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What is a Bodyblade®?

By Micki Elizabeth
Updated Feb 18, 2024
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A Bodyblade® is a piece of fitness equipment that offers a low-impact workout for core, shoulder, arm and back muscles as well as overall stabilization. The Bodyblade® is a long, thin object with a handle in the middle and two flexible bands on either side of the handle that flap like wings when the product is shaken from side to side. There are five models, ranging from 32 inches (81 cm) in length and one pound (.45 kg), to five feet (1.5 meters) in length and 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg).

The Bodyblade® was invented in 1991 by Bruce Hymanson, a physical therapist for nearly a quarter of a century, who wanted to devise equipment that would help strengthen his clients’ shoulder muscles without requiring a wide range of movement, which caused pain in rehabilitating patients.

With the Bodyblade®, one can achieve muscle strength and toning without the impact of heavy equipment, such as hand weights, or the intensity of gravity when doing exercises such as push-ups. The oscillations of the flexible bands cause the shoulders and surrounding muscles to contract up to 270 times per minute in an effort to stabilize the vibrations while also encouraging the back-and-forth movement of the bands. The greater the force applied to shake the product — resulting in a wider movement or “flex” of the tips — the greater the resistance that is needed for muscles to control and stabilize the movement. Other benefits may include joint mobility and flexibility with less potential for injury.

Many have noted the odd appearance of the Bodyblade®, but notable news and fitness publications have lauded the effects of Hymanson’s invention, attesting that it is effective in what the equipment claims to do. There are a variety of movements and routines one can do, whether standing, paring with other cardio workouts such as aerobics, sitting, or even lying down. The number of calories one can burn with the Bodyblade® varies by person and by workout intensity. Workout videos are available to help customers learn to use the equipment and maximize results.

The Bodyblade® is said to train movement, as it requires groups of muscles to work together. It is marketed to athletes recovering from injury, boasting less down time; non-athletes recovering from injury who need to retrain muscles; and those who simply want to tone and target the core, back, shoulders and arms. Athletes who rely on precision movements — specifically, golfers and tennis players — may also gain from Hymanson’s equipment and workout routines.

Other advantages of the Bodyblade® are the ease of storing and its portability. Its ease of use also can make the equipment a convenient exercise choice for busy people and for those who travel a lot. Paired with the claim that one can achieve a workout in only minutes, the product could feasibly be used anywhere, whenever the customer has a few spare moments in their day.

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