Are you in the mood for some exercise? Nope? Me either. That’s why getting a Body Bar Flex was definitely a good thing for me recently. Yes, it’s me again, the Fitblogr’s wife. I’m not into exercise like my DH is, so it’s always a struggle for me to get myself in the mood for exercising even though I know it is good for me and it does make me feel better. The Body Bar Flex is a nifty little piece of equipment that makes it easier for me and even fun (gasp, yes, fun!) to get some much needed resistance exercise.
There are several different styles of Body Bar Flex, but the one I use is the original Body Bar Flex. It has a maximum of 20 lbs. of resistance when fully flexed. There is also a Flex bar that supplies 40 lbs. of resistance when flexed for more advanced exercisers (like our own Fitblogr Roy) and athletes, as well as several weighted Body Bar Flex styles. For this article, I’m focusing on the original 4′ bar with 20 lbs. of resistance. At just 39.99, it’s a real bargain and will give you a lifetime of exercise and stretching.
From the folks at Body Bar, the Body Bar Flex looks just like the weighted Body Bar that we’ve talked about before. As soon as you pick up the original Body Bar Flex though, you know the difference! It has no weight to it, and just like its name says, it flexes when pressure is put on both ends of the bar. This bar is absolutely perfect for beginners who are just starting to explore the wonderful world of resistance exercise, and for seasoned pros who are looking for something new to change up the routine a little.
The original patented Body Bar Flex has the same easy-grip rubber exterior surface as the original Body Bar, but inside in contains a flexible fiberglass rod. This allows the bar to flex and quickly return to its original state for continuous exercising. The bar is 4′ long and has rubber grips at the ends.
There are many different ways the Body Bar Flex can be used. Many golfers already know about how this bar can be used to increase flexibility and strength, and many other athletes benefit from this easy to use piece of equipment, also. Since it enhances both strength and flexibility, it is a wonderful tool to incorporate into yoga and pilates routines as well.
Exercises can be done while sitting, standing, or on the floor. I have personally discovered that I can use my Body Bar Flex while I am riding my stationary recumbent bike. I love the fact that while I’m pedaling away, I am also getting my upper body workout done at the same time. And even better, most of the exercises that you will do with the Body Bar Flex are compound exercises. In other words, multiple muscle groups are being worked at the same time. That’s what I love about it, since I know I’m getting more done in a short amount of time!
Body Bar Flex Exercises
Before you start any exercise program, always check with your doctor first to get the go-ahead!
All exercise routines should start with stretching.
Here is a great one to start with that is great for stretching abdominals:
- Lie on the floor, and grasp the Body Bar Flex over your head with your arms on the floor.
- Pull your stomach in towards the floor, press your legs together and lengthen you entire body as far as you can.
- Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Do 3-5 repetitions.
- This will stretch your abs, back, legs and arms.
Lie flat on the floor. Grasp Body Bar Flex at each end. Extend arms above chest and bend both legs.
Rotate your legs to the right while squeezing legs together. Move left arm to the left side. (Note that holding the bar closer to the center will increase the stretch).
Hold for 5-10 seconds, return to starting position and then rotate legs to the left and right arm to the right. Hold for 5-10 seconds and return to starting position.
Do 3-5 repetitions on each side.
Remember to stretch each area of your body before you begin doing strength exercises!
Here are several of the many strength exercises you can do with the Body Bar Flex:
Bicep Curl for Beginners
- Place one end of the Body Bar Flex along the length of the left forearm. Make sure the end of the bar is on the outside of the arm above the elbow. Hold the bar against your body with your left hand with the opposite end of the bar pointing slightly downwards.
- Place your right palm under the bar near the opposite end. Note that the closer your hand is to the end of the bar, the less resistance the will be.
- Holding the bar agianst your body with your left hand, curl your bicep by bringing your right arm toward your chest. Slowly return to starting position.
- Do 8-12 repetitions and switch sides, performing 8-12 repetitions with the left arm. Depending on your fitness level, do 1-3 sets with each arm.
Chest and Arms Press
- Position Body Bar Flex behind your back, around waist level. Press palms of hands against each end of the bar. Don’t grip bar; keep palms open.
- Squeeze biceps and chest to bend ends of bar forward. Bar will form a U shape around body while dfoing this exercise. Hold for a few seconds and then allow the bar to return to starting position. Keep pressure on the bar during entire exercise so that it is pressed lightly against your back.
- Do 15-20 repetitions.
Body Bar Flex is not only for upper body strenghthening. Here is a great lower body exercise that strengthens legs, butt, abs and arms:
- Lie on your back. Bend legs at knees and draw legs up so feet are flat on the floor. Place the bar across your body between navel and base of thighs. Place hands at or near the ends of the bar with palms down.
- Exhale. Engage abs by pulling navel down toward spine. This is easier if you imagine a string attached to your navel on the inside being pulled straight down to the floor. Lift hips slowly using ab muscles while keeping upper back on the floor. Press downward with hands on bar to create resistance. Hold for several seconds and then slowly return to starting position.
- Use desired amount of pressure to increase/decrease pressure on abs while doing exercise. Use only amount of pressure that feels comfortable.
- Do 10-15 repetitions.
The above exercises only scratch the surface of what you can do with the Body Bar Flex. Bodybar.com has many resources on their website including PDF exercise charts and videos demonstrating many other ways to use this versatile piece of exercise equipment. As someone who really doesn’t like to exercise, I have to say that I do enjoy using this bar. As I said above, I love the fact that I can use it while I am riding my recumbent bike, or anytime I feel like I need to get some blood pumping. I even take it to work with me and use it several times a day in my office when I feel the “sleepy doldrums” trying to take over! It’s easy to tuck under my desk or stand in a corner when I’m not using it.
For anyone from beginner to advanced exerciser, to athletes, to seniors looking for a fun way to get moving, I definitely would recommend checking out this great piece of exercise equipment!