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Flexi-StiX has been awarded the ACMA Composites 2013 ‘Best of Show’ Award for its Tsunami Barbell Flexible Composite Barbell which has a stiffness that allows the bar to oscillate during lifting with an optimum amplitude and frequency that allow the lifter to achieve extraordinary effective muscle stimulus, resulting in the ability to train athletes to a higher level of performance than using traditional steel barbells.
The initial barbell introduced to the market in May 2012 has a length of 7.5 feet and is used with standard 2” diameter Olympic disc weights. The barbell itself weighs just 15 lbs. This first barbell is designed to be used with a weight range of 45 to 135 lbs on each end of the barbell. Additional bars are planned. The Tsunami Light Bar was introduced in Jan 2013 featuring a maximum of 90 total pounds of weight on the bar.
According to Flexi-StiX, the barbell is round and made from a combination of a thermoplastic tubular material combined with advanced composite pultruded shapes that provides an effective stimulus for the athlete in training. This stimulus is provided by the oscillatory movement of the flexible barbell and is based off two factors that are known as amplitude and oscillatory frequency. The dual action of the bar that includes amplitude and oscillatory movement creates a rolling wave that stimulates the sensory receptors, which are scientifically known as proprioceptors, in addition to forcing the supporting ancillary muscle groups to stabilise during the various lifts for an additional positive benefit in muscle conditioning.
Flexi-StiX explains that when these sensory receptors are stimulated at a higher degree than a standard barbell, this allows for greater muscle activation and stabilisation. The initial testing results in May 2012 from the research at Furman University under the direction of Anthony Caterisano, Professor in the Heath Science Department and his team, using electromyography to compare muscle activation in various lifts suggests that muscle activation is approximately 20% greater, and that stabiliser muscles are three times more active using the Tsunami Bar compared to a standard barbell.
After a year of focused research at Furman, the results of the research will be presented in three scientific papers at the 2013 American College of Sports Medicine National meeting in Indianapolis in May 2013.
It explains that all lifts performed using a standard steel barbell can be performed with the Tsunami Bar. Because the bar bends, ‘new’ lifting techniques are now possible which it says were previously not advised using traditional stiff and rigid steel barbells.
Advanced methods of training with this flexible barbell have and are being developed by David Abernethy, co-founder of Tsunami Bar, in his role as Director, Strength and Conditioning at Furman University and previously as Senior Strength and Conditioning coach at Clemson University with refinements to training methods and quantification of performance increases coming from the research being performed at Furman University under the direction of Dr. Caterisano.
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