Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hexlite: A Idea Becomes Reality


I've wanted to build a light-weight, dual-handled, hexagonal shaped training bar since 2001 or so. I have found this style of bar--much more so than a traditional barbell--to be very useful for teaching ground-based lifting mechanics to beginners.
  • It facilitates learning the concept of pushing your COM and the mass of the bar away from the floor versus "pulling" with your back. This is something many people have trouble doing initially with a barbell.
  • It facilitates lowering your COM with your lower extremities versus bending over to reach for the bar.
  • It eliminates the problem of getting the bar around the knees.
  • It provides an alternative to or an additional leg strengthening exercise to barbell squatting. If anyone is initially uncomfortable with a barbell on their back, he/she can use this type of bar to groove the confidence, stability, mobility, body awareness necessary to barbell squat.
But there are some barriers to using traditional 45+ lb. bars. First, even with 10 lb plates, the beginning load of 65 pounds is too much for many young people and many adults. Second, this type of bar is historically associated with maximal deadlifts and shrugs; not with teaching basic body mechanics or being used as a light-weight training modality. You just don't see this type of bar used by physical therapists or ATCs in a rehabilitation or reconditioning setting.

My goal is to blow away those barriers and make ground-based leg strength and mobility work accessible to everyone. I want to bring a low-impact, weight-bearing exercise modality to those who are at risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis. It may take a bit of a paradigm shift in methodology for it to be accepted by physical educators and rehabilitation professionals, but that is fine. I want to thank everyone who has provided input and feedback on the Hexlite bar over the last 12 months. It has been a long journey. Thank you for helping make this dream come true.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, good deal to seeing this through to fruition.

Joe P. said...

...you forgot "enhances -play low- ability". You can bet I'll be ordering one soon.

The Iron Maven said...

Thanks Joe! I look forward to chatting with you and hearing your feedback.

Orie said...

Fruition!

Congrats, Tracy.

The Mighty Kat said...

Congratuations! A dream you can poke. What a terrific idea.

Anonymous said...

Why would this contraption be better than a goblet squat for teaching squatting when someone isn't comfortable with a bar on the back?