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Powerball Grip Trainer

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      26.10.2011 20:09
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      Great little addictive device.

      This is one of those quirky little gadgets that I've had for quite a while that I keep going back to. A long while back, I had an injury to my wrist and forearm, and my doctor suggested that this device would be useful to build the strength back up again. Hence I purchased one from Amazon, which I seem to recall being about the £30 mark. At the time, these Power Balls were all the rage, and came in a variety of colours and styles, together with optional counters and speedos, different speed ranges, and some even had flashing lights, and they are still available on Amazon now from about £9 upwards. Obviously the cost went up with each optional extra included, and I eventually opted for the one with the counter on the top because I thought it would be able to indicate to me if I was actually improving with use.

      What is it? In simple terms it is basically a strong gyroscope (similar to a weighted spinning top) that is fitted inside a small casing that is about the size of a tennis ball. The idea is that you use the supplied string to get the gyroscope spinning, and you then hold it downwards in your hand, rotating your hand and forearm in a small circular motion to try and get the gyroscope spinning faster and faster. As the speed picks up, then so the resistance (caused by the spinning weighted gyroscope) builds up, meaning that you have to then work harder in order to increase the speed further, or to just hold the speed steady. So it effectively works the muscles in your wrist and forearm. As I said before, you can get models with flashing lights and go faster stripes, but all the models work on the same principle of getting, maintaining and increasing the spinning speed of the gyroscope.

      The really good thing about it is that the better you get at it, the harder it becomes to maintain the technique because the resistance is always increasing with speed, and I would say that it is perhaps almost physically impossible to max this device out, meaning that either your technique or your muscles will give out first before this device does. In typical bravado fashion, that then means that you are going to keep coming back again and again to have another try, and that is exactly what I find myself doing, especially when my Powerball has the digital counter on the top telling me how fast I managed to get the gyro spinning, because I keep trying to better my score. I believe the max speed record is something like 16000 revs per minute, and there is a video on Youtube of the guy (with forearms like Popeye) actually achieving this, although personally, by the way he dances around, I think it looks like he's just been plugged into the mains socket.

      Now a lot of my friends who have tried this have initially given up because they couldn't get the technique right, and that is the key to getting this device to work. The trick is to initially imagine that you are stirring a bucket full of treacle very slowly. When you get this process right, you'll hear the gyroscope begin to speed up. As the speed increases, you try to imagine stirring the treacle faster and faster, turning your wrist and forearm faster and faster in small circular motions, and so the speed of the gyro increases again. The key is to get a smooth spin going on the gyro and you'll hear this on the device as a low sounding whirr. Any clicking or knocking sound indicates that the gyro is not spinning smoothly, and hence will slow down. But get the technique correct and after a while it will start to get tiring on your wrist and forearms, and that is the exercise bit taking effect.

      Does it help? Well for me, yes it did, and still does. It was surprising how quickly I got the strength back in my forearm and wrist, and I still regularly have a turn with it every now and then just to exercise those muscle groups. Another interesting offset of it is that I found that it seems to have also increased my grip strength. Ideally this can be to aid recovery and rehabilitation for muscular issues, such as arthritis, repetitive strain injury or tendonitis, but equally it would good for racquet type sports players to improve their muscular strength and grip.

      In summary, whilst this may initially be seen as a toy, it does actually serve a useful purpose and in some ways becomes very addictive. Hence, worthy of a 5* recommendation.

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        02.02.2011 02:27
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        Well worth a go, and its cheap.

        I bought the Powerball cheap off Amazon (usual retail price around £10) in the black friday deals they had on last year. It is a great product to improve strength in your arms and also as a healing tool for those suffering carpal tunnel syndrome, RSI, Arthritis and other such injuries.

        The product consists of a gyroscope (world's most powerful) in a plastic casing. On the outside of the case there is a rubber grip that is essential as you will need to keep control of the ball as it moves at extreme speeds. The product itself is strong, it does not feel like it could break if it accidentally fell on the floor.

        To operate the Powerball you get a red piece of string, you put the end into a hole and then following the ridge you wrap the red string around the circumference of the ball until it runs out. At this point you pull the string as hard/fast as possible and this starts the gyroscope spinning. At this point you need to quickly get into the rhythm to keep the spin going. It is hard to get right at first but after a few attempts you will get the hang of it. First you need to (palm down) make wide circles (in the direction of the spin) gradually reducing the width to increase the balls speed.

        It becomes evident quickly that you need a lot of control to hold the ball and a good amount of strength. The ball uses the wrist, hand, arm, shoulders and to some extent the chest to keep it in place. After a few weeks you will notice improvement in your ability and strength.

        To sum up, this is a cheap way to build up strength in the arms and helps many with rehabilitating certain conditions. I would recommend for fun also and to spark competition with friends.

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        22.07.2009 12:44
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        Cool gadget which not only exercises your arms and wrists but provides alot of fun and amusement

        The power ball is a fun little gadget that not only trains your hands and arms but also provides amusement for hours upon end.

        It took me a while to get used to it. You're required to hold it in your hand and rotate it in a circular motion for it to really work (this is outlined in the guide) and this can be tricky at first. Once I mastered the technique, I found that it was a delight to use. After the first day of use, my upper and lower arm muscles actually felt a little sore like I had just come back from the gym (You might not want to overdo it on the first day especially if you haven't done much exercise in a while). My wrists also felt less stiff and a little more flexible.

        The Powerball is seemingly marketed towards the sports conscience mind, however, I pretty much bought it for my own amusement. It's a great thing to use with family and friends. You can hold your very own tournaments in the living room. It makes for a great alternative to board games, or video games as everyone can join in the fun and if you have the latest model you'll find that it comes with a built in digital display which in addition to many other things allows you to see how fast you're spinning.

        Not only does it work great, but it looks great as well. It comes in a variety of colours but mine is neon blue which looks great in the dark. No batteries are needed and I've had mine for a year and it's still as bright and efficient as it was when I first used it.

        One tiny problem I have with this gadget is that when getting it moving with one of the two red strings supplied, I find that at times the string can get caught inside the gyroscope. This isn't a major problem since you can with some effort take it out but it can be a real pain. There is supposedly a thumb trick you can do which allows you to get it started, without any additional material. You can probably find videos of how to do this all over the internet.

        The Powerball is one of the cheapest gadgets out there and can be used by anyone. If you have the money for one then go ahead, you won't regret it.

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          24.06.2009 17:48
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          An excellent product, which can be used to build strength or for rehabilitation

          I saw the power ball on amazon.co.uk a few times and was intrigued as to what it was and what it did as it seemed to be popular. I did a bit of research and also went on their official website, www.nsdball.com and found out a lot more about the product. In the end, I decided to purchase the most basic, which wasn't expensive just so I could see what it was all about.

          The original power ball comes in a small box and is available in different colours including orange, green and blue. The box is bright and colourful and filled with information. 'Get faster. Stronger. Better' is on one side and they claim that the power ball is 'used by sports people across the globe, NSD power® ball develops great strength & dexterity to raise your game. The product can also be used for rehabilitation bringing gentle non-impact relief to things such as Carpal Tunnel syndrome, Repetitive Strain injury, Tendonitis, Arthritis and more. The power ball can also be used to simply work out and help improve your strength and even tone your body.

          If you wish to build up muscles and your strength, a hard workout with the power ball is required spinning the gyroscope at a fast speed for as long as possible to really feel the power. To keep fit and also keep your body in good shape, a slower spin of the ball for a longer period of time everyday will enable you to achieve this. The power ball is the Earth's most powerful gyroscope and is purely powered by man. It consists of a gyroscope in a plastic case. The outer case has a rubber strip round it, which enables good grip that is required when using the power ball. The rubber strip says 'The Earth's Most Powerful Gyro' on the side as well as 'Absolutely Revolutionary - www.nsdball.com'. This original version that I have is 250Hz, which signifies the power.

          The powerball is very well built so is a strong toy that should last years. As long as you don't drop it and keep a firm grip when using the power ball, it should last for years. The power ball comes with two red strings, which are used to start the gyroscope spinning. You insert the end of the string with a plastic cover into the small hole in the power ball and simply wind it round by turning the ball within the case. When you are ready, you quickly strike the power ball by pulling the string and it will start to spin. Relatively quickly, you must adopt the correct position and begin the correct movements with your hand and wrist to keep the gyroscope going. You hold the ball in one hand face down and simply rotate your wrist in one direction. You must start with large wider circles to get it going before slowly moving onto smaller circles to build up speed and power. It takes a few tries to get used to using the power ball, but once you can do it, you will never forget!

          You may wonder how on earth this works, but it really does work and it does so very well. The power and force of the gyroscope spinning round inside the case at such fast speeds and so many revolutions a minute requires a lot of power to hold. The user will be holding such a force in their hand whilst physically moving and spinning it to keep it going and even get it faster. The force of the ball along with the physical movement of the wrist and hand gives your wrist, hand, arm, shoulders and even chest a good workout. The faster you go and the harder you work, the more of your body you are working as it gets very hard to keep control of the ball. When you stop spinning it, the force makes it move in your hand still so you must keep a firm grip until it's stopped moving before putting it away.

          At just under £10.00 depending on where you shop, the power ball is a good buy. If you use it every day, whether it is for fitness, training strength or rehabilitation, you will notice results within weeks. The power ball isn't loud but does make a noise when it is spinning. If it makes a clicking noise, this is because the gyroscope inside is spinning but the whole ball inside is changing direction in the way it spins so it clicks. To obtain a perfect spin, you must make sure there is no clicking noise.

          Overall, the power ball is a great product and was worth the price I paid. It is a fun toy to play with and I would recommend going straight for one of the versions with a screen so you can see how many revolutions you have done and hence judge the power of yourself. The power ball can provide a variety of uses and is a great toy for helping to build up your strength. It can prove to be very useful for a range of sports including tennis, rowing and it's also good for pianists.

          Thanks for reading,

          Dan ©

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            18.05.2009 14:01
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            great toy to develop wrist and forearm strengh

            This is a brilliant little gadget to get developing your iron grip and bulging forearms.
            I bought this after a recommend from a friend and it is a really useful little gadget. It is a small ball that easily fits inside your hand. The ball contains a giroscope that once it gets going provides a resistance that strenghens your wrist and arms. I have just started rock climbing and the powerball has been a really useful tool to improve my grip away from the wall. The ball is started using a string that is wrapped around the giro which you pull quickly to get the ball up to speed. The ball does take a little getting used to and can be frustrating if you don't rotate it properly.
            The lights glow when you rotate the powerball, lets be honest this is a gimmick and doesn't make any difference to performance. It is not accurate enough to show how hard you are working, instead you just need to look at the counter at the end to check your power, rotations or speed. There are other powerballs on the market that don't have lights so it is worth seeing if they are cheaper.
            The powerball is really small and doesn't really need any maintenace or batteries. The only battery is in the timer/counter which last forever, the lights are powered by the giro.

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              03.04.2009 20:50
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              Gain strength in your hands and wrists with a Powerball.

              Possibly due to prolonged computer use, possibly due to other reasons, I lack strength in my hands and wrists (and arms and... well, I lack energy in general, to be truthful!). I'm only in my late 20's, but I seem to lack the ability to open some bottles, cans and cartons. I've never been brilliant at it, but it just seems to be getting worse. I feel like a 90 year old sometimes when I'm trying to open bottles etc! So in a bid to gain some strength in my hands and wrists, I kept my eye out for something to help...

              Along came the Powerball - A ball-like object, about the size of a tennis ball (though a little heavier), containing a gyroscope.

              The idea is that you put the Powerball in your hand (at the moment, I tend to use it in my right hand as I'm right-handed) and start it using the cord provided (it's akin to starting a strimmer!). Then with the palm of your hand facing down, you rotate your wrist slowly in time with the Powerball. You can feel it's energy and rotate your wrist accordingly. Over time you can start to build up speed (It's advised that you do this gradually) and in turn this will build up your strength.

              I find start rotating my arm, and to a lesser extent my shoulder, sometimes, but try to resist this as the Powerball rotates better with your wrist.

              There is a whole range of Powerballs, starting with the 250Hz range (featuring the Classic, Pro and Screamer Powerballs), the Neon range (featuring the Classic, Pro (Blue, Green & Red) and Techno Powerballs) and the Premium range (featuring the Metal Pro, Metal Pro Light and Signature Series Powerballs).

              I went for the Neon White Signature Powerball from the Signature range. There was no particular reason for this, other than looks I suppose. I did, however, want one with an "digital speed meter" (which this one has) so I could monitor my rotations. Most, but not all, of the Powerballs have an DSM (digital speed meter), however one can be added at a later date.

              The Powerballs are also fixable (should you break it) and accessories can be bought. My Powerball came with a wrist cord (which I don't use) and 3 starter cords (as they look like they could be lost easily!), these along with a carry case, electric start etc can be bought from the Accessories section of the Powerballs.com website.

              I've had my Neon White Signature Powerball for a couple of weeks now, and while it took a little while to get it going properly, I enjoy using it and feel it is doing some good (though only time will tell). When it gets going it's white lights spin & glow, which look pretty cool in the dark! Powerballs do make a werrrring kind of noise when in use, so people in the next room might wonder what you're up to (as my Dad did when I was showing my Mum how to use it!).

              As I said, I let Mum have a got on my Powerball last night and she took to it straight away, even building up speed. We think she took to it so well due to being a cook and doing a lot a stirring over the years!

              The Powerball webite claims the Powerball is medically recommended for things such as RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome and strengthening broken bones. So if you want to gain some strength in your hands and wrists, the Powerball may just be the thing for you! I'm certainly enjoying using it at the moment, though I'm yet to see if it actually does me any good.

              The Powerball website sells them direct, though I've found them cheaper elsewhere (specifically Amazon UK). I paid £14.64 for mine, though an Amazon voucher from Dooyoo brought that down to £4.64!

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                21.03.2009 19:02
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                an excellent toy/training tool, which can be used by just about anyone..

                Powerball's are excellent for training your wrist and arm muscles or just to use for fun. If you play sports such as golf, tennis or cricket, the powerball is a great tool to build up your arms. The powerball works on a gyro and gathers momentum as you spin it around i circles. The better you become at the technique, the faster you can spin the powerball. They can be great fun when in a group of friends, especially if you know some competitive people! The powerball displays how many revolutions per minute you managed to spin it at, so it can be great competition for you and your friends. In our household, we use it to decide who takes the rubbish out to the bins, who makes the tea or any other decisions we need help in making. The person to spin the fastest score wins the game! So, next time you need to buy a gift for the person who has eveything, get them a powerball!

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                  11.03.2009 00:16
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                  Great Gadget and it looks nice.

                  Well i got the Powerball Neon Pro which is a mid-range model. Ill be honest im not sure what the differences between all the different powerballs, ecspecially judging that the price ranges between £10 and £70. I think its the difficulty and speed of the ball.

                  Anyway the powerball is a sort of hand held gyroscopic ball.

                  When you get the ball, you wrap the string given in the box around the ball, it will go round about 2 1/2 times, then you quickly pull it out like a Beyblade if anyone remembers what they are and start rotating your wrist.
                  To initially start it you need to rotate your wrist coherently with the ball inside the powerball so the ball rotates with your wrist movements. The good thing about the Neon Pro is that the lights will start to flare out and get stronger when the ball speeds up.
                  As you rotate the gyroscopic technology kinda forces your wrist to move faster and faster and when you start you should be looking at getting speeds of atleast 3-5 thousand. Now im still a begineer and after a bit of practice im clocking in maximum speeds of 8000RPM but many can reach speeds of 13-16 thousand with ease.

                  The point of the ball is to work out most of your forearm and your bicep. Now admittidly using it on a regular basis wont make you come out looking like Arnold Scwarzneggar but it does work.

                  I play Squash and the ball is supposdly great for a lot of raquet sports like Squash, Badminton, Tennis amongst other sports like Golf. Now i use this whilst reading my text book revising and i found that when i now play squash i was hitting shots that i didnt usually get. The effects may not be visible but i think it definatly does do something.

                  Oh and i heard its good if you got RSI too!

                  I would definatly recomend the product if you play racquet sports but if you are just using it too work out then i think you should stick to going to the gym anyway if nothing else, it looks nice on the desk.

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                    02.03.2009 18:30
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                    a good little gadget

                    I recently purchased a 'Powerball Signature Series' from Amazon for £14.99 and at that price it is fantastic value for money. A friend brought one into work with him and after having ago I decided that I just had to get one myself because it is really addictive. It is basically an exercise tool which increases your grip strength primarily, as well as muscles of your forearm and upper arms also, but you'll have to get it spinning at quite high rpm (revolutions per minute) or sustain the spin for a lengthy duration to get any exercise benefit. It is aimed a sportsmen and women and claims to help if you play sports where grip strength is important eg, climbing, golf, rugby etc.

                    'Powerball' is basically a gyroscope, which emits force in all directions as it spins. To start it spinning you have to use a piece of string which you wrap around it and then pull it straight upwards away from the Powerball to get the motor going - you can feel the force coming from it straight away. Once it starts spinning you have to wrap your hand around the ball and turn you wrist (only) in time with the spinning of the motor - as you do this the ball makes a churning noise so you can tell if you're in time or not, as you start to move your wrist faster and in smaller circles the speed of the spin increases and so to does the force the ball emits, making it harder and harder for you to hold onto the ball. I was amazed how much force it actually emits because I was afraid when I first purchased the product that it maybe a bit of a fad.

                    The model which I purchased has an electronic screen face at the top of the ball and it records all sorts of data, so you can review how good your session was. It is possible to set it to three exercise modes lasting 30, 60 or 90 seconds each and review your rpm achieved; this can be quite annoying as you have to check that it is turned on before you start otherwise it won't record any data whatsoever and your high score which you achieve may not be logged. If you read the user manual it explains the rpm and apparently scores of 10,000 and over should be what you're aiming for once you have mastered the technique. So far, my highest score is 8,568 rpm!

                    So, is it worth getting one?
                    In my opinion yes, but don't pay over the odds for one. There are several different models available, but don't get too caught up with this because they all essentially do the same thing and some are more expensive than others; as I said earlier in the review I paid £14.99 for mine and it's just as good as the more expensive models.
                    I will say though that when my Powerball first arrived I found it really hard to get it going because the action you have to use with the string is quite difficult and getting the motor rotating using your wrist requires a lot of practice. But, if you have a few minutes to get to grips with it you'll have no trouble and will soon be really enjoying the Powerball. Trust me, the force it exerts will really blow your mind, it's really quite strange the first time you get it going properly!

                    Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.

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                      23.02.2009 23:24
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                      Buy for the addiction factor not the health benefits

                      In my opinion the power ball is an addictive toy with a few slight health benefits. i have outlined the pros and cons below to allow you to decide whether its suitable for you but its best bought as a bit of fun.

                      Advantages:-

                      -The power ball will increase wrist strength and slightly tone arms (if you use it for long enough).

                      -It's great for rehabilitation of arm and chest muscles after injury.

                      -It's good for rehabilitation of elbow, wrist and shoulder joint injuries.

                      -You will find it very addictive and fun once you can get it to start.

                      Disadvantages:-

                      -A power ball will never give you "guns". Many people buy them for this reason but if you want bigger muscles buy a set of weights.

                      -Getting it started can be tedious. Stick with it though and before you know it you'll be able to start it with just a thumb flick.

                      -You will find a plateau point at a certain speed in the early days and it can take quite some time to gain the wrist strength and motion to get it any quicker.

                      -Using it in your weaker hand can be very tricky.

                      All in all this is an alright buy for health/strength benefits but to really enjoy it you need to be buying for the addiction factor.


                      wonky

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                        15.02.2009 19:04
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                        a great gift (or just buy one for yourself... )

                        I bought a powerball for my boyfriend for christmas after having seen them all over the place and wondering what all the hype was actually about. I got to play.com where there was one at a reasonable price and thought I'd go for it. When it arrived, in a heavy but small cuboid like box I was wondering what I was going to find in it because I'd never actually seen one in the flesh or used one before. There was a lot of bubble wrap in the box ensuring that the powerball didn't get damaged in transit, and there were plenty of intructions and promotional leaflets packaged in with it, along with two red strings to play with.

                        After a flick through I tested it out. WOW what a weird feeling! You wind a small red string around the ball inside the outer case and start to move your wrist in a circular motion which makes the gyroscope continue to move. The fast you move your wrist, the more pressure is put on your hand and the more strength you must exert in order to control it. It is actually quite a good workout, and I hear you can also get foot attachments to train your feet! I'm not sure how easy that would be though...

                        The only problem with the model I got was that there was no way of knowing how fast you were going or how many calories you had burnt, for example, but I hear that on recent models they have made that change, and have also included an automatic start function, rather than using the red string which is a little precarious. Having to stop slowly can also be a bit of an issue with the powerball, because sometimes you just feel you can't cope and need to put it down ASAP. You aren't supposed to do this as it damages the ball.

                        At under £10, the version I got was a real bargain. Both my boyfriend and I are very happy with the product and it does make a difference to your strength, as it gives your whole arm a good work out. It's a good gift for the men in your life, although women may enjoy it too.

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                          21.01.2009 19:56
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                          A useful gadget for helping to strengthen wrists and arms

                          Powerball - sounds fairly mighty, almost weapon like!

                          Made by the company NSD these have swept the country and indeed the world.

                          So what exactly is it?

                          The Powerball is essentially used as an exercise tool to help people such as sports players to strengthen their wrists and arms.

                          How does it work?

                          Firstly you have to start it using a cord which is threaded into the ball which goes around the gyroscope inside. You then pull the cord at speed to get the gyroscope moving. Next you rotate your wrist with the the powerball in hand and keep rotating it building up momentum. This increases pressure as the speed increases and helps to strengthen the holders wrists and arms.

                          As you get better and used to the powerball you get to being good enough to start the gyroscope by flicking it with your fingers rather than using the cord which speeds things up.

                          Extras?

                          You can buy a digital counter that clicks on to the top of the powerball to tell you how many rotations you have done (to help you try and better each day)

                          Types?

                          250hz, 350hz, Signature Pro - many different types that can achieve faster speeds to increase pressure on your wrists etc, for advanced users essentially

                          Cost?

                          around £9 or £13ish for one with a counter (recommended to help you keep track of usage)

                          Summary

                          A great gadget that is a very interesting design and is very useful as a tool to help strengthen wrists and also said to help those with carpal tunnel syndrome.

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                            20.01.2009 17:36
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                            Would be great to those who can work it, for now i still cant!

                            I had been looking at getting one of these for ages and was delighted when my partner bought me one for christmas. For those of you who dont know, a Powerball is a hand-held gyroscope which helps people with muscle strains and helps increase grip and strength in your forearm. For the price of around £15 for a basic one, I thought that this was very good value for money.

                            I opened the box and at first wondered how on earth it would possibly work, luckily there were instructions in the box and you have to attatch a little string pulley to the ball and pull which will start the gyroscope moving. I tried this on christmas day and continued to fail, her parents, her brother and my parents couldnt work it either.

                            I had read mixed reviews on how some people couldnt operate it so was slightly dubious about buying it, but as I can usuall work these things out i thought it owuld be worth a try.

                            Since christmas it has been in and out of the box, attempting for a good while to get it spinning correctly, still to no avail. I gave it to my brother who without fail gets it working every time, and passes it onto me and you can really feel it working your arms, until I mess it up again and it stops spinning.

                            Although I am still yet to get it to work properly, I do believe that it is a good product and my brother says that it does really work your muscles and he can feel his grip getting a bit more powerful already.

                            I would still reccommend this as the potential is there for a really good addictive product that will do you some good. It lights up and has an RPM counter on it too so oyu can see if you are getting any better too, which is a nice touch. Just dont expect it to be easy o use straight out of the box.

                            I shall continue to try to make it work!

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                              19.01.2009 20:25
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                              A great fun game or exerciser.

                              I received a neon Powerball for Christmas and I have to say that I had no idea what it was to start with. It came in a small bow with some instructions "Thank god" because I would have had no idea, plus you got two cords. After reading the leaflet I realised that it was a gyroscope with a spinning rotor inside a sphere that you hold onto. Using one of the cords you wind it around a groove in the inner rotor and pull it back hard, therefore starting the rotor into motion a little like you do with a yo yo. There are no batteries involved and it simply continues moving by the movement of you wrist. The more you get the rotor moving the more inertia it generates and the more resistance you feel on your wrist hand and muscles in your arm. This allows it to act as an exerciser plus there are many health benefits such as helping to rehabilitate RSI & Carpal Tunnel conditions or strengthen broken bones. On top of the Powerball I had was a digital display, which allows you to see the number of rotations of the rotor inside. This then turns the Powerball into a very addictive game where everyone starts to compete each other and make new records.

                              There are several different types of Powerballs to go for but I would recommend the neon because once you have it moving it lights up and seems much more impressive and pretty.

                              To learn more or buy a Powerball you could visit there website. http://www.powerballs.com/
                              Also look out on youtube to see some footage of people hitting high scores.

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                                15.12.2008 19:00
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                                An amazing tool for fun or exercise.

                                Firstly, what is a 'power ball'?

                                A power ball is a device made by a company called NSD (nanosecond), and is a hand held gyroscope used to relieve users of muscle strains, help with conditions such as RSI/arthritis or simply for fun. The ball itself is built of two main parts; the outer shell (about the size of a tennis ball) and the inner mass (which is the rotating part of the device). The principle behind the device is extremely simple, the more you rotate your wrist the faster the mass will spin thus creating resistance and exercising the muscles in your arm.

                                Why use a 'power ball'?

                                Personally, I use it for fun. But there are medical benefits. The device was originally designed (not by nanosecond might I add, they only own the patent for adding the counter and lights to the device) for physical therapy in order to built wrist strength. It is also a valuable tool for anyone suffering from RSI (repetitive strain injury) and arthritis, because of its ability to strengthen and improve the muscles in the users arms.

                                Age limits?

                                Although there isn't any age limits for this device, it would be common sense to take certain precautions. The instructions itself do state that children under 12 should be supervised, but I also believe that it is not really suitable for the elderly unless they are rather fit. My reasoning behind this is the power generated by the ball itself, when you finish using it, the ball will 'jerk' around a little in quite a violent manor (higher the speed, the more violent). And this could cause damage to those unaware that it is going to happen.

                                The design, what do I think of it?

                                There is a range of power balls, and the majority are similar. The only one with a major difference is the metal version, which I am yet to try and therefore cannot comment on.

                                I personally own the blue neon pro, and am very satisfied. Ergonomically speaking (the feel and shape of the device), it is extremely well designed. The purpose of the ball is to fit in your hand and allow you to exercise, which it does fantastically. I will admit that if you have smaller hands, you may find it slightly more difficult than people with big hands such as myself.
                                The use of batteries is something I was baffled by when I first saw these type of power balls. The first type of handheld gyroscope I used had nothing of the sort, and required some muscle and nothing else.
                                However, by using a battery and a counter we are able to monitor our progress, strength and skill while using the power ball, which I think is a really useful function. As a test, I decided to try and replace the batteries in my ball to see how easy it was.
                                When I first looked at it I was rather baffled and was uncertain how to go about it, but the powerball website (something I will comment on later) has a guide on how to do so. You simply need to remove the counter from the top (by pushing in the two tabs on the 12 o clock and 6 o clock positions in and up), unscrew 6 screws and change them over. It is simple once you know how, and the batteries are readily available.

                                Help and support, do they look after their customers?

                                Some generous man has sat at his designing desk at NSD and thought, these are ingenious and we want our customers to enjoy them forever more. So naturally, any official power ball comes with a lifetime guarantee. I will admit that I have dropped mine a few times, which is a cardinal sin considering the fact that they work on precision engineering and physics, and it has been perfectly fine.
                                However, a friend of mine was not so lucky and did need to send his power ball back for repairs. Happily they took the product back, and decided to issue him a new one instead of repairing the old. Who can complain about that? I wouldn't. He did have to pay postage, which was cheaper than buying a new ball, so he was happy as well.

                                The power ball website

                                Although the primary function of these gyroscopes is for exercise, it has become a fun activity with a rapidly growing fan base. To utilise this fan base to its full, NSD have created their own website with lots of fun features.
                                The website allows you to view any of the power balls and their respective promotional videos as expected, but goes on to provide the community with more. There is also competitions on the website, with the winner of each one being awarded with a shiny new power ball, which end each month and are restarted over and over.
                                Another great feature is the community section, which has a forum accessible by all. The forum itself provides help and advice to anyone needing it, along with the opportunity to socialise with other power ball users.
                                Its also worth looking at the FAQ section on the site, as any questions you may have are likely to be answered there.


                                To conclude; personally I find the power ball to be an amazing tool for exercise, but above all else a fun device. Its ability to aid in muscle related problems such as RSI provides sufferers a cheap form of relief, but also provides the general 'joe blogs' with an exciting and fun hobby.
                                Although the gyroscope has been around for many years its never been marketed on such a big scale which is the reason for the power balls success, its also rather cheap and guaranteed against most forms of damage which means the buyer can have confidence in the product they have bought.

                                If you are interested, power balls can be bought for as little as £14 or up to £70 for the metal version.

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                              • Product Details

                                Grip trainer for sports players or musicians / rehabilitation tool / battery powered.