A variety of training aids are available to help athletes isolate and improve performance in particular areas. These include respiratory trainers for breathing muscle training and hand-held gyroscopes for increasing hand and forearm strength. Want to know more? Read out training aids buying guide.
• Respiratory trainers: Respiratory trainers use the principles of resistance training to improve performance in the inpiratory muscles, and are designed to help people who experience shortness of breath owing to advancing age or chronic conditions such as asthma or bronchitis. Resistance breathing exercises have been long practiced in the martial arts in exercises of “sanchin,” yoga, and some forms of chi kung breathing, while ome scuba-divers and breath-hold free divers practice various techniques to increase breathholding endurance. Respiratory trainers are drug-free, hand-held devices which with regular used (full instructions are included) are claimed to improve breathing efficiency in as little as four weeks. It is advised to consult your doctor if you have any doubts about using a respiratory trainer or if you have a medical condition.
• Hand-held gyroscopes: These little instruments, the best-known of them being marketed under the Powerball brand name, use a 250Hz gyroscope – a very fast-spinning rotor – that can be rotated at up to 15,000 rpm to build strength in the fingers, hands, wrists, forearms and upper arms. They are ideal for increasing grips strength – for sports such as golf, tennis, squash or biking – or even relieving RSI and arthritic conditions.