Do wristbands improve performance?

By Shawn Ma

Professional athletes from basketball players to surfers wear them. They’re a growing trend for college and high school athletes, and even non-athletes. And yet when you try to explain exactly what is it, you usually get a disbelieving laugh in response. It’s the Power Balance Performance Technology.

The Power Balance comes in either wristband or pendant form. Both feature two holograms, which are “designed to resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body,” according to powerbalance.com.

Based on concepts in some Eastern philosophies, Power Balance tries to optimize the body’s natural energy flow by treating the Mylar hologram with energy waves with a specific frequency. Through the resonances, Power Balance claims to increase strength, flexibility and balance.

While the concept of the hologram may seem laughable, star pro athletes such as the Boston Celtics’ Shaquille O’Neal and the Los Angeles Angels’ Scott Kazmir have given testimonial supporting the Power Band.

Countless other athletes, including Olympic gold-medalist volleyball player Todd Rogers, basketball World Champions Lamar Odom and Derrick Rose, and the Detriot Lions’ Matthew Stafford, to name a few, all wear Power Balance during their games.

Similarly, at the Elite 24, a gathering of elite high school basketball players, almost all of the participants wore two Power Balance wristbands. A select few who hoped to increase the Power Balance’s effect wore six wristbands.

“One of my favorite baseball players [Braves’ Martin Prado] wears one, and I thought I’d give it a try,” baseball player Wesley Peacock ‘11 said.

Peacock was convinced by the various Power Balance tests and has been wearing the wristband ever since.

Lewis Dix ’11, a standout receiver on the Wolverine’s football team, is also a strong proponent of Power Balance.

“It works tremendously well! Many people think it doesn’t work but once you try it out you’re definitely going to love the results. I wear it mainly to improve my balance while playing football,” Dix said. “It helps me to not stumble on my routes and to stay on my feet when people try to tackle me.”

Another wearer of Power Balance, Henry Braun ’11, has other reasons for using the wristbands.

“It does work in making me look really cool,” Braun said. “It may also have a positive effect on attracting the ladies.”

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