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Why You Need Minelab Manticore & Equinox Counterweights For Metal Detecting

Why You Need Minelab Manticore & Equinox Counterweights For Metal Detecting

Why You Need Minelab Manticore & Equinox Counterweights For Metal Detecting

You don’t pick long items up by their ends, you naturally grab them by the middle, which balances the weight evenly. However, if we are forced to hold something by the end, we generally don’t hold it up high in front of us, as it gets more difficult to hold if we lift it parallel with the ground. 

Your arm is a lever, and you want to hold weight in front of you with the most ease and efficiency. Your muscles provide the force to balance that weight.

In the case of lifting the detector, there is a rotational force (torque) that takes place on the elbow joint, and the Biceps muscle acts like a cable attached to your forearm that allows you to lift the detector off the ground. 

Without the Biceps muscle your forearm would just hang down towards the ground. 

If the rotational force of the detector outweighs the force of your biceps muscles, then the body will recruit other muscles, this is called compensation. 

The body compensates by rolling your shoulder forward, arching the back, leaning more on one leg, and rotating. Rolling the shoulder forward and displacing the elbow behind the body is a trick the body uses to shorten the lever distance, making the weight easier to hold. 

If the back doesn’t arch, then the compensation will go into the hips, which ultimately take the back hostage. Many people have back issues because their hips and legs are so tight. You can see this especially in people who don’t seem to have any natural curves to their lower spine. 

The detector is an extension of your arm, the further out the coil is away from your body, the heavier the coil feels. Using a counterweight literally “counters” that force your muscles have to exert to lift the detector, allowing the weight to travel down through your skeleton evenly. 

In Africa people walk long distances with extremely heavy pots on their heads. They do this because it’s actually a very efficient way to manage weight. 

Not only is it easier to sense when the pot will fall off, but every millimeter you tilt your head forward the weight of that pot gets heavier for your neck muscles to hold up. 

If the pot were glued to your head, by the time your head was parallel with the ground, the pot would feel the heaviest and your neck would be under unbearable strain.

Believe it or not the average weight of a human head is 11 pounds. The reason why “forward head posture” exists in our society is because people are constantly displacing the weight of their head all day long at work looking at computer screens. This causes the muscles in the neck and back to have to work exceedingly hard to hold your head up, and ultimately contributes to what's called a Dowager's Hump where the neck meets the back. 

This is a perfect example of why it’s so important to create proper balance when doing long-term endurance exercises like metal detecting. 

You might not notice pain or discomfort while detecting, that’s normal. Most people don’t feel the repercussions of their habitual movement patterns until much further down the road. Taking the attitude of ‘I don’t care, I’ll deal with physical issues later’ is just sabotaging yourself. Instead do yourself a favor and use healthy preventative methods like using our counterweight to allow you to detect for much longer into the future. 

Many people will say “well I’m strong enough to hold a detector up, I’m not a wuss!” 

We can just ask those people to see how long they can hold a detector out in front of them without their body compensating in any way– that means your weight has to stay over your midfoot/toes, your shoulder cannot lift or roll forward at all, your body cannot twist, and your back cannot arch.

The muscles that are required to keep your detector coil in the air are not endurance muscles. The detectorist is unaware when other muscles are recruited and start to compensate for the lack of strength in the arm. 

Anybody can guess that habitually rolling your shoulder forward and arching your back can lead to serious pain issues later down the road. There is also the fact that when only one side of the body is holding all the weight, the other side must do something entirely different to compensate for that! It can get very messy and complicated. 

Most detectorists don’t even have good form to begin with. You put a detector in their hands and they immediately tilt their head down, hunch their back, and twist their body. Mostly due to the fact they did not adjust the length of the detector properly for their height in the first place. 

Tips For Better Posture While Metal Detecting

  • Keeping your body straight and loose is important. When you walk normally your arms swing, and your hips and torso twist allowing your body to act like a natural spring. Too stiff, and your body cannot absorb the shock of every step you take, resulting in your joints taking a beating. Allowing your body to twist while you swing your detector will help save your hips and back from a lot of pain down the road.
  • Another tip is to hunt with your ears more than your eyes, that way you don’t tilt your head down for long periods of time and end up hunched over. If you have to look down, use your eyes, don’t cock your whole head forward or hunch your upper torso. 
  • Hold your detector lightly in your hand. Gripping too hard will cause your muscles to become rigid and overworked, and cause your shoulder to roll forward. 
  • Take long even swings, keeping your coil close and level to the ground. This will help you cover more ground when gridding an area off. Swinging shorter swings on the other hand taxes your forearm and wrist.


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