The ActivMotion Bar was invented by Derek Mikulski and can be used to “fire up your core, learn how to link your mind with your muscles, and build total body strength.” It does this by offering kinetic weight resistance in varying weights.
What it is. The ActivMotion Bar looks like a typical body bar, coming in various weights, from six to eighteen pounds. Two lines mark the ideal positioning your hands. DVD’s specifically for the ActivMotion bar can be purchased. I was sent the bar and Foundation Builder and Total Body Toning DVD’s for review. It has weights that roll around inside.
How it works. By having a constantly changing center of gravity, the bar forces the user to compensate for the shifting weight. The user can either give in to the motion, which will cease the exercise, or the user can stabilize the motion, which increases the effectiveness of exercising with a standard, motionless weight. The effectiveness increases by involving the target muscle group plus the core muscles. For example, someone standing for a bicep curl with a conventional body bar will work the biceps. The core muscles that wrap around the torso are used to stabilize. Someone with an ActivMotion bar will work the biceps and as a result of the movement inside the bar, will have increased core activity and heightened mental awareness of and connection to the bar.
What I think. I LOVE the marks and the centering text on the bar. My longstanding complaint of the bodybar is lack of a center line. I also love the kinetic weights. As someone who studied exercise in college, I definitely appreciate and can see the value of this fitness tool. As a former dancer, I highly enjoy the mental aspect of using the bar.
For someone who has entered a stagnant phase in workouts, the ActivMotion Bar could certainly add a new, fun dimension to the exact same routines. People who like challenges or want to work their core without performing mundane ab exercises will enjoy this product as well.
Anyone who needs to work on balance, including adaptive populations, could also benefit from this product under the guidance from a good trainer.
Take it or leave it. If you are compromised from a previous injury, especially shoulder or back, and even more so for the recently healed who are new to exercising, I would leave this product on the back burner for a while. Those who are new to exercise would benefit from familiarity with basic weight resistance movement before adding the ActivMotion Bar.
Storage for home use is a consideration. Because it is weighted, it's fairly stable when resting upright, on its end at an angle. Those who need to leave it horizontal on the ground will need to find a level surface or stabilize it with something akin to a doorstop, or stick it under a couch where the legs could keep it in place.
Side note. The DVD's are well produced, but not necessary for use of the ActivMotion bar. They can introduce you to the bar if you have not gained a large movement vocabulary yet, but the bar can be easily substituted for free weights and conventional body bars. DVD's for golfers and adults transitioning from the older into the senior phase of life are offered as well.