Inertia Wave Review - Oscillating Kinetic Energy (O.K.E)
by Dave Parise on Feb 03, 2020
By: Matt Cooper C.S.C.S Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist.
Cooper is a nutrition consultant, strength & conditioning coach, and sport scientist from California. Driven by a semi-healthy obsession to explore human performance, Cooper spends his time researching, experimenting, doing nerdy things, and building better humans in general in the Compton/Los Angeles Area.
With Oscillating Kinetic Energy Training A.K.A. O.K.E., the training stimulus comes from the pulsing waves-or perturbations-that create unstable physics the challenged athlete is forced to deal with a series of multi planer resistance profiles. This creates a reflexive firing in your musculoskeletal system. Sometimes movements are weighted, in other cases they aren’t. The Inertia Wave has passed our test with overwhelming expectations.
One O.K.E. implement I feel is especially relevant for sports combines this unpredictability with dynamic and ballistic movements. The Inertia Wave does all that, and we feel it is an ideal O.K.E. implement for all sports. The Inertia Wave creates live energy and perturbations that are continuous once you get the device going with a few whips-this creates a reflexive muscle firing that recruits all the muscles you don’t see in the mirror that propel you through space and time and helps to properly integrate them. Since most may not know what O.K.E. is, let’s go into its overall benefits before going into one way I implement it with Inertia Wave.
Inertia Wave O.K.E. Benefits
Including the Inertia Wave as an ACCESSORY training implement to your full program can serve some major purposes: by creating a higher degree of motor control (and movement quality), we can neurologically set the table for additional gains in:
- Braking & C.O.D. (Change of Direction)
- Movement Fluidity (On/Off Switches-Contract & Relax Cycles-Inter/Intra Muscular Coordination)
- Injury Prevention
- This overlooked and underdeveloped training concept should be looked at as a derivative of human movement. Human movement-and sports-are not always purely linear, controlled, and slow. Hence why we gravitate towards the Inertia Wave.
Performance Needs Analysis
Most mainstream strength & conditioning programs have an overreliance on what I call ‘perfect scenario’ training. Everything is performed in a slow, controlled, linear (and sagittal) format-only for athletes to go on the field into an environment that is anything but.
Yes, MANY (most?) movements-from prehab to foundational strength movements-are and should be done in this controlled format that emphasizes positional ownership. However, if this is ALL that we do, we risk a "dumbing down" of the nervous system. We found the Inertia Wave a super way to stimulate the CNS.
What do I mean by this?
Why Inertia Wave specific to Inner workings & neural dynamics
If we live and train linear lives-one set of postures, one set of movements, one set of training-not to mention the over-specialization issues going on in youth sports-then our brain & nervous systems adapt to this. We begin to shut down neuromuscular connections and associations the brain deems unneeded. Inertia Wave demands all planes. Postures, and paths of motion, specific to its versatility, and endless movement patterns.
The Inertia Wave creates a sense of danger for the brain. Moreover, the user is forced to recruit previously dormant neuromuscular connections-activating smaller, stabilizing muscles that segmentally move prime movers through space and coordinate the whole system. Neuro-Rate functions-force creation, absorption, co-contractions, relaxations and all neurological on-off switches-become sharpened.
Sporting Demands & Inertia Wave Adaptations
- Motor Control & Neuromuscular Efficiency: The Inertia Wave has shown to stimulate a higher motor unit recruitment of primary and secondary muscle groups. Again-well-designed O.K.E. wakes up muscles and muscle grouping behavior that help propel the body through space. Better motor control and optimal muscle recruitment translate into better movement quality.
- Fast, Efficient Force Absorption: The instability and oscillatory effects of the Inertia Wave do wonders for waking up proprioceptive mechanisms, as sensory receptors such as muscle spindles are forced to work overtime to continually adjust to erratic movements. This is a vital piece of force absorption. Most coaches and PT’s only address slow, maximal strength force absorption through lifting and do not address quick, eccentric force absorption in the proper fashion. Athletes need to be able to absorb force fast and efficiently. Highly involved muscular co-contraction behavior around joints, fast relaxations, appropriate fitness, and appropriate chains of fascial connectivity absolutely play a role here. Sports involve much faster, ‘speed strength’ eccentric overloads for force absorption than they do ‘maximal strength’ ones.
- Integrated Core: Another benefit is having a developed center of mass/gravity, appropriately linking chains of muscle groups of the body, and assisting in proximal-distal muscle firing to control your limbs in space. K.E. and the Inertia Wave help develop these core muscles you don’t see in the mirror. A properly developed core is the channel by which force absorption and generation should be transmitted.
- Contract & Relax Cycles: We went into contract & relax cycles for force absorption.
- Muscles also must be able to very rapidly turn on and off in most sports in order to deliver power. Neuro Rate functions, as it were. The Inertia Wave work helps athletes develop proper reciprocal inhibition that can deteriorate if excessive slow, heavy lifting work is done alone without proper holistic consideration of how the body works. By this token, we can help develop rate of force development adaptations.
As an added bonus, O.K.E. with the Inertia Wave creates an additional metabolic cost due to the added muscle recruitment and energy expenditure. You can potentially get creative using it in conditioning programming as I have done with MMA athletes.
*The takeaway here should be to consider Inertia Wave training as a supplement in your training model. My theory is that well-designed instability training is one key component of laying a foundation for quality movement-from which everything else originates.
I have experimented with O.K.E. using the Inertia Wave in a variety of ways and have found the Inertia Wave to be a great tool in its implementation unique to itself. By getting athletes of all varieties to move better-with more neurochemical efficiency-we can improve coveted strength, power, speed, and movement abilities while properly rehabbing and bulletproofing them from injuries.
Matt Cooper C.S.C.S
Certified Nutrition Consultant
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
Speed of Sport Affiliate; Certified Sport Performance Specialist
Sport Science & Health Journal Author
Gray Institute Applied Functional Scientist, 3D Maps Biomechanics
Director: Wellness I Performance I Sport Science; Fast Twitch LA/Standout Performance
Director: Wellness I Performance I Sport Science; Black House MMA
Hundreds Helped (pro/developing athletes, individuals, businesses, addiction/trauma)
Co-Author, The Ketogenic Diet: A Metabolic Manifesto for Dieter & Practitioner
Nutritional Supplement Industry Consultant (R&D to DTC levels