EVALUATION: Rotaflex Portable Exerciser, by Jon E. Silks
Much of the equipment we use today in the archery industry comes from companies started by a person or group of people that had current expertise in an area related to the manufacturing process needed to make their archery
product. I have lost count of how many products I have evaluated from companies that were started by a machinist, some of whom already had their own machining business.
Frank and Becky Pearson
If I buy a highly complex mechanical gadget that requires precision machining, who better to design, develop and manufacture that device than a person with experience in doing just that? If purchasing hunting clothes, who better to buy from than someone who already understands the garment making business?
The importance of this scenario is amplified when dealing with items that are used to recover from an injury or maintain a certain physical level. Who would you want developing that equipment? Me, I would
want someone who understands the body, how it works and how to repair it - a doctor!
That brings me to the Rotaflex Portable Gym System, a portable tool designed to provide the user with over 40 separate exercises for a full
body workout including back, chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, traps,
forearms, legs and more. Medical practitioner and surgeon, Dr. Bill Connelly
who is an avid bowhunter, archer and designer of the innovative Venom Peep
System, designed the Rotaflex. The decision to invent the Rotaflex came
in 1992 with completion and a production model following in 1996. We will
take a look at Bill's invention and see if it has a place in the archery
market and whom it may benefit.
The Rotaflex is designed to hit all modalities of exercise including
adduction, abduction, rotation, flexion and extension. It also combines
isometric exercise, muscle contraction without joint movement, and isotonic
exercise, muscle contraction with joint movement. Dr. Connelly calls this
Two resistance models are available, regular (pink case) and extra (black
case). The "extra" model provides 30% more resistance.
Each Rotaflex is constructed of a 2-piece plastic outer case that encloses
the inner workings. The octagon shaped case measures approximately 17"
x 19" by 1" thick and weighs less than two pounds. Inside are four bands,
two expansion bands that run along the outside of the case and two compression
bands that line the inside. These special Dynaflex Power bands are injection
molded for precise and repeatable resistance levels. Each band is secured
at each end, inside the case, with its middle exposed at an opening in
the case. Where the band is exposed there is a plastic grip handle attached
for easy handling. If the grip is on the inside there is a corresponding
immovable case section to the outside and where the grip is on the outside
the opposite is true. Some of the exercises require you to hold one hand
on an immovable section and the other on the band grip. The bands expand
and contract on self-lubricating rollers designed to hold the resistance
at a constant. When the bands reach their limit the case will actually
flex which eliminates binding. The Rotaflex is designed with moveable and immovable parts to simulate holding and drawing a bow.
Professional archers, Frank and Betty Pearson, use and endorse the Rotaflex. Frank suggests that bowhunters build up their holding stamina by pulling
the Rotaflex band back and holding it for 15 seconds, repeating for ten
minutes each day. He also suggests using the Rotaflex to warm up before
hitting the range or field.
The patented Rotaflex requires no assembly, is made in the USA and comes
with a 30-day money back guarantee and one year warranty.
My first Rotaflex couldn't have arrived at a better time. My Missouri
turkey hunt with the king of turkey calling, Matt Van Cise, was fast approaching
when an overzealous teenager injured my shoulder in a flag football game!
After an MRI and doctor visit I was diagnosed with impingement syndrome.
Ouch! The doctor prescribed physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Not wanting to miss the hunt of a lifetime I went right to work on my
therapy - with one twist. Instead of using the shoulder kit they gave me
I used the Rotaflex. At first I could barely pull the regular resistance
model back but after a short time my strength started to build. In two
weeks I was able to pull a 60-pound bow and after four weeks with the Rotaflex
a 70-pound bow came back with relative ease. I continued to use the regular
resistance model right through the hunt and for several weeks after. I
smoked two turkeys in Missouri thanks in part to the Rotaflex! Now that
I am fully recovered from the shoulder injury I have moved up to the black
"Extra" resistance model.
The pink regular resistance model is very easy to pull and may not be
of great benefit to an archer who is at full strength. My 12-year-old daughter
can compress the inner bands all the way to the center where they touch.
This model will mostly help injured male archers, women and youth. The
black Extra resistance model will keep your bow pulling muscles tuned and
ready to go at a moments notice. I am following Frank Pearson's stamina
building suggestion and can definitely feel a difference when holding my
bow for longer than normal periods.
The Rotaflex is convenient in that it is very portable and lightweight.
It is easily stored in my truck and takes up little space in the hotel
A thorough quality inspection was performed on the Rotaflex and all
seemed to be in good order. The bands moved freely and smoothly and the
case and handles were flawless.
If I were to change anything about the Rotaflex it would be the handle
size and regular resistance model color. My hands are not large at all
and they barely fit inside the notched out sections of the case when gripping
the handles. And as far as the color of the regular resistance model -
hey, you were thinking it - someone had to say it!
Effectiveness: 4 of 5
For an injured archer and to build strength and endurance, I
don't think it can get any better, however, I think an even harder model
should be offered.
Design: 4 of 5
Other than the size of the notches to accommodate larger hands as stated
before, I am pleased with the design. ...Almost forgot - change the pink!
Portability: 5 of 5
Most home gyms are larger than a suitcase making them impossible to
take with you when you travel. Not so the Rotaflex. Now when you go on
a trip for hunting or pleasure you can take your exerciser with you to
stay on your program or rehabilitation or exercise.
Ease of use: 5 of 5
It can't get any easier!
To Purchase a Rotaflex in our Online Store Click Here.