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The powerball has been around for at least 3 years, but it has only been in the last year or so that it has began to become a household item, with many people using it as a convienent workout at home, or in the office.
It has been credited as the worlds most powerful gyro, but the powerball company has kindly released several types of powerball, the original (as pictured) the 'neon' series and the ultimate series which appears to be metallic... I am yet to see one of these in real life.
They all retail between £10 and £20 and are designed to work the entire arm. The exercise is carried out by pulling out the red string that is wrapped around the internal gyro, in a whip type motion, so that the gyro gets off to a set speed. On the neon versions it is clear to see when the gyro has enough momentum to begin powerballing as the internal lights power themselves on the kinetic energy of the gyro.
Then your off! You grip the powerball like a tennis ball (there is a paricular style to do this) and you rotate the device using only your wrist. You must maintain this style throughout the exercise as it keeps the gyro's momentum up. The quicker and more effectively you master this technique, the more you can get your speed up, and the more intense the gyro becomes. Its truly unique.
One disadvantage of this device is the way it gets started. If the special red string is lost (which is eaisly done) it becomes increasingly hard to get the gyro going. I myself have to get the momentum going by rolling it quickly along a flat surface, or the floor. Once it gets going it is fine, but its just the getting started thats akward after losing the string. Perhaps one way to sort this problem would be to have some kind of lever or flick switch that gives the gyro a jolt for the first time.
On the device itself is a screen that shows whoever is using it how fast they have spun the device. How many "rpm" you have managed to achieve. This is great fun when competing with friends to see who can get the most! It also stores the top achievement so that you can attempt to beat it another day. The batteries in the screen do last a long time, and will rarley need repalcing, However, if they do you can see how to do it in the tiny peice of toilet paper that is the instructions, that you will find stuffed in the box when it comes or when you buy it.
With only having tried the standard and owning the neon versions, I have to say they are both very comfortable when using them, and you do develop a knack to using it after the fist few times, so dont give up!!! Its well worth a try and its fairly cheap. Whats more, its very unlikely that the gyro will fall apart, so the durability its excellent, making it a lasting and useful peice of specific exercise equipment. You really will feel the difference after the first time of using it.
You can also look at some of the best (and worst) powerballers on websites such as youtube. This will give you a more visual idea of what it looks like and how unique it is. The feel of the gyro when at a high speed is very unexpected and when I first used it i didnt expect it to carry my hand away!!!
So it is well worth the buy, whether it is for a one off buy for yourself, or a stocking filler for christmas. It also makes a great gift for someone who you think has everything and likes the odd gadget you dont see everyday!