Dick Hartzell-The "Rubberband Man"
Known as the "Rubberband Man" Dick Hartzell, father of three, invented the FlexBand exercise equipment and founded his company Jump Stretch, Inc. in 1980. Before that, he held numerous place-kicking records at his alma mater Youngstown State University that remained intact from the early 1960's to the mid 1990's. Since 1964 he has coached athletes on the high school, college and professional levels. He is a strength consultant for all Youngstown State University athletic programs, including the 4-time Div. 1 AA National Championship football team.
Hartzell has developed innovative ways of training athletes of all ages, in sports. He uses the bands to help athletes improve their speed, flexibility, foot quickness, vertical jump and coordination. A front-runner in the area therapeutic exercise, Hartzell is able to reduce "downtime" from sprains and strains from weeks and months to literally hours and days
Consultant to Professional Sports
Coach Hartzell has set up strength training programs that utilize the FlexBand equipment for pro teams in all major sports. The Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Charlotte Hornets, and Miami Heat purchase bands on a regular basis. Many of their trainers consult with Hartzell throughout the season, especially when injuries occur.
Coach Hartzell operates the Jump Stretch Fitness Center, an all-rubberband gym, in Youngstown, Ohio. Since its opening in January of 1998, hundreds of athletes, junior high through professional, have come there to train. At the gym a typical workout begins with a stretching and flexibility warm-up that focuses on strengthening the ankles, hamstrings and shoulders to. After that, the athletes perform resisted running drills improve speed and foot quickness and they do explosive squats and resisted toe raises to improve their vertical jump.
Numerous high schools and colleges across the country have set up their own "rubberband rooms"-smaller versions of the Fitness Center- to facilitate cross training. Youngstown State University was the first, while others include Liberty University, the University of Kansas and West Virginia University.
Hartzell is the foremost speaker in the country on alternative strength training methods. During his motivational presentations, at age 61 he can do a full split, and can jump on his ankle to prove that his ankle strength-training program really works. With more than 20 years in the rubber band strength-training arena, no one knows more about band training than the "Rubberband Man" himself.