"Warming up for a triathlon can be problematic. Competitors
want to prepare their bodies for the strain they're about to
experience from swimming, biking and running. One drawback is that,
sometimes, you can't get into the water to warm up for the swim.
That's why StrechCordz® are an integral part of my warm-up
StrechCordz with handles are swim-specific tools for
strength training, but you don't have to be in the water to use
them. When I can't physically swim before a triathlon, I use
StrechCordz on dry land to warm up.
I swim five days a week, and I use StrechCordz five days a
week. They're part of all of my training. The exercises I can do
using StrechCordz improve both my strength and speed in addition to
helping me warm up at races. They're also useful for over-speed
work, and they help improve my stroke and efficiency in the
The resistance I get from using StrechCordz is similar to
using weights at a gym. Instead of piling more weight on a machine,
I change my position to increase or decrease the resistance of the
tubing during my workouts. When my yellow resistance level stopped
being challenging, I moved up to the green resistance
After nearly 20 years of swimming and competing in
triathlons, StrechCordz continue to have and hold a place in my
training because they are so adaptable. They transitioned across
sports as I brought them along with me from my career as a swimmer
to a professional triathlete. StrechCordz helped me reach my
potential as an athlete, and that's why I like them for other
Some people might look at the price of a StrechCordz product
and think 'Why would I pay $30 for elastic resistance tubing?' I
would encourage those individuals to buy a StrechCordz product.
Used diligently, they will improve efficiency, speed, power,
strength and endurance for any user. It's a small price to pay for
a big personal improvement to the athlete in all of us.
A word to the wise, though: StrechCordz are made for
professional athletes and provide much more resistance than you
might imagine. When you select a resistance level, err on the side
of caution. You can always increase reps if need be, but a tube
that's stronger than you won't do much good."
Andy describes one of his most reliable exercises with
"I use it for a standard free style smooth stroke. I attach
the StrechCordz to a pole, fence post or backstroke flagpole,
making sure the attachment is higher than my head. Then I bend at
the waist until my upper body is in a horizontal position, and I
practice my free style swimming with fingertips pointed down,
emphasizing high elbow all the way through the top of the stroke
through the finish."
Editor's Note: Andy Potts is an Olympic triathlete, two-time
winner of the USAT Triathlete of the Year award and 2007 Ironman
70.3 World Champion.
StrechCordz® introduced its latest product this month with the
Stretch and Mobility Strap. It was developed as a new dual stretch
strap with one strap made of nylon webbing connected to a stretch
The Stretch and Mobility Strap is designed for stretching that
generates isometric contractions to achieve greater flexibility.
Its elastic side allows users to ease into a stretch until the
static webbed side is engaged. Once this point is reached, the
static strap facilitates deep stretches. It has applications in
aquatic therapy, rehabilitation and fitness programs as well as any
resistance exercise program.
This strap can be used with resistance exercises, yoga practice
or running. Cyclists and triathletes can also work with this strap
to improve flexibility. This multi-purpose tool is a valuable aid
for those who need to stretch more.
The Stretch and Mobility Strap is sold through an international
network of dealers serving professional trainers, therapists and
fitness facilities, and at many retail and online sporting goods
stores. It is also available direct at www.StrechCordz.com. Contact email@example.com for
more information or ordering details.
"When you're training professional athletes and Olympians,
you need products that can withstand the most rigorous athletic
demands without diminishing in effectiveness or compromising the
safety of athletes. In my fifteenth year of coaching, and after
having been a professional speed skater myself for 13 years, I've
found that TurfCordz® resistance training products meet and exceed
Our speed skaters use the Modular Sprint & Speed Belt, a
TurfCordz product that allows them to build muscle in their hips
and legs while honing the technical points of their turn mechanics.
We use three cables in the black resistance level (25-24 pounds)
attached to the belts between skaters five to six days every week
during training. If we're not utilizing the product for training,
then we're using it to warm up.
Under that kind of daily strain, the cables still last
anywhere between 3-5 years, and it's very rare that we have a cable
break on us. If we do, TurfCordz has implemented safety features
within the rubber tubes to lessen the chance of injuries, including
Safety Cord, which prevents a broken cable from snapping forward
and hitting the user.
The Sprint & Speed Belt also functions as a teaching
tool because if skaters aren't leaning forward in the proper
position, the cables pull their hips out of position, preventing
them from delivering as much power to the ground. The consistency
of the elastic within the product is another major advantage of
TurfCordz. It doesn't break down quickly, allowing skaters to rely
on that stretch within the tubes to learn how to control their
That level of quality is clearly noticeable. When traveling
abroad to compete, we've had some European teams approach us to ask
what we're using. After seeing the products, I've even been asked
to place orders for the same products for them, and I am more than
happy to do it! As a skater and as a coach, the quality of
the product is what keeps bringing me back to it after 20 years. It
was top notch then, and it's top notch now."
Editor's Note: Ryan Shimabukuro is the National Long Track Team
Coach for US Speedskating. He was a member of the National Sprint
Team in 1991, 1995 and 1997. He's coached two Olympic Gold
Medalists and one Bronze Medalist.
"As a professional athlete and personal trainer, I use a
variety of exercise tools for my own strength training and when
working with my clients. Among the mass of training products
available, NZ Manufacturing's TurfCordz® brand of resistance
exercise products has made a strong and positive impression on me
over the past four years.
I use TurfCordz products during the off-season for endurance
and strength training. One way I use them is to incorporate
resistance tubing into supersets with free weights. The resulting
"burn" is something that lifting weights alone can't provide. I was
so impressed with the results and product quality that I began
using TurfCordz products with my personal training
Many of my clients are busy businessmen and soccer moms who
don't always have time to go to the gym. They need a solution that
we can work with together and that they can use for home workouts.
TurfCordz products are easily transportable and can be used in
small spaces indoors and outdoors for a great workout. They are
sturdy, durable and versatile. And they are safe.
No professional athlete wants to be injured while working
out, and no personal trainer wants a client to be injured. The
safety features built into TurfCordz products are notable. Their
metal connections, safety straps and overall design seems much more
professional than those cut-to-size exercise bands and tubes that
require users to tie on attachments before working out.
Knowing that TurfCordz products have these safety features
gives me the peace of mind to use them in high intensity workouts
without worrying about a tube breaking and slapping me or a client
in the back of the head. I really haven't seen any other resistance
exercise product that is its equal.
In today's competitive market, customer service is often the
deciding factor for determining what makes a good company. NZ
stands behind its products, and that makes me confident that I can
stand behind them too when I am using them myself and with my
clients. In fact, I think so highly of NZ Manufacturing and its
products that I am going to become a distributor."
Editor's Note: Derek Wabbington is an all-star power forward for
the Arizona Scorpions in the American Basketball Association.
A new StrechCordz® stretch-band was introduced to the aquatic
exercise market in January.
Pool Aqua Band was developed with input from Ann Anthony, a
certified aquatic trainer and inventor of Hydro-Pilates. It
features exercise tubing with a cuff attached to one end and handle
to the other end. It has applications in aquatic therapy and
rehabilitation, water aerobics and aqua fitness programs, and
dry-land resistance exercise programs.
Anthony also developed an in-water resistance exercise program
for the Pool Aqua Band to improve tone and develop leg power. Her
program includes knee and hip extensions, abduction and adduction
lifts, and several stretching exercises. The program is available
on the Hydro-Pilates website, www.hydropilates.com.
Pool Aqua is for public, private and home swimming pool use.
Like all StrechCordz resistance exercise products, it is available
in multiple levels of resistance distinguished by color-coded
handles: blue - heavy; red - medium heavy; green - medium; yellow -
light medium; and silver - light.
It is sold through an international network of dealers serving
professional coaches, trainers, athletes and fitness facilities,
and at many retail and online sporting goods stores. It also is
available direct at www.StrechCordz.com.
Nothing cools you off quite like a dip in the pool. Yet, while
swimming is one of the best and most popular forms of exercise,
there are many other options for a refreshing aqua fitness workout.
Like resistance workouts, aqua aerobics, water walking and even the
new Latin-inspired "aqua zumba." Plus, since aqua fitness increases
cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscle strength and balance
in a fun and social way, it's quickly becoming a favorite among all
Almost everyone - from top athletes and dancers to people with
health issues, the elderly and even pregnant women - can enjoy the
benefits of aqua fitness. For starters, this form of exercise
doesn't require you to know how to swim. It's typically performed
in water that's only up to your waist or chest. What's more, aqua
To optimize your aqua fitness regime, try visiting the pool
3-5 times a week - gradually increasing the
intensity of your workout - and be sure to use the right tools.
International Olympians and novice swimmers alike request NZ
resistance products. Our new StrechCordz Pool Aqua
Band - tested and approved by national instructors - can
be used for upper and lower extremities both in water and on
dryland. The StrechCordz Long
Belt Slider improves acceleration, strengthens finishes and
improves IM times. And, our StrechCordz Stationary Swim
Trainer helps with proper hip rotation and stroke
Whatever form of aqua fitness you try - always follow safety rules
for the water, use the buddy system and never swim or perform aqua
fitness alone. As with any exercise program, consult with your
health care provider before you begin.
Grand Canyon National Park: "The Rim
to Rim hike was an experience I will never forget," stated NZ
Manufacturing president, Maureen Petrasko during a recent interview
of her travels to the Grand Canyon National Park. The picturesque
18 mile hike began at the South Rim of the canyon on Kaibab Trail
descending down into the canyon and returning up Angel Falls Trail.
A Rim to Rim required pre-planning since bookings for lodging at
the canyon can be up to two years in advance.
A championship season for swimming
is a way for all the student-athletes to see whether or not all of
their hard work has paid off throughout the year. Well, this
year was like any other year and was successful because of the work
ethic of all involved. As the team got closer to the
tournament season, many of the swimmers used devices to bring their
speed up including the Long
Belt Slider. This device enables the coach to have the
swimmer swim against it from the block end to work on keeping the
stroke long and powerful. Once they reach the other end, they
switch the belt to the front of the body and they are assisted by
the tension of the cord to the block end. This device enables
to "feel" what it feels like to swim fast! This type of
training gives the swimmer confidence going in to the last part of
the season. They are able to feel the speed and given
confidence to keep up the speed. All swimming strokes may be
used with this device as long as the coach follows general
guidelines. As a coach for the Cuyahoga Falls High School, we
used this for many of our student-athletes to promote what they are
able to do and make them realize how strong they are. When I
coach the CFYN-USA team members, we still use this device but
sometimes in different strengths to match the needs of the swimmer
to the piece of equipment.
Another product that we used quite a bit were the StretchCordz with Handles. This
product was used as part of our dryland program to reinforce proper
mechanics and technique out of the water. One use that we always
try to reinforce is to complete the routine with speed. The swimmer
needs to remember to not slow down when they are out of
water. They were asked to complete a set of either 30 seconds or
complete a set of how many strokes that you take in the 50 or 100
according the stroke that you are swimming. This exercise gives
confidence to the swimmer in preparation for the championship
As a coaching staff, we had great performances at all levels of
competition including but not limited to at Sectionals, Districts,
State, Leagues, Zones, USA Silver and Gold, and Y Nationals.
I believe part of our success was hinged on the products that we
use from NZ Manufacturing on a weekly basis.
Whether the products give our swimmers aid in performance, speed,
strength, or endurance it is clear that the use of products aided
their performance at the end of the year. Many of the
athletes competed as well as they did because of the assistance of
these products and the knowledge they obtained from using
them. As a coach, I was pleased with the results this year
and am already looking forward to what we are able to do next
If you're running the Boston Marathon on April 16,
congratulations! It's quite an achievement to be participating in
the oldest city marathon in the world. In fact, this historic race
began in 1897 with just 18 runners. Now the elite international
road race annually attracts more than 20,000 registered
participants (26,895 people in 2011), including top athletes from
around the world. Not to mention more than 500,000 spectators
lining the streets between Hopkinton and the finish line in
If you aren't participating this year, keep in mind that the 117th
Boston Marathon is scheduled for Monday, April 15, 2013. According
to the Boston
Athletic Association website, next year's applications
will be accepted beginning September 2012. And, remember, the
Boston event is one of the very few marathons that require you to
meet a qualifying time before you even can enter. "The Boston
Marathon is a huge, elite event," says Maureen
Petrasko, president of NZ Manufacturing. "It's for the
serious runner - very serious runner." So, if you're determined to
qualify, step up your game plan now!
Training for a marathon is a major undertaking that requires time
and motivation, as well as a certain level of fitness. You should
be able to run for at least 30 minutes without stopping before you
even consider such an enormous feat. During your actual training,
your mileage should gradually increase each week, with your longest
run being 18-20 miles. Here are our other "super-six tips" to
Only 1% of people around the world can say they've actually
finished a marathon. And you're about to be one of them! So good
luck with your training and remember to have fun!
For those of you who started off the New Year with high
expectations of setting some fitness goals, getting into fitness
routine and then have fallen short of those goals, I just want to
say it is never too late!
One of the easiest ways to begin is by just moving and putting one
step in front of the other. Sounds a bit corny doesn't it? Walking
and/or jogging are one of the most accessible forms of exercise as
you can accomplish a 20 minute workout virtually anywhere.
Regular aerobic activity helps improve cardiovascular health, helps
in aiding weight loss, reduces stress, and boosts your energy
level. All of this is positive. This will give you your own
personal satisfaction. You are doing this for you! Remember
that before beginning an aerobic training program, check with your
So, are you ready to start? You may just want to run or
you may want the challenge and excitement of signing up for a race
- maybe a 5k - which is 3.1 miles. The shared fear with all
runners, beginners to seasoned are concerns about being
last. You will soon realize all runners come in different
shapes, ages, and sizes. With this in mind, runners also have
different speeds. If you never ran before start walking and add
running in between. Gradually you will be running more than
walking. You can get running advice and support at numerous
outlets: local fitness facilities, running groups, running
specialty stores, and online.
I started running when I was 38. I was asked by a friend to
run a local 4 miler. So, training began - 15 years later and
all kinds of races I'm still running and enjoying it. If you have
read my posts in the past, you will know that I am advocate of
cross training. Make sure you mix-up your fitness routine so that
you do not get bored doing the same thing as well as minimizing
joint and muscle injury. Cross training alternatives may include:
swimming, yoga, weight training and/or biking to name a few.
So, it's time to refocus on your New Year's resolution and set a
goal - but be realistic. Sign up for a local 5K. Fill
out that race form and now you have motivation. Train
properly and always have fun! Get to the starting line with a
smile on your face! The race starts - you do what you trained for -
you run. When you cross that finish line, and people are
cheering you on - you will have the biggest smile - because you did
In good health,