In an era where the concept of “functional training” has garnered tremendous attention and popularity, the most effective training tools are those that combine purposeful motion and resistance with functional movement and training. A review of our activities of daily living and the movements performed repeatedly (e.g., putting away groceries, playing with children, working in the yard) makes it clear that those same movements need to be trained under load. Unfortunately, traditional gym equipment and exercises are devoid of this functionality, focusing more upon muscle isolation rather than whole-body integration (or emphasizing one over the other). While muscle-isolation training is sometimes desired or needed within an exercise program, the attainment of true movement efficiency and optimizing health-fitness-performance goals depends largely upon incorporating integrated (whole-body) movement in all three planes of motion (directions). ViPR offers the versatility of accommodating muscle-isolation exercises while offering the freedom to move three-dimensionally during almost any movement pattern (i.e., lift, press, shift or twist) anytime or anywhere. This versatility and the range of available tube weights can meet the needs and training goals of most clients—from the post-rehabilitation client to the performance athlete and the multiple goals of those in between (e.g., toning, weight loss or improved fitness). However, the user must fully understand the scope of its application and design exercise progressions appropriately. It is important to avoid making the mistake of progressing prematurely to heavier tubes before progressing to the complexity and efficiency of the movement patterns.
What we liked:
- Provides a unique exercise experience that is both fun and challenging
- Offers the versatility of performing both isolated and integrated exercises
- Excellent functional training tool for training three-dimensional movement patterns
- Extremely durable construction
- Can be used to train multiple parameters of health and fitness, including balance, core, strength, power and anaerobic endurance.
- Includes live educational training
What we didn’t like:
- Product availability is still somewhat limited given its recent introduction to the market
- Exercise menu and accompanying DVD currently not available (availability – TBD
- Price may prove to be an obstacle for some (priced at $12–$14/pound vs. $2-3/pound for kettlebells and $3-4/pound for commercial dumbbells)
March 1, 2011