Fitness Study: Rubber Bands For Strength And Balance

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Last week I took part in a small study for an 8th grade friend of mine’s science project.

He timed how long I could:

  • Stand On One Leg
  • Stand On One Leg With My Ears Plugged
  • Stand On One Leg With My Eyes Closed

Now, I’d done a tough leg workout that morning, but my times were about 3 min, 3 min, and 1 min.  So obviously I rely on my eyes for a lot of my balance.

But, could wearing one of those fancy Power Balance bracelets (a rubber wristband with a “magic” hologram sticker) improve my scores?

According to a recent study… no.

Researchers at the University of Texas tested Power Balance bands on measures of strength, flexibility, and balance.

From the abstract: “The results indicate that the Power Balance® bands did not have an effect on strength, flexibility, or balance.”

Here’s the reference for my fellow science geeks:

J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Oct 24.
Effect of the Power Balance® Band on Static Balance, Hamstring Flexibility, and Arm Strength in Adults: The Lifespan Wellness Research Center.
Verdan PR, Marzilli TS, Barna GI, Roquemore AN, Fenter BA, Blujus B, Gosselin KP.
Source:  Department of Health and Kinesiology, The University of Texas at Tyler

In Australia, the makes of Power Balance had to admit that there is absolutely no support for their claims.  The bands continue to sell well elsewhere though.

If wearing a magic rubber band makes you feel better, do it.  Just know that any improvements come from your increased confidence, not from any “harmonious frequencies.”



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