Strengthen Your Armor

It’s no secret that having a strong core is key to one’s stability, balance, and overall health. Sit-ups, ab crunch machines, and planks have traditionally been the go-to exercises to strengthen your core. But these techniques only work a portion of the muscles. In fact, more than 50 muscles comprise a person’s entire core, which is all 360 degrees of your body’s trunk. And now there’s a machine that can address all of those muscles in one 10-minute workout: The AllCore360. Local fitness instructor Mindy Duff has brought the equipment to Omaha and is helping improve people’s health one rotation at a time.

The way the AllCore360 machine works is relatively simple—if you can sit in a chair, you can use the machine. Secured in the padded seat with a lap belt and a stability ball between your knees, the chair tilts back at an angle between 90 and 0 degrees, with the latter being the most difficult setting. You start at an angle appropriate for your fitness level. The machine makes a minute-long rotation in one direction, and then another minute-long rotation in the other direction. The entire 10-minute workout consists of five rotations in each direction. Muscles throughout your entire core—front, back, and sides—are engaged at different points during the rotation.

Scott Bertrand, inventor of the AllCore360 out of Atlanta, GA, spent three decades refining and perfecting the machine. After suffering two spinal cord injuries, one during a skydiving accident while a member of the 101st Airborne, Bertrand grew frustrated with traditional rehab therapies that were limited in the number of core muscles addressed. So he set out to develop a way to strengthen the entire core, not just a few of its muscles. “It’s a lot like trying to improve your golf swing by only swinging the club a few inches,” he said. “In order for the core to be optimized, it needs to be challenged in all 360 degrees of its functionality. The only way this machine doesn’t work is if you don’t sit in it and use it.”

Similar to Bertrand, Duff spent much of her adult life suffering from chronic back issues and tried every type of therapy possible. Her journey took her to the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, FL, which helped improve her symptoms tremendously by having minimally invasive spine surgery. Because of her treatment at the Laser Spine Institute, Duff appeared on the TV show The Doctors with one of the institute’s surgeons.

After her appearance on the show, Duff kept in touch with the institute’s former CEO for several years. Then a year ago, he called Duff and introduced her to the AllCore360. “I had never seen anything like it and had to try it,” she said. “As soon as I got on the machine, I loved it. Instantly.”

Duff was so impressed she decided to purchase a machine, which is the first in the Midwest—there are currently only 60 in the field throughout the country. While looking for a permanent location, she kept it at QLI Rehabilitation Center and was amazed at how much it helped the wheelchair patient population—something that Bertrand also noted. Now Duff has space for the machine at Legacy Yoga, Pilates, and More, where she is able to easily meet clients for their 10-minute session. When done consistently three times per week, Duff said it helps improve back pain, balance, and stability—all critical for the elderly—and overall strength, muscle tone and weight loss for everyone.

Becky Wincek has been using the AllCore360 with Duff for the past six months and said she’s had noticeable improvement with her core strength, her posture has improved, and she has less back pain to the point where she has fewer visits to her chiropractor. “I’m limited in what I can do for weight lifting and other exercise because of previous shoulder surgery, but that doesn’t hamper my ability to use the AllCore360,” she said. “It’s now part of my overall health regime to keep my body as strong as I can.”

Bertrand pointed out that some of the most prominent institutions have implemented the AllCore360 into their programs, such as the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, The Kessler Foundation in New Jersey, Clemson University, Georgia Tech University, and University of Georgia. Professional athletes such as PGA golfer Jordan Spieth also routinely uses the machine. “Word of mouth has been so powerful with this,” Bertrand said. “If you know anyone who could use this machine—a stroke victim, someone with back pain, or someone wheelchair bound—they should try it.”

Duff said for her personally, the machine has revived every aspect of her life, and she wants to help as many people now as she can. “Your core is your armor for everything you do, and it protects all your vital organs. It can help everyone from paraplegics to elite athletes and should be standard equipment in all physical therapy offices, chiropractic offices, sports training facilities, and elite gyms. It will take the way you look and feel to a whole different level.”

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