Health Tips > Fitness Files > Build Functional Movement and Strength with ViPR

Build Functional Movement and Strength with ViPR

View All Section Pages

Build Functional Movement and Strength with ViPR

Settling into a routine at the gym can be rewarding, but also challenging. It’s important to mix up your workouts to keep your body working to maintain optimal levels of fitness. Whether you are in the habit of using weight machines, taking group classes or working with kettle bells or other forms of equipment, a great tool to incorporate into your routine is the ViPR. Cooper Fitness Center Directors of Fitness Mary Edwards, MS, and Carla Sottovia, PhD, explain the ViPR and its role in total-body training.

What is ViPR?

ViPR is a rubber, hollow, weighted tube with handles, and it is used for total body training under the concept of “Loaded Movement Training.” ViPR stands for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning. “This tool can be used in any portion of a workout or as an entire workout,” explains Edwards. “We use it at Cooper for mobility, strength and conditioning.” ViPR can be used for movements that include both the upper and lower body and that simulate a specific task, such as lifting, shifting, dragging and tilting.

“Using the ViPR actually trains your body to perform everyday movements that should be basic and functional in nature,” says Sottovia. “Training with the ViPR can help your body stay in proper form when you’re at home lifting a large basket of laundry, or if you are constantly hoisting large items over your shoulder at a farm.”

ViPR differs from other tools such as kettlebells and medicine balls because of the length of the rubber tube. “It increases the lever arm of load, which makes the entire body stabilize against the load of the tube,” says Edwards. Its shape, material, handles and length also make it easy for users to perform a variety of movements that may not be feasible with kettlebells or medicine balls.

Proper Form

Without proper form, strain and injury can occur when using ViPR. “A person needs to be prepared to handle the load of the ViPR as well as the dynamic impact of the load on the body,” explains Edwards. “Some basic mobility movements can be used with even the beginner client. As progression occurs, any movement can be incorporated into training, but it’s important to be able to stabilize the core throughout the exercise.” Sottovia notes that like other types of training, a movement and health screen assessment is recommended prior to ViPR use. “Being able to do basic movement patterns such as a squat, lunge, hip hinge and shoulder lift is important before trying the ViPR,” she says.

Training for Success

Working with a professional fitness trainer to learn how to use ViPR is the key to successfully implementing the training into your exercise routine. “Trainers offer guidance with the technique,” says Sottovia. “Additionally, they can teach you the many different movements that can be done with ViPR.” Edwards explains that because form and proper posture alignment are essential when using ViPR, it is often more helpful for a trainer to show a client how to use the tool as opposed to simply explaining it. “The trainer should also explain the concept of ‘loaded movement,’ which is the ability for the body to stabilize against dynamic external load, which is the weight of the ViPR tool itself,” she says.

Both Edwards and Sottovia emphasize the use of ViPR can be incorporated into any workout routine. It can be used as a warm-up, mixed in as a form of cardio or strength training or even used as a cool-down mechanism. Additionally, the tool isn’t limited to use in the gym – try taking it outside and completing your workout on a grassy or sandy surface.

For more information about ViPR and how a professional fitness trainer can help you include the loaded movement training into your workout routine, visit or call 972.233.4832. 

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.