It may be getting flaunted by the likes of David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo, but the latest ‘it’ accessory in the global sports circuit — a shiny rubber wrist band called the ‘Power balance’ bracelet — is being touted by critics as quite a gimmick.
The UK-based makers of the £ 30 band claim that these glorified bracelets improve a sportsperson’s body balance, strength and flexibility. But the kinesiology, or muscle tests, by the firm to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product are being termed ‘bogus’ by many groups.
One such group, called Australian Skeptics, has even put together a video to show how such ‘tests’ can be faked simply by subtly changing the direction in which pressure is applied to the tester’s body. Closer home, desi sports stars are clueless about the wristband, and can’t help but laugh at the fuss.
“It has to be con trick. If bands can help sportspersons, then any regular guy can bring home a medal,” says Sushil Kumar, Olympian wrestler. Boxer Vijender Singh says, “I haven’t heard about this band, but yes, I tie a black thread on my leg when I am in the ring. It helps me psychologically; this band may do the same for some.”
To polo player Uday Kalan, “the band seems like a mental trick.” “It is only a make-believe self-help tool. Even people like Chetan Anand and Saina Nehwal wear something similar, making it more of a fashion statement,” feels badminton champion Trupti Murgune.
Health experts, too, question the logic. Says Deckline Leitao, fitness trainer: “It’s a mindless gimmick, just like footballers preferring the number 10 jersey. A bracelet helping your game is about as believable as a ring given by a baba.”