16 September 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Beginner’s guide to: Flexi Bar

October 13, 2009

Looking for a new tool to add to your at home or gym based workout? Here’s Sportsister’s guide to the Flexi Bar; it’s great for your core and posture.

What’s it all about?

Flexi-Bar-1The Flexi Bar is based on vibration training.

Studies were conducted by a Professor Raçef almost 30 years ago with the results of training studies showing that with minimal time and effort, it has a very positive effect on the strength of the muscles supporting the spine.

The Flexi Bar was developed in Germany by physiotherapists and sports scientists in 2001, to produce a vibrational tool which is easy to use, giving good results at a purchasable price.

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What exactly is a Flexi Bar?

The Flexi Bar looks like a long red stick and many people think you are part of a martial arts or baton twirling group when you appear in the gym with it! However, I have body builders, rugby players, triathletes, mothers, disable people and children using it so it really is versatile, and effective for everyone.

There are three main bars – the red standard one, black bar for athletic use and a small green bar for children and useful for the elderly and disabled, as well as individuals coming back from stomach surgery (brilliant post natal!).

What do I do with it and how should I incorporate it my training?

To use the bar you hold it with a light, yet firm grip and move it, creating a vibrational force which works the muscles, and the nervous system. Some people pick the bar up and can get the vibration easily, others it takes a little bit more time. The trick is not to think about it, or watch the bar, as this seems to stop it from moving!

Getting the bar moving also has no relation to fitness levels and often less strong people find it easier to get moving.  Initially you will feel the movement in the forearm and shoulder but once you have established the movement you will begin to feel all the benefits within a couple of weeks.

You can use the bar at home on it’s own for a short work out or incorporate in between a core and stretching session. It is also beneficial between sets of weights, to increase muscle recruitment, as part of a circuit to fatigue the muscles in a different way, or in between speed running sets to improve reaction times.

Flexi-Bar-2How does it work?

As you move the Flexi Bar, a vibration passes through your body. This vibration pushes and pulls the muscles out of equilibrium; a process known as the Tonic Stretch Reflex.

During a Tonic Reflex Contraction signals are passed continuously from the muscles to the brain and back again, via the nervous system. These signals tell the muscles they are being pushed away from their centre and they must automatically contract to bring themselves back – making the muscles stronger, leaner and more toned.

What will it do for me?

Whilst the main muscles affected are known as the core muscles, the Flexi Bar is a very effective workout using all the major muscle groups of the body once you have mastered the technique. It will strengthen and tone your muscles – especially the upper body, flatten your stomach and increase your fat burning rate after exercise.

What’s it good for?

The Flexi Bar is brilliant for improving posture and increasing muscle tone, as well as speeding up injury rehabilitation time (especially for shoulder stability). It is also an effective and easy tool to use during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, and for post natal return to fitness. Children, the elderly and clients in wheelchairs have seen great benefits from using the bar.

How often do I need to do it to get results?

Its quick and easy: minimum time for maximum results….only 10-15 minutes, three times per week combined with some cardio vascular work and you should see significant results after 3-6 weeks. Over use of the bar does not improve results as the neuro muscular system needs time to rest and recover to gain the benefits.

Flexi-Bar is not recommended for the following:

* Acute Rheumatoid Arthritis (inflammation stage)

* Acute injuries e.g whiplash

* Acute Infections/Swelling

* Acute Back Pain

* 3rd Trimester Pregnancy

* After recent Operations

* Cardiovascular Disorders

For more information please contact Kim at kim@energisedperformance.com or visit www.flexi-bar.co.uk

Kim Ingleby, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

Kim is the founder and Head Coach of Energised Performance, a highly respected wellbeing company. Kim is recognised as an inspiring, dynamic trainer – nominated and winning the highly acclaimed IFS 2007 Personal Trainer of the Year and working as the Sports Therapist & NLP Coach for the GB Triathlon Team since 2006. www.energisedperformance.com

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