Hedstrom Fitness is a division of Ball Bounce and Sport, Inc, one of the nation's premier manufacturers, distributors and marketers of play and sports balls with more than 400 employees and distribution networks in the U.S. and Canada. Based in Ashland Ohio, Hedstrom Plastics, a sister division, currently manufacturers the Kamagon and The Surge. Hedstrom Fitness is dedicated to delivering products which are unique and versatile, and fill a specific niche within the fitness industry.
Trainers are constantly in search of new and exciting ways to take their training up a notch. The new millennium introduced stability training as a way of increasing balance and core challenges. By standing on a dynamic surface, trainers sought to create an unstable environment to stimulate the nervous system to improve balance, stability and, thereby, function.
But what about the upper body?
Enter the Kamagon Ball and the Surge, water-filled equipment that introduces top-down instability training for a whole new training stimulus. It’s this water motion, a moving mass inside a mass, that’s the key. In fact, studies have demonstrated an increase in muscle-fiber recruitment when compared with an equal amount of static weight performing the same number of repetitions.
By utilizing Hydro-Inertia technology, you are able to initiate instability through a full range of motion with exercises that engage your entire body. The majority of instability products currently on the market are primarily used as a foundation or base that you sit, stand or lie down on, but the Kamagon and the Surge shift that model completely.
A dynamic, unstable training environment being manipulated by the upper extremities has real-life application. Instead of standing on an unstable surface and manipulating a stable object, you stand on a stable surface and manipulate an unstable object, so there is greater environmental similarity and greater opportunity for transference into activities of daily living and sports performance. Hydro-Inertia technology mimics real-life situations far more than static weights like dumbbells.
Inertia means that an object will remain in motion at a constant speed and in a straight line unless acted on by an external force. Inertia also depends on mass. The more mass an object has, the harder it is to move or stop that object. Mark Reed, one of the creators of the Kamagon Ball, gave a great example of this when he said, “If you threw a bowling ball and a tennis ball with the same amount of force, then the tennis ball would go farther because it has less mass than the bowling ball. It would take more force to stop the bowling ball when compared to the tennis ball.”
What does this mean for a water-filled training tool? When moving the water-filled equipment,it not only requires a force to start it moving; it also requires an equal and opposite force to stop it from moving, or to change the direction of the movement. Most significantly, due to Hydro-Inertia, the inherent force of the water—which is also moving, stopping and starting at its own speed—creates a double eccentric deceleration. The first deceleration stops the movement of the object itself, and the second keeps the object in the desired position or path as the water keeps moving inside the object.
One of the other advantages of water-filled equipment is the adjustability factor. One piece of equipment can be appropriate for many different strength and fitness levels because the amount of water can be increased or decreased as appropriate.
Aside from biomechanics, cost and adjustability, the Hydro-Inertia advantage lies in the fun factor. The moment you get your hands on a Kamagon Ball or the Surge, it feels more like play than work! The dynamic movement of water is engaging. And even if you have equipment that is physiologically and biomechanically effective, unless you enjoy using it, it’s just going to sit gathering dust. Hydro-Inertia changes the game of functional training!
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