PROVO, Utah Coming soon to a home gym near you the "Y-Flex."
Built by BYU engineers, the prototype home fitness machine sports two rows of adjustable, bendable fiberglass poles with guides that simulate the feel of free-weights. The pole-guide systems are "compliant mechanisms," a special class of devices that transfer motion, force or energy without the use of movable joints, such as fingernail clippers, backpack latches and paperclips.
Playfully dubbed the Y-Flex, the machine has patent-pending technology that provides a weight-stack-free workout that feels more like weights than do other resistance-based workout machines, say engineering professors Larry Howell and Spencer Magleby.
Dr. Howell literally wrote the book on compliant mechanisms as well as more than 100 scholarly papers on the topic.