Efficacy of wrist gyroscopes.
May 10, 2006 1:58 PM   Subscribe

Experiences with the Dynabee/Powerball?

If so, how real were the strength gains? Are they effective/safe for folk with carpal tunnel pain or arthritis?
posted by the cuban to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
Response by poster: Cutting through PR puffery is hard - any firsthand experiences would be appreciated.
posted by the cuban at 2:01 PM on May 10, 2006

Not sure about strength increases, but it does make my wrist feel better. It's a neat toy and always gets a ton of attention when people come over.
posted by aeighty at 2:06 PM on May 10, 2006

I bought one because of wrist strain (from using the mouse in my desk setup at work) and it relieved the pain as long as I used it regularly -- at least a few minutes every couple of days.

I didn't notice any strength gain, but that wasn't my objective when using it, so I wasn't treating it like a "workout."
posted by camcgee at 2:17 PM on May 10, 2006

I broke my wrist on my first (and only) snowboarding attempt. My doc had me use one, and I found it quite helpful for my range of motion exercises. It took a little time to figure out how best to get it 'started', but now it is second nature.
posted by nomisxid at 2:22 PM on May 10, 2006

I have one. I'm sure results vary but it's certainly not total bunkum.
posted by o2b at 3:12 PM on May 10, 2006

I have a powerball knock-off that I got on sale last year at a Radio Shack ($10) . The knock-off does not run as smooth as the real item, but it still gives the effect.

It is a good workout for the wrist and not harmful if you don't over do it. As mentioned, it's a great office toy too.
posted by Artful Codger at 3:20 PM on May 10, 2006

I think they are great, and you can pick one up for under $20. I've received blank stares for mentioning them, people who haven't used them see the videos and write it off as some cute toy. I was skeptical as well, but it really helped alleviate a lot of the pain in my wrists. It's kind of fun and relaxing, so compared to some other rehabilitative treatments I'd say it's a pretty good deal. Then again, I don't go for "the fastest Powerball spins ever made!"
posted by prostyle at 3:21 PM on May 10, 2006

I haven't played with mine for a few years, but I used to really enjoy it.
By the way, if you let it get dirty, it's both useless and seemingly impossible to clean. So always use the string to start it up, rather than the (much easier) roll on carpet.
posted by Aknaton at 3:41 PM on May 10, 2006

I just think the look of that guy in the powerball video is so damned funny I'd be afraid to have one of these for fear of someone videotaping me using it.

Not to derail, but for anyone who hasn't watched the video, it's amusing.
posted by twiggy at 4:09 PM on May 10, 2006

Twiggy, the animated GIF on the page linking to the video (which is apparently not taken from the video? didn't watch the entire thing) looks like the guy is, shall we say, choking the chicken, or perhaps smacking the salami. The video itself was pretty funny too, but at least you could actually see what was going on.

I recently got treated for RSI and am having problems getting myself to use a stress squeeze ball and a stretch band (used for fake-weight-lifting while in a chair and whatnot)...on a whim, ordered the cheapest Powerball ($25) and we'll see how it goes :)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 4:50 PM on May 10, 2006

I really enjoy my powerball. I don't use it for strength gain or anything, just working out stiffness in the wrists from too much computer use or whatever. On top of being quite good in that regard, it's also just plain fun. I got the Neon version, and when it's whining and glowing like mad it's like holding some kinda alien fusion grenade or something.
posted by nightchrome at 7:16 PM on May 10, 2006

I'm with nightchrome on the glowing LED version -- looks cool, and the fact that the brightness is generated by your furious wrist action is clever. It helps with my keyboard-strained wrists and clutch/brake lever grip on my Vespa, but that's about it. No Popeye forarms or upper arms the size of a leg.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 7:37 PM on May 10, 2006

I got a Powerball a few weeks back, and I've been using it for short periods on my non-lifting days. Forearm curls have started feeling significantly easier. After a long plateau at sets of 20-25 reps of 25lbs, I'm now doing 25 reps of 30lbs. It has also helped me recover in the evenings after long (200-400mi/day) motorcycle rides. It doesn't seem to bother my RSI. So far so good...
posted by aneel at 9:37 PM on May 10, 2006

Oh yeah, the powerball is great. The glowing lights are amazing (lights up the whole room) and I've so far got a top RPM score of 12000. If you used this thing daily you'd be sure to improve your wrist strength and flexibility.

Also, if you like gadgets, or have friends who like gadgets, it's a wonderful toy. Just don't drop it, someone knocked mine off a table and now it makes a kind of rough sound, but it still works okay.
posted by tomble at 10:54 PM on May 10, 2006

I got one a couple years ago. I oved-did it. I got sore. The ball has been laying idle somewhere since.
posted by Goofyy at 12:31 AM on May 11, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses.
posted by the cuban at 2:23 AM on May 11, 2006

I got a powerball after reading this AskMe. I like it. The pain my elbow has completely gone away, my wrists are feeling much better too. I use it along with these grippers.
posted by exhilaration at 11:39 AM on May 11, 2006

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