Walking or running with Egg Weights — an ergonomic system for endurance and resistance training that works with the body’s natural motion — may offer a promising muscle degenerative therapy for patients with cerebral palsy.
The findings were reported by Egg Weights, a fitness and sports equipment company based in Thousand Oaks, California, following a study conducted by the University of Southern California’s Clinical Exercise Research Center.
According to the study, participants who walked while using Egg Weights showed a 55 percent increase in VO2/kg/min (maximal oxygen consumption, a measure of aerobic capacity), a 62 percent increase in kcal/min (burned calories per minute), and a 28 percent increase in heart rate than when they walked without the devices. Running with Egg Weights resulted in 24 percent higher VO2/kg/min, 28 percent higher kcal/min and a 17 percent faster heart rate.
Besides testing Egg Weights with ultrarunners, triathletes, fitness experts, coaches and professional athletes, the company is also trying out its device with United Cerebral Palsy Los Angeles (UCPLA), with encouraging results so far.
“After we launched our Facebook page, we were contacted by a few individuals suffering from muscular degeneration diseases. I reached out to my local United Cerebral Palsy regional office and donated some Egg Weights and hand straps for testing,” company founder Christian Malcolm said in a news release.
Added UCPLA’s chief development officer, Amy Simons: “People with spastic cerebral palsy have difficulty keeping their hands open. Their muscles want to contract and pull the fingers and palm into a tight fist. Using the Egg Weights with the straps, they are seeing benefits. Just having the clients hold the weights for an extended period keeps the muscles from tightening.”
Egg Weights can be centered in the palm of the hand. Since they don’t exceed the hand’s circumference, they increase the intensity of any exercise or functional movement while working with the body’s natural walking, jogging or running form. Unlike a traditional dumbbell shape, Egg Weights do not alter or obstruct functional movement during exercise. Each shape, size and weight has its own unique characteristic that can be customized to match any fitness level.
“They enjoy the egg weights and love the structure of it,” said Alex Contreras, assistant athletic director at the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club, which is also testing the devices.