Spiderbands look like TRX, a system of suspension cables that
leverage body weight. While it may not suit every venue, fitness
experts say it spins a web of resistance and assistance with enough
variety to snare even the most restless exerciser.
Fitness trainer Franci Cohen, owner of Fuel Fitness in Brooklyn, New
York, developed Spiderbands, which can be used in gyms where they
are rigged to the ceiling and attached to the hands and feet. At her
gym the Spiderbands are used with a soft matted floor.
“It’s basically a pliable inner tubing covered by a bungee outer
sheath," said Cohen of the weight-bearing bands, on which, depending
on the workout, handles, bars and boxing gloves are attached.
Cohen, who holds a master’s in exercise physiology, took seven years
to develop 19 Spiderband workouts, which range from step aerobics to
yoga. She plans to expands the enterprise next year.
The aerial component gives a total-body cardio resistance workout
that leverages gravity and body weight.
“Doing bicep curl on the ground, the rest of body is standing still,
but with the bands, the body needs to balance,” she explained.
Body weight training, such as lunges, push-ups and squats, for which
the Spiderbands can be used, are among the top fitness trends
forecast for 2015 by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM),
which polled 3,400 health and fitness professionals worldwide.
Cohen said the bands allow exercisers to access challenging,
otherwise unavailable, moves. Chin-ups that are out of reach for
many women, are suddenly doable due to the buoyancy of the bungees.
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“It’s as if you have a spotter working with you,” she said.
Exercise physiologist Neal Pire, an ACSM expert from New Jersey,
calls the Spiderbands an “interesting little gizmo” that combines
resistance with assistance.
“If you’re doing squats using those bands, it’s assistance on coming
up; if you’re pulling down, it’s giving resistance,” he said. “It
looks useful. So long as the exercises are assisted or resisted
appropriately you have a good tool with a lot of variety.”
He also notes that the workout room requires construction
appropriate to accommodate the bands.
“It’s a matter of constructing the room properly,” he said.
(Editing by Patricia Reaney, Bernard Orr)
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