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Physical Therapy & Resistance Exercises with Dr. Christoper Hughes

pic2Dr. Christopher Hughes is a member of our Advisory Panel which helps NZ Manufacturing innovative and create better MediCordz® resistance cords and products that help patients recovering from accidents, surgery or torn muscles “Bounce Back with Resistance.”  We spoke to him about his experience in the field of Physical Therapy and how he integrates resistance-training exercises into his practice.

Position:Rank Professor, Slippery Rock University
Areas of Research: Shoulder Pathology and Kinesiology of Therapeutic Exercise
Areas of Teaching:Clinical Education, Biomechanics and Orthopedics

1. Your degrees all touch on both physical health and exercise. What were your beginnings in these fields?

My interest in health and exercise originated early, while I was playing Pop Warner football. I really liked sports, and more so the athleticism and necessary training and conditioning that accompanied it. Weight training as a freshman in high school really became a pivotal point for me to choose the field of exercise science, and ultimately Physical Therapy. I remember being one of the first to join the National Strength and Conditioning Association back in 1978. Back then it was just a newsletter, but their mission was clear: to bridge the gap between science and exercise. I am proud to say I am still a member. Academically, I’ve had great mentors at Springfield College in Massachusetts (B.S., M.S.). and The University of Virginia (Ph.D.).

2. What draws you to physical therapy?

The ability to not only determine and assess a physical problem but also to treat it. Both aspects can be a challenge and very few people are good at doing both. The breadth and evolving nature of the field have made it a lifelong profession. Also, it’s fulfilling to know that you can help someone get over an injury and improve the quality of their life.

3. Have you always been athletic? Do you have a special interest in any particular sport?

I was very active as a kid, so much so that I would probably be labeled as hyperactive by today’s standards! I was constantly in motion. My favorite sport was football. Honestly, I probably owe it all to watching NFL films. When they slowed things down on film you really got to see the true rigors of the game set to motivating narration and music. This really gave me an appreciation of how the body moved and how fascinating it is to watch controlled movement, strength, power, and speed.

4. Have you used our MediCordz® in your work with physical therapy? How so?

Yes. They provide a nice gradation of tension and you can get really creative with MediCordz®.
The neck harness is great for creating multiple angles of resistance and matches up well with the geometry and movement of the cervical spine and thoracic region. Because MediCordz® can offer significant resistance, it is also ideal for improving patient strength beyond the rehabilitation period.

5. Why did you decide to join NZ Manufacturing’s advisory board?

Product development and new technologies have always been an interest of mine. Bridging the gap between clinician needs and manufacturing of relevant products is so needed right now. It’s exciting to be a part of creating tools that are productive for the clinician and ultimately enhance patient care.

Let us know about other Resistance Exercise topics you’d like to hear about from our Advisory Panel or give us your feedback on our resistance exercise products here.

2016 Advisory Board Kickoff

happy new year

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

Over the holidays, we all had a little extra time to reflect and reconnect with those who help inspire us to reach our goals. This special New Year blog post is a conversation with Peter Verhoef, a member of NZ Manufacturing’s new 2016 Advisory Board. Click here to learn more about the physical therapists, strength training coaches, swim coaches and medical professionals that advise NZ Manufacturing on StrechCordz®, TurfCordz® and MediCordz® product applications and development. We’ll be featuring interviews and resistance training tips from our Advisory Board in upcoming blog posts throughout 2016.


VERHOEFWhat draws you to swimming over other sports?

I grew up as a swimmer and the process to become my best taught me so many valuable life lessons, it is my goal to share those with more swimmers as they begin and grow in the sport. There are many great opportunities for swimmers to develop a great work ethic, a competitive focus, create confidence, become a better teammate, and share incredible memories – I just hope to inspire more young athletes to experience it!

What’s your favorite thing about being a coach?

When you see an athlete begin to believe they can do something they didn’t think was possible before.  But with hard work and focus they can.  Along with other coaches at SwimMAC Carolina we strive to create opportunities for athletes to experience this as much as possible – to see one young athlete believe is great – a whole team of athletes believing is simply incredible.

Tell us a little about the 2012 Olympic Games. What was that like for you?

As a young coach, I was very fortunate to start my professional career working with Coach David Marsh (2012 Olympic Coach, 2016 Team USA Head Coach) and SwimMAC’s Team Elite swimmers. I joined the staff in 2010 and spent the following two years working with professional swimmers to reach their goal of competing in London. We watched 5 of our athletes qualify for Team USA in which they won 6 medals. I was able to be in London for most of their events.  Not only were these athletes that I worked with as a coach, some were my peers and close friends. It was a very memorable week of racing and it has left a lasting impression on me of how incredible the Olympics truly are. The whole event brings out the best in everyone (athletes, coaches and fans from around the world) and just being able to join in on the excitement only encouraged me to return and help build the next generation(s) of Olympians.

How do you incorporate StrechCordz® Resistance Training into your training program?

The challenge of coaching swimmers lies in the element of water – unlike land based sports, it can be difficult for athletes to see or realize what their body is doing compared to what the athlete thinks it is doing. Coaches must be creative in finding ways for the athlete to directly see the results of proper technique combined with proper force to move through the water. StretchCordz® not only provides a challenging part of working out – they are also instrumental in teaching swimming fundamentals. At SwimMAC we use cords in as many ways as we can think up. From creating a challenge by adding resistance or teaching proper “catch” of the water, to teaching how to reduce drag by assisting a swimmer to moving through the water faster – we can do it all with StretchCordz®!

Why did you decide to join the NZCordz Advisory Board?

I have been a customer and huge fan of NZCordz products as an athlete and a coach – this is an opportunity to share with other coaches and athletes ideas on how to get better within a very reasonable budget. Between learning from other experts on how to use the products to hopefully inspiring all levels of swimmers to use these awesome tools – this was an opportunity I could not pass up and feel honored to be considered!

Thank you Peter, and thank you to all of our Advisory Board Members who have the passion and commitment to helping athletes around the world make each year’s goals bigger and more achievable than before.

Happy New Year 2016!


Hotel room with a suitcase on the luggage place and the bed

When you’re traveling, it’s tough to find a spare minute to spend in the gym.

This is especially true during the holiday season—who wants to venture from a room packed with family, even in the name of fitness? And yet, the holiday season is a crucial time to stay fit—and you don’t have to sacrifice fitness when you’re on the go this season. Most StrechCordz®, MediCordz®, and TurfCordz® can be tucked into the pocket of a suitcase—their portability makes them ideal for travel. Here are our best tips and tools to keep you growing stronger as the days grow longer:


Swimmers: Make a Plan for Resistance Training

If you’re a swimmer, you know that the training doesn’t stop, even when outdoor pools are long-closed and snow begins to fall—but, during the holidays, it’s easy to let exercise slide.

For the unmotivated athlete, planning is key. Training schedules should be determined at least a month in advance. When you will be absolutely unable to exercise, be sure that the previous few days are rigorous—this way, the gaps between workouts serve as resting periods. With a steady plan, you can utilize your time, even during hectic days.

A key fitness tool for swimmers this holiday season is the StrechCordz® S100, a cord for dryland resistance training. In addition to being something of a classic—the S100 is the original dryland training device—it’s ideal for training in a limited area, building strength and enhancing speed.


Physical Therapy Patients: Keep Moving!

In physical therapy, the emphasis is on movement, to readjust to once-familiar movements and build back strength. While it might be tempting to surrender to the tryptophan snooze after a big meal, don’t give in to sluggishness.
When sitting isn’t necessary—dinner and the requisite game of monopoly having ended—stay on your feet! Back compressive pressure is lower while standing, and standing increases caloric expenditure and circulation.

Though your best tool depends on your injury, an outstanding recommendation is the MediCordz® Bungie Upper Body & Back Kit M600. This dual-purpose bungie cord builds strength in the back and the upper body, making it a time-saver during your busiest months. The tool merely consists of one of our tough rubber-and-nylon braided bungie cords and straps that fix to your feet, making it an easy tool to travel with.


Football, Baseball, and Basketball: Find a Partner!

When relaxation threatens to eclipse your fitness goals, find a training partner to stay motivated. Sure, not every family member might be an athlete, per se, but everyone can benefit from building muscle and burning calories, especially during the holidays.

An effective tool to bring on the go would be TurfCordz® Ankle Cordz S140 because of their portability and versatility. Work out your agility. Train for an explosive start. And strengthen abs, legs, and even hips. You won’t be sorry after a steaming plate of turkey dinner.

U.S. Manufacturer Launches New Resistance Training Tools Website,

NZCordzWhen the owner of NZ Manufacturing decided it was time to revamp her company’s website, Maureen Petrasko wanted her website to match the innovation, experience, and ease-of-use of the stretch cord and resistance training brands NZ manufactures. was developed to better serve the professional strength trainers, swim coaches and medical professionals who buy their brands online. The new fully responsive design (adapts to desktop, tablet and mobile devices) was developed based on feedback from customers, and a usability analysis on the old website to determine what to improve.

“When we started visualizing our new website last year, we knew we wanted to provide better online product research, easier customer service, and open up more resources for our customers. We wanted to make sure they could more easily find the right product for the right exercise application. We also wanted our customers to be able to order just as easily from the smartphone as they could on their desktop. Many of our customers are out at the pool, or training athletes on the field. They’re not usually sitting behind the desk,” says Maureen.

This new website offers all the features of the previous site such as the ability to place orders directly through the site and check status of orders. Additionally, customers can now view their order history back to the launch date of the new website. now provides a listing of recent press releases, video feeds, news articles, specials, enhanced product searches, related products and more. An updated advisory forum is being added soon where customers can get feedback and training tips from professional athletes, strength trainers, and medical professionals.

Our customers around the world will now experience a greater ease of use with the addition of VAT, and a variety of cost saving shipping options.

Makers of StrechCordz® resistance swim training tools, MediCordz® rehabilitation products and TurfCordz® strength and agility products, NZ offers a comprehensive line of resistance tools from accommodating a patient rehabilitating from an injury or surgery to high-end athlete training performance enhancement, NZ Manufacturing has been a leading innovator in the professional resistance training industry for over thirty years.

Celebrating Our 30th Birthday at ASCA Conference in Cleveland

smileyNZ Manufacturing is proud to announce that we’ll be in attendance at this year’s ASCA World Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, September 8th through the 13th. This will be the 47th Annual World Clinic and NZ Manufacturing can’t wait because this year, we’ll be celebrating our 30th Birthday.


Special Programs Expected

As we lead up to the Olympics in 2016, we can expect an extremely interesting ASCA Conference this year.  Special sections are slated to cover International swimming, which will be given by our keynote speaker, Frank Busch.  Busch is the USA National Team Director.  Other notable speakers include Wayne Goldsmith of Australia and many others.


Wide Range of Attendees & Topics

The 2015 ASCA World Clinic truly is a conference attended by individuals and organizations from around the world.  The clinic this year will have representatives from more than 30 nations with all sorts of topics ranging from training Olympians as well as basic swim education topics.


There will be multiple seminars covering topics such as research, athlete training, biomechanics, coaching philosophy, among others.  Attendees will be able to choose between workshops, lectures, classes and other types of presentations.  There will be well over 300 hours of material for attendees to choose from at this year’s ASCA World Clinic.


NZ Manufacturing Bringing a Little Extra Fun to the Conference

At NZ Manufacturing we thought that the ASCA World Clinic would be as good a time as any to celebrate our 30th Birthday (anniversary in corporate speak).  We’re extremely honored to be able to have been in business for this long and many of the contacts we’ve made through the ASCA conference have helped us to reach where we are today.

In true NZ Manufacturing fashion, we plan to bring a little something different this year to our booth at the conference.  We’ll have our StretchCordz products on display in Booth #105, and we’ve got a fun interactive 80’s flashback theme.  Take a trip back to the good ole’ days when you visit our booth this year.  Take your picture in our flashback booth, and post it to Social Media with #NZFlashback to be emailed a promo code for 15% off your next order.  Also, enter our video testimonial contest to win prizes (valued at up to $250).  Also, stick around our booth to get an extra birthday treat as well!


Specifics on Our Presenters


Date: September 9, 2015

Time: 8 am – 12 pm

Topic: Dryland Training for Age Groupers

Presenter: Charlie Hoolihan

Products used:StretchCordz with Handles & StretchCordz with Paddles


Charlie Hoolihan is a former age group and senior swimming coach of beginner to nationally ranked athletes. He is currently a Personal Training Director at Pelican Athletic Club in Mandeville, La where he trains clients and athletes including master swimmers, triathletes and runners.

He has spoken on various topics at several major national health and fitness conferences including the National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Triathlon, IDEA Health and Fitness Association and Club Industry. This will be his fourth appearance at the ASCA World Clinic.


We Look Forward to Seeing You at the 2015 ASCA World Clinic!

We’re extremely excited about the upcoming conference and hope that you’ll stop by Booth #105 to see what we have planned for our big 30th anniversary blowout bash!  This year’s conference will run September 8-13, so don’t miss out!