By Gill Stewart at
Smoveys are proving to be a popular addition to some of our walks but what are they and why should you consider adding some smooves to your exercise routine?
At Nordic Walking UK we are always ahead of the curve so when we met the founders of Smovey 8 years ago, we KNEW they had a life changing product that was also fun and effective for everybody. We immediately incorporated them into our wellbeing sessions
So, what is a SMOVEY – in essence its a ring which has 3 or 4 (depending on the weight) metals balls inside. These move gently back and forth as the device is used and as they do so, they pass over a series of ridges which cause vibration. With every swing of the arm, the user experiences the resistance training benefit gained from the weight AND the stimulating effect from the vibration (think Vibroplate machines!)
As fun as they are to use, there is also a serious side to Smovey which were originally developed by an Austrian Tennis Player who was determined to slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease following his diagnosis. His prototype actually involved an adapted tennis racket head but several years of research & development have seen vast improvements and a range of models.
Our Instructor’s have been using them to help people master the correct armswing for pole walking, as a fun exercise regime that can be done indoors as well as whilst out walking and also as therapy or rehabilitation devices. Those who use them all report an immediately effective energising effect from the vibration plus an increase in range of movement caused by the kinetic energy created by the moving balls.
It is said the vibration of 60Hz stimulates the palm of the hands which, according to ancient Chinese medicine, contain pressure points believed to be linked to the major organs and meridians (ying and yang). The flow of energy known as Qi can be increased with the rhythmic movement and vibration and users feel energised. Lack of movement can restrict natural energy flow and result in stiffness, muscle pain and sometimes numbness but Smoveys seem to encourage good movement patterns and they feel great!
Why not try them for yourself – you can simply use them on a walk – they work best if you swing the arm from the shoulder and don’t overbend at the elbow (just like when nordic walking!)
HERE ARE SOME OF THE BASIC ‘SMOOVES’ TO GET YOU STARTED
SIMPLE PARALLEL SWINGS
Swing parallel and evenly forward and backwards from the shoulders.Go on tiptoe on the forward swing.
Remember to keep body position upright and your knees slightly bent or ‘soft’
Swing the arms horizontally back as far as possible at shoulder height & bring the arms together in front of the body.The more the arms are extended the more intensity.
TIP Stabilise the upper body and make sure swings are not sudden or jerky.
Swing forward and backward alternatively with the right and left arms.Slightly lift right or left legoff the ground for a few swings.
Concentrate on standing securely to maintain balance.
ROTATION WAIST WORKER
Place smoveys across the upper chest and hold with arms lightly crossed. Gently rotate your upper body by bringing the right/left shoulder back.
Guide the movements by looking over both shoulders.
Crossover start position. Swing the arms so that they cross alternately in front of the body (without touching).
TIP Slightly lean your extended upper body forward and keep your knees nice and ‘softly’ bent.
LATERAL PARALLEL SWINGS
Swing the arms alternately to the right or left side at the same time. Swing both arms to the left side as you step with the right leg at the same time – and reversed.
Stay loose in the shoulders but open up the chest.
Step one leg back and lower the buttocks so the rear knee is slightly off the ground and the front knee does NOT move forward past the tip of the toes – perform even parallel swings – and change legs. From the same leg stance swing with alternating arms.
Keep upper body upright and stay nice and ‘soft’ at the knees.
CROSSWISE CO-ORDINATION SWINGS!
Swing the right arm back and forth beside the body while simultaneously swinging the left arm horizontally forward and laterally at shoulder height – and reverse. Its best to start both swings with Smoveys in front of the body but not touching. Swing the arms opposite each other so that either the right or left arm is in the front.
TIP Start with small correctly done swings & increase to larger swings.
Many NWUK Instructors now offer smovey sessions and they form a major part of our WALX vision so look out for those with the Wellbeing icon on their listing in the FIND A CLASS search pages.
To order your smoveys which come complete with a CD visit the WEBSTORE today.
If you would like to find out more about their use with PARKINSON’S DISEASE, in Care homes or for rehabilitation contact us TODAY by calling 0333 1234 540