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Can a Gyro Ball Help Improve Your Aim? (And What On Earth Is It?)

High-level FPS aiming, in particular, is a skill that demands a combination of motor coordination, proprioception, and endurance. 

Enter the gyroball—a simple yet effective tool that can revolutionize the way you train all 3 of these skills!

What is a Gyro Ball?

First things first, what exactly is a gyroball? Essentially, it’s a handheld device consisting of a free-spinning ball within a plastic sphere. By rotating your wrist, you can accelerate the rotational movement of the inner ball which causes rotational resistance, challenging your brain to muscle pathways and enhancing strength and control.

Gyro Ball as a Pokemon card:

Type: Ball Pokemon

Proprioception: increases body awareness of where it is in space, increases speed, precision, and movement of attack. 30.

Strength: the user increases their strength. The more of the user's stats are raised, the greater the move's power. 50.

When used 3x per week, endurance can double, leaving the user healthier for longer

Motor Coordination: The Key to Aiming Mastery

In the context of video games, motor coordination refers to the synchronized movement of your hands and fingers to achieve precise aiming. Whether you’re lining up a headshot in a first-person shooter or executing a skillshot in a MOBA, impeccable motor coordination is non-negotiable.

For more information about coordination and how it’s related to aim check out this video!

Gyroball: A Training Tool for Coordination Enhancement

Utilizing the gyroball in your gaming regimen can work wonders for improving motor coordination. By engaging in regular gyroball exercises, you’re effectively training the muscles and neural pathways responsible for precise movements. This translates directly to improvements in aiming skills such as tracking.

Exploring Proprioception and Its Role in Aiming

Proprioception, often referred to as the “sixth sense,” is your body’s ability to sense its position and movement in space. In aiming tasks, proprioception enables you to make subtle adjustments to your aim without visual feedback, crucial for maintaining accuracy during fast movements like flicks.

This may be seen as coordination, precision, speed, smoothness of movement, and even understanding how much force to apply. For gamers, this is extremely important as you need to be able to move your fingers, wrists, and arm in a fast and precise manner without error to be at the top of your game. Increased proprioception can translate to increased aiming speed and precision, which in many esports is one of the most important areas of skill. Though it is an unconscious feeling, improved proprioception helps you refine movements with greater precision. This allows aiming of a mouse or joystick, tapping a button with the right amount of pressure, or moving from one button to another with your fingers, hands, and wrists to be even more optimal in performance.

Proprioception can be impaired in individuals who experience shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand injuries. To combat this, it’s important to improve not only muscular strength and endurance, but also the interaction between your muscles and your brain. This is known as neuromuscular training, and it’s the base of what allows you to engage your muscles in the most optimal manner.

Gyroball: Elevating Proprioceptive Awareness

The gyroball’s dynamic movement challenges your proprioceptive abilities, forcing you to adapt to changes in position and orientation in real-time. By incorporating gyroball training into your routine, you’re sharpening your proprioceptive skills, leading to more consistent and precise aiming in-game.

As the research shows, the gyro ball can be used to increase both wrist strength/endurance and proprioception. That means if you’re already healthy, it can help improve your performance further and help you avoid further injury; if you’re dealing with an injury, it might be a helpful component of a treatment plan for you. By maintaining a healthy hand/wrist you can continue to perform your best.

Combatting Gaming-Related Pain with the Gyroball

Extended gaming sessions can often result in discomfort and pain, particularly in the wrists, hands, and forearms. The gyroball serves as more than just a training tool—it can also be a therapeutic device for alleviating or preventing such pain. Its gentle, low-impact movements increased muscular endurance, reducing the risk of gaming-related injuries.

Endurance: Fortifying Your Health Bar Against RSI

In the fast-paced world of gaming, where battles are waged in milliseconds and victory hinges on split-second decisions, endurance stands as the unsung hero guarding against the onslaught of repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Picture your muscles and tendons as a health bar in a game, constantly depleting with each movement, each click, each flick of the wrist. Without sufficient endurance, that health bar dwindles rapidly, leaving you vulnerable to the debilitating effects of gaming-related injuries.

Much like leveling up in a game increases your health bar, building endurance in your wrist and forearm muscles boosts your resilience against the wear and tear of prolonged gaming sessions. The gyroball serves as your training ground, where each rotation, each twist, contributes to the gradual strengthening of your health bar.

Gyroball: Increasing Endurance

As you engage with the gyroball, your muscles and tendons adapt, becoming more robust, more resistant to fatigue-induced damage. It’s akin to acquiring armor in a game, each session with the gyroball adding another layer of protection to your health bar, fortifying your defenses against the relentless assault of RSI.

By integrating endurance-focused gyroball exercises into your routine, you’re essentially investing in the longevity of your gaming career. With each spin, you’re not just honing your skills; you’re also replenishing your health bar, ensuring that you can continue to fight on, uninterrupted by the specter of gaming-related injuries. So, gear up, wield your gyroball like a seasoned warrior, and let your endurance be the shield that safeguards your gaming prowess for years to come.

Other Exercises for recovering from gaming pain

The gyroball protocols listed below are great for improving your aim and can be helpful supplemental exercises for improving your endurance to reduce pain. But if you are experiencing pain from gaming we recommend starting with the exercises in our free wrist pain guides.

If you have wrist pain from gaming Click Here

An Optimized Protocol for Gyroball To Improve Aim Training

This exercise protocol can be helpful for improving your aim and we recommend performing these exercises before you aim train to prime your motor system.

Warm-up: Begin with gentle wrist and forearm stretches to prepare your muscles for activity.

Frequency: Conduct gyroscopic training sessions three times per week. Before you aim train

Duration: Each session should last for 5 minutes

Intensity: During each session, use the Powerball gyroscope for 5 minutes 2.5 minutes in each direction (clockwise / counterclockwise)

Progression: Start with gentle movements and gradually increase the intensity and speed of the gyroscopic exercises as tolerated. You can challenge yourself by striving for higher revolutions per minute (RPM) as you become more comfortable with the device.

Cooldown: Finish your session with additional stretches and relaxation techniques to promote recovery and reduce muscle soreness.

Sample Gyro Ball Exercise

For reference, the type of Gyro Ball used in these clips is an autostart, as opposed to a cord-start, type. If you were using a cord start, you would initiate the motion of the ball by pulling the cord out quickly like starting a lawnmower.

It’s important to note that when done, you should hold the outside of the device firmly and ALWAYS let the rotor slow and come to a stop on its own. Do not try to stop the rotor with your other hand or a finger, as this may cause injury.

Step 1: Initiate the spinning by using your thumbs to wind up the ball in the opposite direction of the arrows
Step 2: Wind the ball up by pushing the ball down and pulling back, like you’d rev up a toy car.
Step 3: Slowly start moving your wrist in a circular manner (Right hand=clockwise, Left hand=counter-clockwise) while progressively building up speed. Continue the motion at a rate that you are able to control and work to build up a low level of fatigue, about 3-5 minutes.

So Should I Get A Gyro Ball?

Early research on the gyro ball shows it can be useful both as a preventative measure and as a tool to help in the rehab process of many hand conditions by increasing wrist strength, endurance, proprioception, and decreasing pain. This tool can be purchased for a reasonable price while also being small, portable, and requiring little practice to master.

Prices for gyro balls can vary greatly from $10-$200. There is no clear evidence that one brand is superior to another, but the difference that you will often find is how you are able to start your device. Some devices require you to pull a string out from the ball to initiate the spinning (Cord-start), which you then have to wind back up making it slightly more tedious. Other devices are like the one demonstrated above where you wind the rotor using your hands or a table (Autostart). Some gyro balls have LED lights that light up as you spin which doesn’t do anything for performance, but may just allow you to have a little disco party in your room. Some gyro balls also have speed counters which increase the cost, but can help to track performance. Again, there are several options out there and it is up to you to decide which one is right for you.


It is still best to consult with a doctor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or us here at 1HP if you have a suspected upper extremity injury prior to using a gyro ball as to ensure that it is safe for you.

What Does the Research Say

In a 2008 study, Balan & Garcia-Elias looked at 10 individuals (5 male, 5 female) without any injury or conditions present and the effect that a gyro ball would have on wrist strength and endurance. Participants exercised their dominant hand 2x/day for 3 mins the first 2 weeks and 5 mins the following 2 weeks. They were instructed to achieve the highest speed possible while also maintaining control. Results show that participants had a significant increase in endurance following the 1st month with a staggering 109% increase over the month. Grip strength also measured an average increase of 15% over the month, but this was just short of being statistically significant. Results were also gathered following a second month without any exercise demonstrating a 5.3% decrease in grip strength and 7.7% decrease in endurance indicating that the majority of gains remained even after ceasing use of the gyro ball.

Another study with 45 participants sought to see if the use of a gyro ball would have an effect on individuals with tennis elbow or impingement syndrome. Groups were evenly divided with a tennis elbow, shoulder impingement, and control group. Participants did the prescribed exercises for 30 minutes, 3x/week for 8 weeks. Results found that participants in both the tennis elbow and shoulder impingement group demonstrated a significant change compared to the control group after using the gyro ball. These changes consist of significant increases in shoulder, wrist, and grip strength while also noting a significant increase in shoulder and wrist proprioception and performance (Babaei-Mobarakeh et al., 2017).

In a 2020 pretest-posttest study looking at the use of a gyro ball as a treatment for nonspecific wrist pain, researchers evaluated 40 participants (20 male, 20 female) between the ages of 18-35. Researchers discovered that by using a gyro ball 3x/week for 4 weeks at 5 minutes a day, participants experienced a significant decrease in pain while also demonstrating a significant increase in grip strength following the 4 weeks. Over the 12 sessions results showed a 56.51% decrease in pain, a 12.45% increase in grip strength, and a 19.46% increase in the number of revolutions done (Landman et al., 2020).

There are some limitations to these studies, including sample size, but the data gathered still support the use of a gyro ball as an exercise device to help prevent injury OR as part of a treatment plan to recover from an injury.



Research:

Babaei-Mobarakeh, M., Letafatkar, A., Barati, A.H., Khosrokiani, Z., Effects of eight-week “gyroscopic device” mediated resistance training exercise on participants with impingement syndrome or tennis elbow, Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (2018), doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2017.12.002. 


Balan, S. A., & Garcia-Elias, M. (2008). Utility of the Powerball® in the invigoration of the musculature of the forearm. Hand Surgery, 13(02), 79–83. https://doi.org/10.1142/s0218810408003955 

Landman, D. M., Maree, J. H., & Peterson, C. (2020). The effect of the Powerball gyroscope as a  treatment device for nonspecific wrist pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 43(5), 483–489. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2019.11.002 

Lim, J.-H., & Shin, W.-S. (2016). Effects of vibration resistance exercise on strength, range of  motion, function, pain and quality of life in persons with tennis elbow. Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science, 5(4), 163–169. https://doi.org/10.14474/ptrs.2016.5.4.163 

Oksuz, C., Oskay, D., & Huri, G. (2017). Proprioception after hand and wrist injury, surgery, and Rehabilitation. Proprioception in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, 57–64. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-66640-2_6

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