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How Resistance Training Helps Athletes Achieve Peak Performance

The Winter Olympics are quickly approaching, and soon billions of people around the world will be watching some of the greatest athletes of our time perform at the highest level of competition. Becoming a world-class athlete requires an incredible amount of dedication, commitment, and talent, that is slowly crafted upon year and years of practice. To achieve something truly remarkable and stand out from the competition, Olympic athletes tackle their training from a broad range of angles to ensure they stay healthy and can push the boundaries of what they ever thought was possible.

Today’s athletes in the Winter Olympics understand the power and the impact that resistance training can have on their long-term goals and results. In this article, we’ll highlight a few of the ways Olympic athletes are implementing resistance training equipment from NZ Manufacturing to stay healthy and gain an edge on the competition.

Speed Skating

To increase power and build lactic acid threshold, the US Speed Skating team has been utilizing TurfCordz® resistance training gear for quite some time. In a sport where the athletes are traveling as fast as 40 miles per hour, a tremendous amount of force is being exerted during competition. Building power through explosive exercises that simulate races is the key to elite results.

Speed skaters focus on replicating movement patterns that work their whole bodies from top to bottom. Box jumps and resistance cord exercises are very common as a way to prepare for the incredible amount of force required to succeed in the sport. Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno has been seen using the TurfCordz® Safety Cord Sprint Belt Kit as a way to prepare for an Olympic event. Following in Ohno’s footsteps, other leading Olympic speed skating teams, including the US Olympic team also use our resistance training equipment as a way to prepare for Olympic events.

A few other products that are used by skaters to increase acceleration, and strength include:

Ice Hockey

Hockey is one the most competitive team sports in the Olympics. Speed, power, stamina, and agility are all important to a team’s success on the ice. Injury prevention is also crucial as ice hockey players typically are playing year-round and the physicality of the sport can take a toll on players. By building ancillary muscles, Olympic ice hockey players can promote stability in their joints under duress and decrease their risk of injury. Full body strength is crucial, in addition to having particularly powerful legs, hips, and core. Several former members of the Colorado Avalanche, who will be competing with the Canadian Olympic hockey team, have trained with our TurfCordz® resistance gear to support agility and speed on the ice and to target their key muscles.  Our Squat Cord S99-TurfCordz® and Jump Belt S130-TurfCordz® have been particularly useful.

Figure Skating

Known for its grace, beauty, balance, and power, figure skating at the Olympics is a captivating spectacle to watch. Balance, coordination, flexibility, power, and endurance are all fundamental to the success of figure skaters giving a spectacular performance. To train figure skaters to reach peak performance, full-body exercises that work functional movement patterns and full ranges of motion are important. This is another area in which resistance cords can excel and support athletes in accomplishing their dream to be on the Olympic podium. Figure skaters most commonly enjoy the benefits received from using:

Why Do So Many Olympians Use Our Resistance Training Equipment?

At NZ Manufacturing, we’ve been a leader in the development of resistance exercise tools since 1985. In this time, scores of professional athletes have used our products as a way to build strength and agility. Our StretchCordz® and TurfCordz® gear allow athletes to add resistance to their workout regimens, which should serve them well when it’s time for the main event. As Olympians, athletes are always looking for that edge that can help them separate themselves from the competition, and we’re confident that our resistance training products can give athletes that boost that can help propel them to gold.

Enhance Your Current Fitness Regime and Training with NZ Manufacturing

Trusted by Olympic and aspiring athletes alike, NZ Manufacturing has been supporting athletes in achieving their dreams by helping them grow stronger, more flexible, and powerful each and every day. Browse our wide array of top-quality resistance products today. If you have any questions at all about any of our high quality products, reach out to us today at 1-800-886-6621 or fill out our online contact form.

New Year Goals with Resistance Training

With the start of the new year comes a barrage of new year’s resolutions. The self-promise to exercise more and get healthier is one resolution that commonly comes up time and time again.

Reclaiming one’s health and getting back to where you once were doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. The key to meeting this goal is to make it attainable and realistic to achieve. You should aim to make gradual progress over time and incorporate more practical movements into your lifestyle. Start out simple and gradually up the intensity over time as you rise to the challenge and grow stronger. If you are an avid athlete, you too can reset goals to achieve greater sports performance in 2018

For Supporting a Healthier, Stronger You, Resistance Training Is an Ideal Place to Start

Resistance training can make incredible contributions to your health, while not being all that time intensive. Along with making your body substantially stronger, research has shown that resistance training can help with:

  • Long-term body fat loss
  • Decreasing your risk of osteoporosis
  • Reducing your risk of injury, back pain, and arthritis
  • Decreasing your risk of heart disease
  • Lessening your risk of diabetes

How to Start Resistance Training Wherever You Are in Life

If you haven’t been adequately strength training on a consistent basis for quite some time, jumping right into lifting heavy free weights is not the best idea. This will be a shock to your system and could potentially be dangerous and put you at a greater risk of injury. Starting out with resistance cords is one excellent way to become a healthier, stronger version of yourself.

8 Simple, Highly-Effective Exercises That Can Be Done with Resistance Cords

  1. Pull Downs

Attach either the Original Strechcordz® with Handles S100 or the Turfcordz® with Handles S127 to a sturdy beam. Externally rotate your shoulders and pull the band handle towards you. Finish each rep with flexed back muscles to support better posture in your day to day life.

  1. Bicep Curls

Again using either the Original Strechcordz® with Handles S100 or the Turfcordz® with Handles S127, aim for high rep bicep curls by stepping on the middle of the resistance cords and pulling the handles toward your front shoulder. Keep your body language to a minimum, torso rigid, abs braced, and glutes flexed while doing this movement pattern. These curls are great for elbow joint health.

  1. Triceps Pushdowns

Tricep pushdowns are an excellent exercise to do in between recovery from bicep curls. Superseding the tricep curls with bicep curls makes this exercise easier on your joints. Stand tall while holding the handles of your band and bending your elbows slowly up and down – feeling tension in your triceps while pushing the band down. Work on keeping your elbows at your side and don’t let your shoulders internally rotate or allow your body to lean in.

  1. Accommodated Pushups

Finally, either of the two resistance cords listed above can be used to make your pushups more effective for you to increase triceps strength, pec strength, and anterior deltoid strength. Wrap the band around your back and hold the handles securely in your hands as you do as many pushups as possible.

  1. Squats

Now to best target your legs, start by utilizing the Squat Cordz S99-Turfcordz® and stand on the center of the resistance bands while slowly doing squats. The resistance all the way through your body’s range of motion will challenge your quadriceps and glutes and enhance your body’s range of motion.

  1. Single Leg Lunges

To make sure both your legs are equally powerful and strong, stabilizing exercises such as single leg lunges with the Bungie Rehab Kit M394 & M397-Medicordz® are an excellent addition to any resistance training program. To make it more challenging, hold each single leg lunge as long as possible to develop an increased tolerance to lactic acid in your legs.

  1. Resisted Pool Running

To complete a full body workout session, adding in some resistance cardio can be highly beneficial. Utilizing the Safety Cord Short Belt S600-Strechcordz® allows you to get an intense interval workout to quickly up your heart rate and complete a successful workout session. Incorporating a sprint workout in the pool places minimal impact on your body and maximizes fat loss. Start by doing something like 30 seconds all out running, and then run 1 minute easy 8 to 10 times.  You don’t need a lot of pool space for this or even a lane line.  You can perform these drills in a small backyard pool, therapy pool or hotel pool.

  1. Resisted Swimming

If you are more of a skilled swimmer, opt for a resisted swim workout with the Safety Cord Short Belt S600-Strechcordz instead to get a better upper body workout as well doing your cardio.

Make 2018 Your Healthiest Year Yet

Commit to incorporating more strength training into your daily routine with practical resistance cord exercises. All the resistance training products mentioned in this post from NZ Manufacturing are portable and can be utilized in all types of places. Better health is right around the corner with NZ Manufacturing. If you have any questions about any or our products and their application, don’t hesitate to call us today at 1-800-886-6621 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to helping you have a healthier and happier 2018!

Namaste for Holidays

Namaste. One may hear this word at the beginning or end of a yoga class. Perhaps it is voiced after a unified “om” or coupled with the word “peace” in a phrase or sentence.

But what does this word mean? What does it mean to have a “Namaste attitude,” especially during the busy holiday season, which may be fraught with feelings of stress, grief, exhaustion, or frustration?

Namaste is a respectful greeting when giving a “namaskar,” which is a traditional Indian gesture of respect made by bringing the palms together in front of the chest or face while bowing to another. “Nama” means “bow”, “as” means “I”, and “te” means “you.” Namaste most literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.” Many yoga instructors will preface their uttering of Namaste by saying “The divine light in me honors and bows to the divine light in you.” At its true essence, Namaste is a symbol of gratitude and respect towards others and to oneself. When we bring our palms together in front of the heart, we are reminded of how others experience joys, successes, losses, and disappointments like how we do. When we say Namaste with sincerity, we recognize that we are more unified with others than separated from them. We begin to see how we are more whole than incomplete in our innermost being. We believe that we can be calm in the presence of stress.

We may hear and repeat the word Namaste in yoga or meditation classes, and we may even know the Sanskrit translation, but what does it mean to have a “Namaste attitude” in our everyday lives? How can we live a life of gratitude and respect when we have to wait at the post office for 30 minutes or when our distant relative asks us if we’ve gained weight since last year? A simplified answer is that we can remain in those uncomfortable moments by breathing and trusting that our discomfort is simply that – discomfort. These awkward or uncomfortable moments often have no power to harm us unless we permit them to. Give yourself permission this holiday season to choose patience over annoyance, forgiveness over grudges, and love for yourself from feelings of guilt or shame. Consider the effects of having a “Namaste attitude” on your health and well being this holiday season and into the New Year.

Wishing you Peace and Good Health,

Maureen Petrasko
NZ Manufacturing Inc.

The Edge that Strength Training in the Pool Gives to Athletes

In last month’s blog, we had a great interview with water training guru, Lynda Huey and so we thought it would be a good idea to provide additional information about the benefits of strength training in the pool.

If you missed out on last month’s interview with Lynda Huey, be sure to check it out!  Strength and resistance training in the pool provides numerous advantages for athletes who are both rehabilitating or completely healthy and just looking for a bit of an edge. With pool workouts, you can design intense training regimens that decrease risks of injury and also support less soreness to muscles and help you bounce back more quickly after training.

Minimize Wear and Tear on Your Athletes’ Bodies

For decades, professional athletes have found tremendous benefits exercising in the pool. Sprinters Jeannette Bolden and Florence Griffith Joyner were both able to train in the pool effectively when they were injured and directly have their workouts translate over to medaling on the Olympic podium thereafter.

The impact of forces on your body is greatly minimized when working out in the pool. When standing chest deep in the pool, an athlete only experiences the pressure of 10% of his or her body weight. With much less pressure on an athlete’s body, wear and tear on the joints is effectively minimized and athletes will feel much less sore the next day, while still receiving an effective workout.

Enhance Recovery Time Between Workouts

With less wear and tear on your joints and less muscle fatigue, athletes are able to recover more quickly between intense workouts in the pool. High-intensity forms of weightlifting and sprinting on dry land would never allow for athletes to perform at their best consecutive days in a row without running the risk of overtraining athletes and causing overuse injuries.

Allow Athletes to Increase Their Number of High Intensity Workouts Each Week

Because water accommodates resistance, the harder athletes push or pull through water, the more resistance their muscles will experience both in eccentric and concentric movements to produce equal levels of strength in both types of movement patterns – which is critical for preventing overuse injuries out of the water.

Due to less impact and a quicker recovery time between workouts, athletes can increase their amount of high intensity workouts per week with strength and resistance training in the pool. Because water is much more resistant than air without any gravitational forces, a 30-minute workout in the pool can give you benefits very similar to a two-hour dry-land workout. With only so much time in the day for athletes to workout, if they are in college, high school, or have other jobs, pool-based workouts are incredibly effective and valuable in saving time.

Designing a Water Workout for Athletes

Fortunately, designing workouts for athletes in the water doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. Almost any exercise your athletes do on land can be done in the water as well with the right modifications and proper equipment to further increase the effectiveness of the water workout. Many athletes and coaches find that, resistance cords can very helpful, including:

Resistance cords in combination with water dumbbells and weighted boots are most commonly used. Additionally, sport specific equipment such as baseball bats or tennis racquets are effective to incorporate as well based on the sport your athletes are engaging in.

Get the Equipment You Need for Resistance Training in the Pool

For the high-quality resistance training products you need for your athletes’ pool workouts, turn to NZ Manufacturing. Professional sports teams and coaches trust us for good reason. For just starting to introduce pool workouts to your athletes’ training regime, we suggest you also check out a water training pioneer’s book titled the Water Power Workout by Lynda Huey and Robert Forster, P.T.

For more information about using our effective, powerful resistance cords and products, feel free to reach out to us today at 1-800-886-6621 or use our online contact form.

An Interview with Lynda Huey

We recently had the pleasure of talking with Lynda Huey, MS, founder of Huey’s Athletic Network and CompletePT in Los Angeles.

She has been an avid user of our products for decades.  Lynda Huey pioneered the use of water training with both professional athletes and Olympians back in the 1980’s and is a wealth of knowledge related to water rehabilitation and training. She has authored six books on water exercise and rehab, and we currently sell both The Complete Waterpower Workout Book as well as Lynda Huey’s Waterpower Workout DVD if you’re interested in learning more about her teaching style.

In this interview, we asked Lynda to expand upon her experience with water training.

1). Tell us a little bit about your background in water training?

I was a track athlete and often swam and biked if I had an injury, but that didn’t quite do the job. I broke my foot, and when the cast came off I was still limping, so I started teaching myself to walk without a limp in a swimming pool. Then I started running, and that crossed over so that when I was able to get back to the track, I didn’t feel uncoordinated in my running as I had after swimming and biking. In addition, I started helping my teammates and other friends on the USA Olympic T&F team and soon everyone was calling me if they got hurt.

 2). What are some amazing success stories that you’ve been a part of involving water training?

My first huge success story was sprinter Jeannette Bolden in 1983. She had a stress fracture in her foot and couldn’t train so we used a stretchy band with a waistband around her waist and had her sprint in place to keep her fitness. She did strictly pool training with me for a month before the 1984 Olympic Games, came out of the pool and got a silver in the 100M and gold in the 4 x 100M relay. That taught us sprinters could stay in world-class shape even without running on land.

Florence Griffith Joyner strained her hamstring prior to the 1987 Rome World Championships. I gave her the same sprints she would have had on the track, but running on a tether in chest-deep water the same length of time she would have been sprinting. She ran her personal best 300M the day she stepped back onto the track. In Rome, she got three silvers, but the following year in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, she got three golds (100M, 200M, 4 x 100M relay) and a silver in the 4 x 400M relay.

Wilt Chamberlain had knee surgery in 1994. He couldn’t do other forms of training after his surgery, so he came to the pool religiously every day until he could play racquetball and paddle tennis again.

A popular LA TV reporter tore her meniscus on the job and scheduled a surgery. She came to our pool to shoot a segment on water rehab and I invited my co-author on three books, orthopedic surgeon Robert Klapper, MD, to participate. He told her to get in the pool and if she didn’t feel better in six weeks, she could have the surgery. But she ended up canceling the surgery, because her knee felt fine. The fibrocartilage of the meniscus had mended from a “blister” to a “callus,” as Dr. Klapper likes to say. The callus doesn’t look normal on an MRI, but it doesn’t hurt and she never needed surgery.

3). Tell us about your Aquatic Rehab Online Course and how you’ve leveraged technology to reach people in different countries around the world?

In 2014, I shot video once a month as I trained my staff on the nuances of my aquatic therapy exercises. Next came the editing into the various segments: Deep-Water Intervals, Stretches, Deep-Water Exercises, Kicking Series, Impact Exercises, Lower Body Exercises, Upper Body Exercises, Cervical Techniques, Distraction Techniques, Advanced Exercises and Sports, and Teaching Tips and Progression Principles.

In 2015, I launched the course at the International Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC) at Innisbrook, Florida. As soon as a student signs up, he or she has immediate access to the course which is 10 full-length videos, 2 shorts videos, over 100 exercises in the 300-page textbook that they can either save on their computers – or as most of my students do, print out and put into a binder for easy access. I have to say that the color photos are dazzling, both above and below water, using the same sports fitness model I’ve used in three books, LaReine Chabut. Each exercise indicates what it’s “Good For” or “Not For” to provide proper guidance in planning.

To date I’ve had over 100 students sign up from 16 countries and there have been over 30 graduates. Students progress at their own pace in their own time of convenience. Some students haven’t yet started; others do a few lessons at a time; and others race right through it in a few weeks. This is the best part of my job satisfaction: knowing people all over the world are learning my water rehab techniques and applying them to their own students. I personally mentor each student, answering their homework assignments they turn in, clarifying details I can see weren’t quite mastered, nudging them along to the next lesson. All the while, I enjoy hearing their stories of learning the exercises and how it worked with various students, clients, and patients. Yes, there’s a version for physical therapists. CECs are given from AEA, CEUs from ATRI and the CA Physical Therapy Association.

4). What were some of the early misconceptions people had about water exercise?

The same misconceptions they have today, unfortunately. It’s NOT just for little old ladies in shower caps, although that’s a strong part of the audience for it. It’s for everyone, all the way up to the world’s best athletes.

Interested in Learning More About Lynda Huey’s Water Training Techniques?

If you’re interested in learning more about Lynda’s water training style feel free to browse through a PDF she authored which goes into the depth about the power and versatility of water training. Should you be interested in any of the NZ Manufacturing products that Lynda uses, feel free to reach out to our team today by phone at 800-886-6621 or through our online contact form.