MEN’S HEALTH : HANDY GYM, THE SMALLEST GYM IN THE WORLD

HANDY GYM, THE SMALLEST GYM OF THE WORLD YOU CAN CARRY IN YOUR SUITCASE.

 

Text translated from Spanish edition of Men´s Health (March 27, 2019).


Developed by the company Micaton and engineers of the Industrial School of Vigo, the Handy Gym is a small portable training machine that weighs less than two pounds and offers a resistance of up to 220 pounds.
It’s called Handy Gym and it’s already known as ‘the smallest gym in the world’. It is an invention of the Micaton company that, in collaboration with the School of Industrial Engineers of Vigo, will allow you to exercise anywhere and at any time. It weighs less than two pounds, allows more than 200 exercises and exerts a resistance of up to 220 pounds.

How did the idea of the Handy Gym come about?
It was three years ago … Our company Micaton, dedicated to the world of tools, became known in 2015 when we won the Best Invention of the Year Award in Spain thanks to magnetic rings for screwdrivers. That allowed us to move from startup to company, with new partners. And the idea came up when we saw our Parkinson’s sick CEO exercising in the morning – he has to do it every day so he does not go slow then all the day. He trained with a rudimentary invention, homemade, to do stretching and so on. An engineer from the University of Vigo saw it and told us about inertial technology.

What is inertial technology?
The inertial technology was developed by NASA so that the astronauts did not lose muscle mass in the space and because, in addition, to raise every pound of material above was very expensive. They did an ideas contest in the eighties and that’s how it came about. The function of the muscles is to hold the skeleton, but of course, without gravity, because they do not need anything. And the inertial technology that allows is to do concentric and eccentric exercises at the same time, and so the muscle that you create is of better quality. That is, it was the perfect method for astronauts to be in shape quickly and effectively.


And how were you developing the product?
Until now there were  conical pulleys and others with this inertial technology, but they are expensive and not easy to use devices. We wanted something portable and comfortable, so we made it much smaller. The Handy Gym is very small, it almost fits in a hand without the inertial discs on the sides. Those who see it are surprised that something so small exerts such an amount of force. But the inertial concept is that, to get resistance through rotation instead of weight. By quickly turning the discs on the sides, you get a resistance of up to 220 pounds. Who proves it, hallucinates.


How does it work in muscle building?
The muscle is created in three ways: performing concentric, eccentric and / or isometric exercises. And what the latest studies show is that eccentrics create much better quality muscle than concentric ones. And now, not looking for hypertrophy as much as being in good physical condition and working full muscle groups, this device is a delight. “I’ve used it for a month and a half and I’ve worked the core like never before. Resistance makes you work when pulling and stretching, and it does so automatically.”

And it also prevents injuries, right?
Yes, it is. When you lift weights, sometimes you get injured when you lowe them; that is, when you train, many people use force to concentrate the muscle and then simply drop the weight or the dumbbell by the effect of gravity, and of course, from the initial concentration to that rapid extension is where most of the the lesions occur. The window of isoinertial technology is that it forces you to hold in the eccentric phase so that the chances of injury are minimized. The elastic bands also has an eccentric phase, but it only lasts the milliseconds after the maximum tension, however Handy Gym, maintains this important phase until the end.

Can you work the whole body with him?
Of course, it allows to perform functional training, it is used to exercise all the muscles, and above it is portable, with systems that allows to use it anywhere, at home attaching it above a door, outdoors on any railing, in a park you can attach it to a tree or a column, you can exercise wherever and whenever you want. It allows to perform a variety of exercises, for example women love to do squats, since it allows to work the hamstrings in an incredibly effective way, with less repetitions they obtain incredible results in their glutes. We have really achieved an effective product, very versatile and completely transportable.

What do the people who have tried it tell you?
The most common thing is is the possibility of training in a concentric and eccentric way, and above all, being able to work with it anywhere, even taking it on a trip. Many tennis players and elite athletes and soccer teams already have inertial machines, but they are quite expensive, bulky or heavy. We hope that Handy Gym revolutionizes the training of athletes and people who do not have access to these super devices. Technology and portability is our strength.


What price will it have?
We are waiting for the final prototypes, so we’ll see. There are many pieces and the idea now is to make it known through our account on Instagram @HandyGimFit and make a Kickstarter campaign, which is a crowdfunding platform to find financing. Creating the molds costs a lot … If someone likes this product, can buy it before it goes on the market and will costs much less. They are presales and in Spain it is difficult because in our culture we do not trust, but in the USA. Canada, England and Australia, which take 80 percent of sales, works very well. In our first crowdfunding we sold the product in 80 different countries. Handy Gym is a product that allows free training, working unilaterally, when personal trainers, physiotherapists and physical trainers of individual athletes, or football teams, basketball see it, they tell us they want one as soon as possible. In addition, as it is sensorized, it allows you to measure your activity through an application. In our plans is to try to incorporate it to all sports; in the case of golf, tennis, rowing or paddle, for the movements they perform, it would be very useful. This is a product that has been developed from the point of view of engineering and technology. We are currently working with the personal trainers, physical trainers, athletes and physiotherapists, who are the ones who are getting excited and are telling us how Handy Gym is great for them.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

ADVANTAGES OF ISOINERTIAL TECHNOLOGY APPLIED TO THE MUSCLE EXERCISE

When a person enters the world of fitness with the intention of toning and maintaining in shape their muscular structure, the image that most frequently goes around their head is lifting-moving weights, with different machines, as a routine to make the muscles work and acquire strength. These routines are based on the belief that the muscle fiber is exercised by making the effort to move weight against the force of gravity, and that the continuous repetition of these movements ends up causing the hypertrophy of the muscle that is being sought. Although the experience of many years shows that this is one of the possible ways, the truth is that modern theories and studies on strength training reinforce the idea that there are faster, safer and more efficient ways of working the muscular structure.

Isoinercial technology was developed at the end of the last century to respond to the problem of loss of muscle mass detected in astronauts who spent long periods in space, in environments absent of gravity. If in such places it is impossible to do weight-lifting routines that help keep the muscle in shape, how else can you exercise the muscle fiber so that it does not atrophy? The isoinercial technology solved the problem by using flywheels of inertia, wheels able to turn the turn into resistance. We will explain it in the simplest way possible:

In the phase of contraction of the muscle, concentric phase, we cause the rotation of the flywheel and generate kinetic energy inside the accessory. This accumulated energy must be dissipated, and this occurs in the relaxation phase of the muscle fiber, eccentric phase, which is when the flywheel turns in the opposite direction and causes a resistance that must be stopped by the muscle that was working. If we realize, using exercise equipment based on isoinertial technology, we generate strength in all phases of exercise, when we contract fiber, when we hold the contracted muscle, and when we relax it, the final moment in which we must fight to stop the resistance caused by the accumulation of kinetic energy. That is the big difference compared to the traditional exercise based solely on overcoming the force of gravity with bars, dumbbells, etc.

As benefits of this technology we find a greater efficiency of movements, which results in the construction of muscle fiber of higher quality in a shorter period of time, and with an addition that is deeply valued by experts, whether they are physical trainers or physiotherapists: the risk of injuries is considerably reduced. We will dedicate a new article to this issue soon. Stay tuned.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

THE SMALLEST GYM IN THE WORLD … AND THE MOST VERSATILE

When Handy Gym was presented to the press, it started to be called “the smallest gym in the world”, but our innovative accessory does not stop there. In addition to the comfort of being able to exercise anywhere and take it with you wherever you need, the isoinertial technology that integrates, allows to perform a huge variety of exercises achieving a versatility that has never been seen in an alternative accessory. In order to show you the commercial argument, we have asked some physical trainers to apply it in the functional training routines that they consider pertinent, without any indication on our part of what they could do with it. These are some of their conclusions. We hope you like them … And that they will surprise you !!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

ECCENTRIC TRAINING

Eccentric training

Keys to create quality muscle fiber.

Throughout life we ​​saw that the routines of muscle building consisted of lifting certain weights over and over again causing the muscles to tense on contracting. We believed that, in the constant repetition of that movement, the muscle fiber involved would end up developing fibrous and muscular body. Evidently the results are what they are, and we can not deny that this type of training routines achieve the objective pursued …. more or less!! Could it be done better? That is, could we achieve better results in less time, and morover, with less risk of injury?

Let’s think of a moment of the muscle working a typical exercise, the development of the biceps with hand weights. The exercise routine could be divided into three phases:

1) Concentric movement.

It would be the moment when the muscles contract and the arm gets closer to the body, supporting the weight of the element held in the hand. Effectively there is an effort by the muscle fiber to overcome the resistance that the weight exerts down, and there is no doubt that in this part of the exercise the muscle fiber is working.

2) Isometric phase,

we could denominate those moments as the “nothing happens”. This phase is not always carried out, but it consists of the moments in which the arm is still holding the weight at the end of the movement. Although there is no movement, there is resistance from the muscle that has to support the weight before starting the next phase of return, so there is also work for fiber. Many toning exercises consist in this, in adopting a certain posture of muscular tension and hold in it as long as possible.

3) Eccentric phase,

that would be the opposite of the first; that is, one in which the arm (thinking in the case of the development of the biceps) returns downward in favor of gravity to return the weight to its initial position before repeating the entire exercise. In general and with few exceptions, in the return phase muscle work is minimal because the tendency is to let the muscle return to the position of origin without offering resistance, generating brakings of enormous suddenness in the braking that are the cause of much of injuries in athletes.

We said at the beginning that we were taught to exercise on the belief that the concentric phase was really important, and besides, we believed it !!! To perceive the strong work of the muscle when tensed made us think that the muscular development we achieved with the constant repetition of these routines.

The most current sports literature shows us that we were in a terrible error: the phase of the exercise that generates the best fiber with the least risk of injury is precisely the opposite, the eccentric phase, the return phase, especially when in these movements you try to put resistance so that the extension of the arm (to continue with the example of the biceps) does not respond to a mere movement in favor of gravity, but rather the muscle is resisting the “free fall”. But not only this part is interesting for fast and persistent muscle development, but also, by avoiding the sudden braking at the end of the route, the risk of injuries is minimized.

If all the above should be taken into consideration by those who want to keep their body in shape, it is even more important if it is possible for those who need to rehabilitate themselves from an injury and have their muscles, therefore, physically compromised.

The most effective rehabilitation exercises should be based on progressive routines that make fiber work at all times and without abruptness, and that is why a balance of time between all phases (concentric, isometric and eccentric) is the key to a correct and quick recovery.

Question for reflection:

What muscular exercise devices do you know that base their potential for results in the eccentric phase?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn