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MIT Paper by Phil Earnhardt Engineering MIT

Dave Parise's "Inertia Wave" is another exercise device to hack the mechanical impedance of our bodies. If you are an impedance geek, it may be the best exercise device ever invented. Our hands are the junction point for a classical impedance network. Oscillations pump energy into the lines, and you work against that energy to get your workout. That allows for an extremely lightweight/portable exercise device that has the capacity for a gargantuan workout. The lines provide constant feedback on the rhythm and forces you're able to apply. Just like the European power grid, if you don't provide enough power, your oscillating frequency may suffer. :) I like the selfie video by Tori Brillantes, especially where she pauses in her workout:

I did a writeup for Dave about his toy last week:

Composed by Phil Earnhardt. Phil studied Electrical Engineering at MIT. For the last 20 years, he has studied Biotensegrity from an engineering perspective and worked with manual and movement professionals. Please send questions/comments/feedback to Phil Earnhardt 

Top 10 reasons the Inertia Wave is a Cool Tool

10. Hand strength is important. While we cannot change the size of our hands, we can improve our hand strength. 😀 When moving with the Inertia Wave, we tensionally engage our hands with oscillating movement in all directions. The Inertia Wave increases our hand strength and relieves the chronically-held hand tensions of desktop warriors.

9. Inertia Wave provides a highly intense workout in a 2-pound package. The resistance of the workout is generated by the user: the exerciser is working against the inertia of the waves that they are creating. In a classical mechanical impedance model, this energy is called “reactance”. The wave-nature of Inertia Wave exercises makes for a very material-efficient and cost-efficient workout.

8. While IW workouts have similar motions to Battle Rope workouts, the Inertia Wave feels much more alive. You are pulsing energy into the lines, and the lines are pulsing energy back at you. In terms of that stored-energy impedance model, the IW has a “Q Factor” (or Quality Factor) of around 5. The Quality Factor of Battle Ropes is far less than 1. This doesn’t mean that Battle Ropes are a “bad” workout, but it does mean that Inertia Workouts are far more interesting.

7. You must control the movement — absorb the energy — of Inertia Wave oscillations with eccentric contractions. Besides adding to the aerobic load, these motion-controlling movements help relax the body.

6. The Inertia Wave is safe and easy to deploy most anywhere. The nylon anchors work well for most situations, and specialized anchors are available at Amazon and other sporting goods supply vendors. It’s easy to travel with the Inertia Wave. If you’re going on a week-log trip, consider bagging the lines and packing in your luggage.

5. Inertia Wave exercise are both a muscular and neurological workout. I particularly like jumps during the “oxygen thief” exercises, because our CNS must figure out how to pulse the lines when our feet are off the ground.

4. Inertia Wave exercises are extremely low impact.

3. Since you can pump much energy into the Inertia Wave, HIIT exercises can have arbitrary intensity. The last work segment of your Inertia Wave workout may be the longest 20 seconds of your life.

2. The Inertia Wave is great for developing symmetrical strength and coordination. Your “inertia wave” (exercise #1) will almost certainly have a higher amplitude on one side, and your “super typhoon” (exercise
will have a strong and a weak side. The line doesn’t judge, but it will give you immediate feedback on how you are moving.

1. When you play with the Inertia Wave, you’ll feel awkward. You may feel silly. You’ll make mistakes. When pulsing sideways, you’ll have the lines slap against each other — killing their inertia — and you’ll have to start over again. Keep waving. You’ll surprise yourself with your progress. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself having fun.

Composed by Phil Earnhardt. Phil studied Electrical Engineering at MIT. For the last 20 years, he has studied Biotensegrity from an engineering perspective and worked with manual and movement professionals.