Seniors

With its variable resistance, the kBox is highly suitable for strength training for older adults, for rehabilitation as well as general health and fitness.elderly

The personal trainer or clinician working with older adults must have a comprehensive toolbox to serve clients with a wide range of physical conditions, pain and performance levels, mobility and so on. Thus, flywheel training on the Exxentric kBox fits in perfectly.

Objectives for Seniors

When seniors perform strength training, it is important that they can perform:

  • basic movement patterns that involve many muscle groups and joints,
  • movements where the balance factor (i.e. body centre of gravity) regularly is involved, and
  • drills with different load throughout the whole range of motion (ROM) where they might have “sticking points”. Sometimes, they might not be able to create and/or use so much force because of limitations such as arthritis, weak muscles or bad body balance.

A good research summary with relevant scientific references about how to do and the benefits of strength training for seniors/older adults has just been published by PhD Scotty Butcher et.al. (Sept 2016).

Flywheel Applications

The applications of flywheel training for seniors are to a large extent similar to the general applications for health & fitness. Also, in rehabilitation, the kBox is used by many physiotherapists working to a large degree with older adult clients.

Beyond the benefits described on those pages, specific applications for seniors include:

Sticking Points

The variable resistance of flywheel training makes it is superior to free weights or dumbbells and weight stack machines when it comes to solving the problems with sticking points.

An example of such problem is squats with a subject who is very weak in the deepest position or have arthritis in the hip or knee joint that makes it difficult to load in some special angles. With the kBox you don’t have a sticking point and can go deeper in the squat since the load only depends on how hard you push. In this way, you can have a deeper range of motion and a light squat in the bottom and a heavier squat in the end range squat where the subjects usually are stronger.

The drill high pull is another example where the subject may have problems, for example when the fingers/wrists/shoulders cannot produce high force in some angle or position of the drill in the concentric phase. In this case, the subject can start spinning the flywheels by bending and extending the legs and then follow the movement with the arms through the concentric phase and break the force in the eccentric phase, where the subject is much stronger. This creates a training stimulus.

Eccentric Overload

Another superior benefit with the kBox is that the subject can be ”self-supported” to create eccentric overload which has been proven by science for seniors to efficiently develop e.g. tendon stiffness and power (Onambele 2008, see below).

Practical advantages

The kBox offers everything from the low force, low-speed training up to high forces, power training and the possibility of everything from pure concentric contractions to eccentric overload. All this provided in a safe and ergonomic way without sound and with no risk of collision. With a small, mobile device like the kBox it also fits easily into the smaller clinic or even the clients home if necessary.

Using a computerised feedback system such as the kMeter, you can monitor your client’s effort and power output if you want to limit them or follow their progression over time. This can also be a great motivational tool for your client.

Physiological advantages

The kBox uses flywheel technology which offers variable resistance, less need to shift weights and force output is determined by the client’s which gives an effective workout that is also safe and has a lower risk of injury. The variable resistance also gives a variable lever offering a smooth resistance all through the exercise which strengthens the muscle over the whole ROM. Also, the ROM is easily adjusted if you want to limit the depth in the squat. For example, you can prevent your client going beyond certain angles (watch video).

The harness is automatically distributing the pressure from the load over both shoulders and also reduces torque on the lower back if the client’s technique isn’t perfect. From the first day in the clinic, you can start doing squats and other functional lower limb exercises even if the client is totally new to the type of lift.

Eccentric load is widely accepted to be the most effective way to treat tendinopathy and it has never been simpler than on the kBox. Using different types of methods you can get a significant eccentric load in all possible exercises.

Flywheel training has a solid foundation in scientific support. Important examples include studies with eccentric training in tendinopathy (Murtaugh & Ihm 2013), eccentric training for elderly (Gault & Willems 2013) and flywheel training with elderly (Onambele 2008).

Further reading

Go back to Applications or proceed to flywheel training equipment.

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