FLEXI-BAR® Training Benefits
FLEXI-BAR® finally makes it possible to target and strengthen deep muscle tissue in a simple manner. The vibrations created by the swinging motion of the FLEXI-BAR® elicit a unique physical response deep inside the body: a reflexive contraction of the core muscles, something which cannot be done consciously.
Thus, while the swinging motions of the FLEXI-BAR® are actively created, they also passively strengthen the core muscles of the body, by engaging the body’s own reaction to the vibrations. Achieving a certain number of oscillations per minute will not only give you a great strength-endurance workout but will also increase your metabolism and heart rate. Thanks to its ability to target the deep-lying muscles of the back, it is also used by physical therapists to address back pain and other back problems.
- Increases the distance between the vertebrae, which provides more space for the nerves that exit there. Compressed nerves are the most common cause of pain – whether in the cervical spine, thoracic spine or lumbar spine. Referred pain, such as shoulder, elbow and hand pain, can also often be found to have its origins in the spine.
- Improves transverse abdominal muscle, which is responsible for a shapely waist.
- An ideal method of targeting the pelvic floor muscles, which improves posture and counteracts incontinence. Also great for getting those muscles back into shape after a pregnancy.
- With its unique three-dimensional movements, FLEXI-BAR® is an ideal way to activate the overall network of connective tissue. This creates a tightening and strengthening effect in all layers of the body.
- Increases overall metabolism, which in turn boosts fat burning and augments the basal metabolic rate.
- Evens out muscular imbalances, which can alleviate many forms of arthritis and back pain.
- Improved ability to concentrate.
Active Swinging – Reactive Core Training
Increases metabolism and activates fat burning
Especially when training with the FatBurner DVD, trials (see “Energy expenditure during a 30-minute exercise unit with the Flexibar – Pilot Study” by the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) showed that 30 minutes of FLEXI-BAR® training, combined with functional movements, burns more calories than 30 minutes of jogging, cycling or walking:
Regular strength-endurance training, especially with the FLEXI-BAR®, also increases overall metabolism. The total basal metabolic rate increases and more calories are burned even in a state of rest.
The short, deep-lying, back extensors have the task of supporting the spine and spinal joints. Primarily, they adjust the facet joints in an optimal position with regard to the intervertebral discs. When the musculature of the spine is strengthened, the nerves of the spine are given more room.
The nerves of the spine branch out from the spinal cord, which is inside the backbone, and from there connect to their target organs and muscles.
The more stable the core muscles, the greater the distance between two vertebrae and the more room for the nerves. Nerves that exit from the spinal cord control the functions of all organs and all muscles. Numbness in the fingers, tinnitus in the ear, a stinging feeling in the chest, occipital headaches, tennis elbow, sciatica and many other disorders can be traced back to a compressed nerve.
Core = kernel
Core = torso
Pilates named these muscle groups, which work synergistically (together), the Powerhouse muscles. The deep back extensors are connected to the transverse abdominal muscles, the pelvic floor and the oblique abdominal muscles. All of these muscles support each other, and together they provide stability for the body. Stronger core muscles will help to ensure that
- internal organs occupy their proper place,
- arm and leg movements work more efficiently and dynamically,
- the entire spine is protected and supported.
The Yoga and Pilates as a single DVD, as well as the newly launched Set Yoga with a ball, Band + FLEXI-BAR® Pilates DVD are all geared specifically towards conditioning and toning the core muscles.
Strengthening connective tissue
Connective tissue is comprised of many different types of supporting tissues.
This tissue is found not only in the superficial layers of the body, but also in its deeper layers. Joint capsules and ligaments consist of connective tissue. A strength endurance training regimen which includes the use of the FLEXI-BAR® strengthens the connective tissue.
One of the reasons for this is that such training increases the body’s oxygenation and significantly improves the removal of waste products from the body. As a result, the connective tissue can then regenerate much more quickly and effectively.
Since connective tissue – as shown in the illustration – has a 3-dimensional structure, there is always an advantage to 3-dimensional training. This means using a range of space and integrating all levels (sagittal, frontal and transverse planes). Large exercise equipment in gyms usually incorporates only two levels. The theme of connective tissue training is also addressed in Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrt and Oliver Schmidtlein’s book, “Richtig Trainieren” (“Train Correctly”). These two experts explain the multiple benefits of the FLEXI-BAR® in their book.
This refers to the coordination of various control processes.
Movements which could initially only be realized by engaging the highest level of the brain (cortex), become increasingly automated over time. Inter-muscular coordination, which is to say the interplay of individual muscle groups, is improved. Simultaneously, the agonist and antagonist muscles pairs causing a movement learn to optimize their synergy. As a result, the movement becomes more harmonious, effective and economical.
This advantage is immediately apparent to all athletes, coaches and therapists, and it is a key reason why nearly all Olympic training centers in Europe use the FLEXI-BAR®. For someone training for health or non-competitive reasons, the biggest advantage of sensorimotor training is for the prevention of injuries and falls. When sensorimotor skills are refined, the risk of injury and falls is minimized:
Muscle groups that work together in an optimized manner are better able to react in instances of sliding, falling or slipping. This is also one of the reasons why the FLEXI-BAR® is incorporated into so many physical therapy and occupational therapy programs in nursing homes.
Problems of the spine
If the cause of your spinal problems is muscular, rather than organic or psychological in origin, then FLEXI-BAR® Training is the ideal solution!
Well-known experts of the AGR, including
- Prof. Dr. Schmitt
- Dr. Reichart
- Ulrich Kuhnt
- Dr. Breithecker
as well as some of Germany’s leading physiotherapists, such as
- Mark Gunsch, Head of the Therapeutic Division of the Spine Center in Taufkirchen
- Patrick Gemmeke, Physiotherapist of the German Swimming Federation
- Oliver Schmidtlein of OSPHYSIO & former Physiotherapist of the FCB and the DFB
- Jan Knoblauch, Physiotherapist of the National Handball Team
and many others collaborate with and support our ideas and programs.
In particular, the DVD Back & Beauty or exercises #1, 2, 6, 17, 18, 19 and 21 of the training plan specifically address the topic of back problems. The interaction of the DEEP MUSCLE tissue (see 3) and the CORE MUSCLES (see 4) is the secret behind the magical effects of this “wand”. Regular exercise with the FLEXI-BAR® builds up these muscles, stabilizes the deep musculature and can thus also relieve chronic muscle tension. Particularly in the areas of the cervical and lumbar spine, the superficial muscles tend to be tense and require an improved blood flow to break through the vicious cycle of pain.
Because the AGR experts agreed that moveable end pieces would be not only completely unnecessary but also confusing and difficult to adjust, we have chosen to keep them stationary. In particular, customers at home, but also group fitness instructors and participants attest to the FLEXI-BAR®’s ease of handling.
Improve your posture
Improved posture is one of the big pluses of the FLEXI-BAR®, and one of the most quickly attained. Hardly any other training device is as able as the FLEXI-BAR® to specifically address those muscle groups responsible for a straight and healthy posture.
This is mainly due to the fact that the muscles that pull the shoulder belt down, such as the ascending part of the trapezius muscle, are practically impossible to reach with conventional devices.
This in turn explains why athletes – even competitive athletes – can have bad posture and back pain. The muscles under the shoulder blades as well as the muscles between the shoulder blades respond quickly to conditioning. If the strength endurance capacity of these muscles is increased, they will counteract a bad posture typical to stressful situations.
At the same time it is important to strengthen the muscles of the cervical spine, which tense up in order to compensate for the weight of a 6-kg/13-lb head.
Various exercises with the FLEXI-BAR® can also strengthen the rotator cuffs of the shoulder joints. The external rotators of the shoulder are usually not taken into account at all or enough with other training devices, which favor an internal rotational position of the shoulder. This can then lead to a rounded shoulder posture (slouching).
Another important point of address for a good posture is firm abdominal muscles. The internal oblique abdominal muscles in particular favor a flat stomach and have a positive effect on the pelvic position.
Suitable for young, old, beginners and advanced users.
Its various target groups and its wide variety of uses are the main arguments for the FLEXI-BAR®. Whether it’s poor posture, weak core muscles, or sensorimotor skills you seek to improve, the FLEXI-BAR® has something to motivate anyone. Whether you want to prevent or alleviate back pain, or whether you simply want to improve your overall physical condition as a competitive athlete or as a rehab patient, the solution is the same. With FLEXI-BAR®, you can simultaneously improve your strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination, all with the same exercises and all at diverse levels of training.
These exercise routines can all be done in a short workout at home alone or in a group setting at the gym.
This is one of the reasons why about 5000 out of a total of 6500 fitness studios in Germany alone use the authentic FLEXI-BAR®. They know that the key to well-attended classes is to not overwhelm beginners while also providing ongoing challenges for trained individuals, and the FLEXI-BAR® and its training routines truly deliver on this point.