rotate the rotor forward, winding the cord around it. Stop winding when 3 inches of the cord is left. With the rotor facing the ceiling, quickly pull the cord straight up. Turn your hand over and start rotating your wrist.
Once you get your gyro spinning, hold it with straight fingers. Turn your hand so the rotor faces the floor. Keep the ball spinning with a counterclockwise, stirring motion. Continue the circular movement one to two minutes or until your muscles start to feel fatigued. Repeat with your other hand.
Wrist and Forearm Exercises
To work your wrist and target the muscles along the top of your forearm, get the gyro spinning and hold your arm out to your side, waist high. Turn your hand so the rotor faces toward the floor. Rotate your wrist in a stirring, counterclockwise motion. Continue until your muscles become tired. To focus on the muscles underneath your forearm, rotate your wrist clockwise. Repeat with both arms.
Biceps and Shoulder Exercises
To target your biceps, hold your spinning gyro with your arm bent 90 degrees. Bend your wrist slightly so the rotor is facing your body. Rotate your wrist counterclockwise. Straighten your arm and hold the spinning gyro down by your side to work the muscles at the front of your shoulder, the deltoids. Rotate the ball in a clockwise direction. Perform each exercise until fatigued and repeat with both arms.
Keep your fingers and hands away from the rotor while it is spinning. Although gyro balls can be used by all ages, children under 12 should have adult supervision. While operating the ball, hold it firmly. Avoid dropping the gyro ball because this can damage the inside surface. If you have a heart condition, consult your doctor before using the ball.