I received an ActivMotion Bar through my affiliation with FitApproach in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and should not be taken as health care advice. Always consult your health care provider with questions or concerns about your health and any new fitness program you may participate in.
Although it is not technically winter according to the date on the calendar, believe me – winter already has made its way into the Midwest with a vengeance. While I try to get outside as much as possible, sometimes that is not an option. So with ‘official’ winter quickly approaching, I’ve been looking for new ways to keep me moving throughout the cold weather season. I’m also looking to up my cross-training game so I’m not just running in preparation for my upcoming 2019 race season.
I was excited for the opportunity to test out the ActivMotion Bar because quite frankly, I have become a little bored with my usual routine. I’m lucky to have a pretty decent home gym, but I am always looking to mix things up a little. Because when I get bored with my workouts, I simply stop working out. And that’s not good.
So what is the ActivMotion Bar? Hand-built in Detroit, Michigan, it is a tool that allows the user to train using dynamic variable resistance. Generally when we train using weights, the resistance is fixed, meaning that it doesn’t change. The ActivMotion Bar employees variable (changing) resistance through its rolling steel weights within the bar itself. The ActivMotion Bar is filled with steel balls that roll back and forth within the bar when it is moved or tilted. Think of the game labyrinth, where you use slow, controlled movements to keep the steel ball from falling into a hole. The idea is to control the movement of the balls, which engages the core and really forces you to concentrate on balance and stability.
But what about the science? According to this University of Michigan School of Kinesiology study posted on the ActivMotion Bar website, the “ActivMotion bar resulted in greater muscle activation in seven of the nine muscles analyzed, relative to the standard bar and the medicine ball…Significant differences were found in the deltoid, latissimus dorsi, oblique, pectoralis major, rectus abdominus, trapezius, and vastus medialis muscles…Additionally, ActivMotion bar tended to result in greater activation in the erector spinae muscles, relative to the standard bar and the medicine ball…When controlled for range of motion, static weight, and speed of movement, the ActivMotion bar elicited greater muscle activation, relative to a standard fitness bar or medicine ball. Ostensibly, the increase in muscle activation was the result of the internal passive weights, which generated a dynamic moment of inertia, thereby enhancing the stabilizing demands on the muscles”.
The ActivMotion Bar is available in seven different weights ranging from three pounds to 18 pounds. Depending on your level of fitness and your overall training goals, there is a level of weight that will meet most anyone’s needs. The website is very nice in that when you go to choose your weight on the shopping page, each individual weight selected gives a little drop-down description of the level of difficulty that particular bar might present. For example, I often go for the biggest challenges with a ‘bigger is better’ type of weight training philosophy, so I naturally thought I would choose the heaviest bar. However, when I clicked on the 18 pound option, a message dropped down saying “the 18-pounder is the least most popular seller. The reason? 18 pounds of shifting mass is very, very challenging to control”. I looked through the descriptions for all of the choices and ultimately I chose the 10-pound weight based on the drop-down description that “the 10-pounder is the top choice for those who have a high level of fitness”.
Now that I have been using my ActivMotion Bar for about a month, I am sure this was the best option for me. It definitely challenges me, and I do feel I am getting a great workout without being too easy on myself by using too light of a bar and that I am not risking injury by using one that is too heavy for me. There are a wide variety of workouts that can be done using the ActivMotion Bar. The company itself sells training DVDs on the website, and there are numerous ideas and workout videos available on YouTube.
Interested in trying one out? Head on over to the ActivMotion Bar website and use fitapproach25 for 25% off of your purchase. And right now the over-stocked 10-pound bar is on sale for $89.99 (regularly $139.99), so after the 25% discount, you can get it for almost half price! But don’t delay…this discount code is only available through January 7, 2019!
Have you tried the ActivMotion Bar? What other dynamic resistance exercises have you used to work on balance and stability?