Pros: Fun way to exercise the wrist muscles
Cons: Can cause injury if not careful
About 6 years ago I bought a night scope (I thought it would be cool to own one) from The Edge Company. Several months later the scope got recalled due to a radiation leak (great, I have become my own personal night light) in it. The Edge Company decided to give those who bought it a catalog credit. What was I gong to get. I had no clue at first and decided on what to get. One thing was a couple of Dynaflex Powerballs. I was getting tired of the grip exercise devices and wanted something new.
Since the Powerball is so easy to use and it a very basic device it is best to explain it by points:
The Powerball is simple. There is an inside and an outside. The outside is a hard green shell that is close to being a perfect circle. One end is flat while the other end has an opening for access to the other part (will get to that very soon). The green part is actually two halves glued shut. Where the two halves meet is a track that goes around the whole inside perimeter of the ball. The inside part is a yellow Gyroscope. For those who dont know what a Gyroscope is I copied the best definition from dictionary.com for you:(A device consisting of a spinning mass, typically a disk or wheel, mounted on a base so that its axis can turn freely in one or more directions and thereby maintain its orientation regardless of any movement of the base.) The top and the bottom of the gyroscope are points made of some sort of metal. Theses points are in the track of the green ball. The yellow ball has a channel going around its perimeter. At one point is a small hole for the starting device.
Getting it started:
There are only two ways to get it started. One is with a starter string and the other is manually. The starter string is the easiest way to start it. The string looks like a short, round, red shoelace complete with the plastic ends. First take one of the ends and insert it into the hole on the yellow gyroscope. Now turn the gyroscope, with your fingers, to get the string to wrap around it, with the string staying in the channel. Once the string is complete around pull it fast to get it started. Now turn and twist your wrist to get the gyroscope to spin faster.
The manual way is a bit harder. You place the exposed gyroscope on either a counter top or the floor. With all your might push the Powerball, in the direction that the gyroscope spins, to start it. Once you get it started begin twisting and turning your wrist to pick up speed. If you dont push it fast enough it will stall and you will have to try again. I find that this way fails more than it works.
How it works:
Once it is started you start twisting and turning your wrist to get it up to speed (which really means to the point where it wont stall). Once you get it to the minimum speed the gyroscope will start traveling around the track (now the Gyroscope is traveling in two directions; on its axis and along the track). It is this multi-directional spinning which gives your wrist muscles the exercise. The faster you get it spinning the more resistance it creates. The top speed is about 9000 RPM. That equates to about 35 lbs of force acting against your wrist muscles. When you have it going fast stop twisting your wrist around and try to keep it steady. You will find that you are fighting the force of the Powerball: this is what gives you the exercise. When it starts slowing down do some twisting to get it going again. The stronger your wrist gets the longer you will be able to go with the Powerball. To stop it just let it die down.
Danger Will Robinson, Danger:
There is one dangerous part to the Power ball; even the instruction manual points out. As I said earlier part of the gyroscope is exposed. While it is spinning it can cause skin burn if it just hits the skin. Worse, your skin could become trapped between the gyroscope and the green ball portion. I have been very careful and have not yet been hurt by it.
What to do with it (them):
One thing I do is that if I an using only one I will carefully switch it, between hands, every minute and half until I cant take any more. Most of the time when I am using them I watch television even thought I have to turn the volume up because the Powerball gets quite noisy. Another thing to try is two at once. I have done that and it is a pretty good challenge due to having to increase your concentration.
Difference between the Electric and Regular:
A LED light is the only difference. The Electric one has a little LED light that comes on when the Powerball picks up speed. I personally see it as a waist of money. I Saw it and tried at The Shaper Image in Marlton NJ. Besides having a light on it the Electric Powerball is exactly the same as the original.
I have been using my Dynaflex Powerball for a quite a few years now. Neither has broken in those years. I found that I made a good trade to get them. They were about $19.95 back then and I have seen them now for the same price (the electric one is double the prince). It is great for strengtenhing your grip but not for building big muscle. I found that it is great device to have. My only advice is to save your money by not buying the one with the fancy lights in it unless things that glow make you happy.