Thursday, October 4, 2007
The Slosh Pipe
Very interesting article over at T-nation today. (That link might not be work safe; T-nation has an unfortunate habit of putting pictures of bikini-clad "figure competitors" on all of their article pages.) These guys took a 9-foot piece of PVC pipe, filled it 2/3 full with water, and proceeded to get their asses kicked by it. Good times.
I like the principle behind this: training the core functionally by overcoming instability. (That's what the core does -- it keeps you stable) I really like their approach. Most exercise devices that train with instability create instability in the platform on which the trainee is supporting him or herself. We've all seen the personal trainers having a client do bodyweight squats on a bosu ball. That approach never struck me as quite right.
When we use the core to overcome instability in real-world scenarios, it's not because we're precariously balancing on half of a rubber ball. It's because we're carrying groceries in one hand while unlocking the door with the other, or trying to shake off a tackler while running towards the end zone. In these scenarios, we are on a stable platform, but outside forces are acting on us to create instability, which we then counteract using core strength.
That's what the "Slosh Pipe" does. As the water sloshes around inside the pipe, it creates instability. All of the water (and therefore mass) is in one side of the pipe one second, then it sloshes over to the other side. The trainee uses core strength (and possibly grunting and curse words) to control the pipe despite the constantly shifting weight.
Anyway, I thought it was a really neat idea and I'm really tempted to try to put one together next week. What would the neighbors think of me as I'm out back in the alley, throwing around a 9 foot piece of PVC pipe like a maniac?