With flywheel training on the kBox, instead of lifting a weight against gravity you accelerate or decelerate a flywheel. This way, the force required in each motion is variable as it is based on the inertia and the kinetic energy of the flywheel.
Strength Training Basics
Strength training can be defined as a limited number of repeated muscle contractions against some form of resistance, producing high force.
This stimulates hypertrophy (muscle growth) and increased activation, by the nervous system. These effects together give an increase in strength over time, if the exercise is repeated regularly.
Gravity vs Inertia
Traditional strength training is generally done by lifting some sort of weight – such as a barbell, dumbbell and weight stack machines – against gravity.
In flywheel training, resistance is created through the inertia of a flywheel, which is accelerated or decelerated with muscle force. The level of inertia of the flywheel rather than the weight determines the force needed. The principle is equivalent to that of a traditional yoyo device.
In traditional gravity-based strength training, a weight is placed on an extremity (arm or leg) and the extremity is put through a range or motion. While the direction of the motion varies for many important exercises, the direction of gravity remains the same, leading to that maximum force is achieved only at the point where the weight has the highest momentum on the active joint, in other words “the sticking point”. At your 1 RM (1 Repetition Maximum) you just barely pass the sticking point but still you would be able to lift a heavier weight in the other angles of the motion due to a lower momentum.
Flywheel training exercises on the other hand are isoinertial, meaning that they maintain a constant inertia throughout the range of motion, facilitating a constant resistance and maximal muscle force in every angle. Compared to the weight, you don’t have any sticking point and can produce maximal force in every angle, in other words, through the whole range of motion (ROM) and therefore increase more in strength and mass with flywheel (isoinertial) training.
Isoinertial exercises strengthen both the muscle being targeted and the synergistic muscles. This type of exercise also helps to strengthen ligaments and tendons throughout the range of motion.
The kinetic energy loaded in the flywheel in the concentric phase of the motion determines the force needed in the eccentric phase. This has important advantages when it comes to resistance training.
- The Flywheel Workout Zones: How to Pick the Right Inertia
- To learn more about the relevant physics, see Wikipedia about inertia and kinetic energy.
Go back to flywheel training.