Soloflex refers to both the Soloflex exercise machine and to Soloflex, Inc., the company that created and produces it. Instead of pulley, the Soloflex used an elastomer Weightstrap made of heavy-duty rubber to create variable resistance. The company started out as Bucksteel Mfg in Roswell, New Mexico in a small plant on the old Army Air Force base south of town.
Soloflex, Inc. was established in 1978 by Jerry Wilson. The idea behind the weight straps came from Jerry's days flying small airplanes. The resistance on the plane's controls came from the bungee cord. Jerry used this idea to create the Weightstraps that provide enough resistance to equal large amounts of free weight.
In 1980, the company relocated to Hillsboro, Oregon. After the move to Oregon, Bucksteel changed its name to Soloflex. Over time, several additions to the machine were made such as butterfly attachments and leg extensions. The newest product addition is the Soloflex Whole Body Vibration (WBV) Platform. Vibrating while you’re lifting weights is thought to magnify the conditioning effects to help promote faster muscle growth.
Soloflex machines use an elastic element to provide resistance which means "As any spring or elastomer is stretched the force required to keep it moving increases exponentially. The barbell arm is a variable geometry lever that increases in leverage exponentially to match the force required. The result - a predictable and constant load to the user." The product also comes with an instructional DVD.
Soloflex's WBV Platform recently made news in July 2007 for a Consumer Reports review, that demonstrated it had been using claims from research that may not apply to their machine. "At press time, even the research on its Web site involved competitors’ products and lab machines. Some research suggests that certain vibrating machines might help improve strength and balance, but our experts said it’s unclear whether the Soloflex would. Its vibration levels differ from those studied."
Soloflex refuted the article's comments on burning calories, but did not comment on other claims.
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