Within the fitness and rehab realm, there are always new innovations and ideas focused on improving the user experience. If the individual can stay engaged on the task at hand or find new challenges, then outcomes and satisfaction can improve! A product within the industry, BlazePod, can do just that. Several weeks before, I reviewed the BlazePod, be sure to go check it out before reading further. BlazePod is continuously improving its product and provides several accessories to maximize its use.
They wanted to make sure that readers knew about all of their products that expand the possible uses of the pods. I got my hands on them and am ready to give you the details to make sure your money is well spent.
BlazePod Accessories Review
Within the accessory kits, I received:
- Functional adapter (8)
- Cone adapter (4)
- Podbase (4)
- Suction cup (4)
- Strap (4)
Highlighting the packaging may seem redundant, but there is certainly a reason it’s brought up again. The color scheme is the same as the previous with the BlazePod logo on top and “Flash Reflex Training” embossed on the side.
What is notable is how the packaging comes apart. There is an outer shell that the box of accessories slides into. There are also holes and areas where the thumb grips are so you can easily remove or store the items. The user isn’t having to rip the packaging open or find new storage space for them later. There are small cards that show what is included to ensure you received everything the user ordered.
If the user has to store them for long periods of time or travel, I trust that they will be protected if the box becomes damaged. They also stack well allowing for minimum space necessary for storage in luggage or a clinic.
Within the accessory kit provided, there are four dark gray functional adapters. The adapters are darker than the gray on the BlazePod. This is likely to differentiate between the pod and adapter to ensure proper use of the equipment.
The pods snap into the adapter but are easily removed with little effort. I was able to put a pod into the adapter and attach several of the other accessories to it, throwing the pod up in the air, swinging it around, and at times dropping it. The pod did not appear to move or even become dislodged despite the abuse it took
With the adapters, they are dark gray like the functional adapters, designed to fit on what appears to be any size cone. The plastic is thick but light in weight; these are not cheaply made. The top has 3 prongs that allow for the BlazePod holders to snap into.
Snapping the BlazePod adapter onto the cone adapter took several moments to line things up, but minimal force was required to snap the holder in place. The functional adapter does not shift around once snapped on. It is easily removed pushing one of the snaps away from the functional adapter to disengage.
Another accessory provided is the Podbase. These are made out of the same blue dense rubber used in the construction of the BlazePod, allowing for a bigger surface area for the pod. There is a honeycomb pattern underneath that allows flexibility but reduces the weight of the product. The entire base is one piece that prevents parts from breaking off when fitting the BlazePod into place. The dense rubber will also create friction on whatever surface to prevent it from sliding away during activity.
What I love about this is there are no rubber stoppers like you would see on a laptop computer. I’ve had too many products where the rubber stoppers fall off due to the glue drying out. I then have to find other ways to prevent my product from sliding if it gets bumped or moved.
While all the BlazePod itself is water-resistant, the accessories are also weather resistant. This means if they’re left out after a hard day of training, they won’t degrade due to the elements.
Suction cups & straps
The final pieces of the BlazePod accessories are the suction cups and straps that attach to the functional adapters. These are pretty standard pieces of equipment though I will highlight a few features.
The suction cups fit snugly into the functional adapter with minimal effort. They can be used on any non-porous surface, doing an excellent job at staying in place when interacting with the BlazePod. The stem of the suction cup is thick and it doesn’t appear as though it will break easily.
The straps are five feet in length and have a ladder lock buckle for easy security and release of the strap. They thread into the cradle to allow for securing to vertical or uneven objects.
Physical Therapy applications
In the last post, I briefly discussed a variety of ways that BlazePod could be used within the rehab world. Taking into consideration the BlazePod accessories, this blows the doors of the possibilities!
Using the suction cups, overhead activities to reach for certain heights or even jumping can be achieved using a visual cue for the patient. They can be placed on the wall to work on continuous movement, hitting the lights as they go. It could be used for reaction timing as seen below to focus on hand-eye coordination. They could also be part of a work conditioning program for repetitive overhead activities.
The straps could be used in a variety of ways to work on ADL’s within the home. They could be used for standing reach exercises within a kitchen or bathroom, improving confidence in those settings. They can challenge patients to improve their spatial awareness and reaction time following a stroke or brain injury.
BlazePod is an excellent tool when working an individual through sequencing or learning a new drill. Having the ability to change the visual stimulus instantly or allowing for one action to initiate another action can be crucial in working with daily activities such as driving or other light machinery.
Another possibility for the straps is that the pods could be attached to various objects as part of safety training within a room. The patient could walk and hit the BlazePod when navigating an obstacle with the activity timed by how quickly the pods are hit. Going further, with low vision individuals, the light is bright enough that they could navigate the room, hitting the checkpoints as they see them learn a consistent path and prevent falls.
The cone adapters are excellent for focusing on pattern recognition or reaction times to improve neuromuscular function around objects. The podbase can be used to work on waist level or floor level activities to improve peripheral vision and speed workouts. They are also heavy enough that if they are hit, the pod won’t move as easily or stop functioning. This allows the therapist to focus on patient safety over equipment functionality.
These are just a variety of ideas that can be used as a Physical Therapist in a variety of settings.
BlazePod App & Site
In the previous article, the BlazePod app was discussed with several preloaded programs that a patient can be taken through. There were custom features that can be programmed to design anything the individual wants. Check out the website, BlazePod.com, there are even more ideas available along with several blog posts detailing additional uses.
There is another feature on the site, the Tests page, that allows the user to focus on specific testing to address a variety of uses. The beep test can be used to test VO2 Max, the 4×10 Shuttle test can be used to assess acceleration/deceleration, or the Plank and reach test, assessing core strength and stamina.
Any provider can set the tests up and have the patient/athlete run through the tests easily. They can constantly assess for compensations, deviations, or inefficiency with movement. The app has a timer, freeing up the provider to assess if someone’s reaction time is slowing or changing direction a certain way is more difficult. The records are saved and compared against previous attempts to show progress over time.
Finally, looking at the cost of the accessories is really reasonable. If you’ve already spent the money on the standard or trainer kit, the accessories don’t break the bank. The functional adapter kit is $19 and comes with two straps, two suction cups, and two functional adapters. The cone adapter kit is $29 and comes with two cone adapters and two functional adapters.
The PodBase adapter is only $22 with greater quantities coming at a discount. For a set of 4, the price is only $69. Add in the other accessories for pricing, and the total investment is just under $120.
Two of the issues that I had during my first article were rectified during this review. First, the accessories were provided and were very cost-effective. They expand the ability to use the pods in a variety of ways.
Second, I had noted that a light touch does not register when touching the pod. With how the pods will be used, the materials need to be durable enough to withstand a harder hit without breaking. Also, I noted that I was striking with the tips of my fingers whereas when you strike with a flat palm or more of the hand, the hit registers more consistently.
These accessories are great if you are working in a gym, facility, clinic, school, rehab facility, or even want to address your own health. This product with the accessories will not make the user alone a better provider. But it is an excellent tool that can only enhance the possible interventions and challenges for patients and clients.
The BlazePod and BlazePod accessories are seriously worth purchasing if you’re looking for something dynamic and exciting. The BlazePod itself is cool, but their use along with the accessories is what really puts it over the top for me. This is not a piece of equipment to be bought and thrown into storage to be occasionally used. You will quickly get your money’s worth and keep the individuals you are working with fully engaged.
Thank you to BlazePod and Uproar PR for their assistance in completing this review.