The Power Balance bands are worn by many people today, yet there is no proof that they work. The debate over the wristbands continues with more and more studies being done to test the claims of the Power Balance wristbands. Should you wear the Power Balance bands during your stretching routine? Read on and decide for yourself.
According to the Australian manufacturer of the Power Balance wristbands, the 3 millimeter thick silicone bracelet with 2 hologram discs are supposed to resonate with the body’s energy fields and natural frequency to improve your strength, balance and flexibility. They also claim the Power Balance wristbands will improve your well-being, give you clarity of thought and improve your stamina and sports performance. The bands are supposedly “embedded with frequencies that react positively with your body’s natural energy field”, however that claim is difficult to prove.
The wristbands have become very popular, partly because Power Balance has used paid celebrity endorsements and viral Internet marketing to promote their products. Athletes endorsing the wristbands include big-name celebrities like Shaquille O’Neil, David Beckham and both Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish wore them in the final of the pre-Wimbledon Queen’s Club tournament. Even non-athlete celebrities such as Robert DeNiro, P. Diddy, Lindsay Lohan and Demi Moore have been seen wearing them.
It seems that the hype surrounding the Power Balance wristbands is quite controversial. While some people claim it has improved their strength and coordination, critics say there is no scientific studies or data at all to show that the bracelets actually work. There have been many studies that have found the bands do not produce results any better than control groups in double-blind experiments. Power Balance was forced to recant their original advertising statements and released this statement in December of 2010.
“In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility. We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974. If you feel you have been misled by our promotions, we wish to unreservedly apologize and offer a full refund.” – Power Balance statement.
Tom O’Dowd, CEO of Power Balance Australia, stated that “we’d made claims in the start that said that our product improved strength, balance and flexibility, and we didn’t have the scientific peer reviewed double blind testing or the level of proof that we needed to substantiate those claims”. Power Balance Australia was required to run a series of advertisements in the Australian media and to unconditionally refund those that they mislead.
Then, in January of 2011, Shaquille O’Neal filed a lawsuit against Power Balance for fraud, false advertising, unfair competition and “unjust enrichment”.
So how can Power Balance wristbands help you increase your flexibility? It is up to you whether you believe the claims Power Balance wristbands and testimonials of their supporters. Many of the athletes that wear the bands do not just promote them, some swear by their power. Whether the improvement felt is subconscious or physical, the increased confidence while wearing it is very real to some people. I know that I feel more balanced and less clumsy with mine on, so I’ll continue to wear it. I don’t need to have scientific proof to know that I fall down less with it on, even if it is just in my head. The Power Balance wristbands come with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you do not think they work for you.
The frontal splits, or front splits, is considered one of the most complete hamstring stretching routines to increase flexibility. All the hamstring stretches will help prepare you for this yoga pose, but it’s also good to practice this pose by itself because it is very powerful. Keep in mind that when your full body weight is hovering right over your hamstring, it is easy to push too hard in this stretch. Please be very careful and follow the stretching routine guidelines closely to prevent injury.
Make sure to be completely warmed up first. Get your muscles ready for a strong stretch with 10 minutes of jogging in place, jumping jacks, or other cardio exercise.
Start on your knees…
STEP 1 Extend your right leg in front of you and flex your foot, toes toward the sky.
STEP 2 Slowly and carefully slide your right leg forward until you feel some resistance.
STEP 3 When you feel a good stretch in your hamstring, make sure to plant your fingertips firmly onto the floor or on top of a yoga block.
STEP 4 Use your hands for support to control the amount of weight and pressure that is on your hamstrings. You do not want it to be painful. You want to feel a strong stretch—but no pain. A tolerable amount of discomfort is acceptable.
Breathe deeply and steadily in and out through your nose the entire time. Engage your quad muscles (the front of your thigh). This will help to protect your hamstrings. By “engage” we mean to contract muscle and hold it tight ad flexed. Your hamstrings are the big muscles on the back of your legs. They will loosen up very quickly, so you should see results even during your first session.
As you feel your hamstring muscles loosen up, slide your front heal a bit more forward and flex you foot. Remember, toes to the sky and support your weight with your fingertips on the floor on either side of you. Take at least 20 deep breaths before switching sides.
It is very important to stretch both sides. Within 3-5 weeks you should be all the way down on the floor while doing your splits. You need to build the strength as well as the flexibility needed to do the splits. That way your muscles will feel comfortable in the extreme position that is the yoga splits.
Every time you stretch, stay in your maximum stretch position longer. This will help you hit your goal quicker. After each stretching routine session remember to cool down. Just 5-10 minutes of walking should do it. Some people will be able to achieve the splits in 3-4 weeks, however, if after 5-6 weeks you are still not quite there you will notice that you are remarkably more flexible than when you started. Keep at it and you’ll get there!
We all know that a stretching routine, when done correctly, has many benefits. From the time you wake up in the morning and yawn until you go to bed at night, we use our muscles constantly. By forming a habit of stretching into your daily activities you can increase your flexibility and enjoy a greater range of motion. You will also notice that your movement will have a more fluid and graceful motion.
At Home Stretches
There are several ways to get at least some stretching worked into your day just by doing everyday chores in a slightly modified way. For example, you can stretch while you are standing at the sink, stove, or even at the grill (this is for men also!). Stand with your legs and back straight, stand on your tip-toes for 10 seconds, then stand flat footed for 10 seconds. Repeat this for the entire time you are standing there. It will stretch and firm up your calf muscles, thighs, and bottom. It will get easier once you make a habit of this. If at first you only do this little stretch for 10 minutes, try 15 minutes the next time. Try to think of all the times throughout your day when you can get a quick leg stretch in. Some examples are waiting in line about anywhere, at the copy machine at work, and pumping gas.
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Some stretching routines can even make housework seem more fulfilling. Simple things like removing the clothes from the washer and putting them into the dryer can be turned into a stretch. Think of the videos we’ve all seen on television, the “bend and reach”. Bend sideways with one hand on your hip, reach with your other hand to get clothes out of the washer, turn and squat at the knees keeping your back straight, and with both hands put what you grabbed into the dryer. Then you can trade arms. It’s very simple and just this one little change in doing the laundry can stretch most every muscle in your body. It even helps to count along the way.
This is something you can do as you put the groceries away, cleaning off the table and loading the dishwasher, and even cleaning the kids’ room. Just remember to do these stretches correctly. Try to always keep your back as straight as possible and use slow, steady motions to increase flexibility.
The foot lift is another easy stretch that you can do while at home or in the office. This can be done sitting at the dining room table, at your desk, or anywhere you have a solid, straight chair. Sit with your back straight and feet flat on the floor, shoulders back and relaxed. Lift your feet with your toes pointed up and keep them lifted for as long as you can. Slowly put your feet back flat on the floor and repeat. This stretches the backs of your legs very well. Again, using slow steady motions instead of fast or jerking motions will keep you from actually pulling a muscle or causing any injuries.
End-of-Day Relaxing Stretches
At the end of your day there is another stretch you can do while relaxing. You can do this stretch while lying on the couch, watching television, or lying in bed. You can even still hold the remote and watch your favorite show or read a book. While lying on your left side, with your body straight, slowly lift your right leg straight up as high as you can. The longer you can hold your leg in the air the better. Then slowly lower it down and relax. Do this a few times then roll over and lift your other leg. You can even add another stretch to this if you’d like. Roll over onto your back and lift both legs together. When doing this stretching routine you can hold the backs of your legs for more support if needed.
Once you start making these small changes you will begin to see many places and ways that a stretching routine can be added into your daily activities. Trying new and different ways to add a beneficial stretching routine into your day can be a wonderful way to improve your overall wellness and flexibility.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below or contact us here.
The Zoga daily stretching routine is said to relieve joint pain and stiffness and reduce muscle spasms. It is also designed to increase energy, reduce stress and increase range of motion. In addition, the stretching routine will lengthen muscles, decompress joints, improve posture and enhance athletic performance. Here is a comprehensive overview of the Zoga Stretching Routine.
What is Zoga Stretching?
Zoga was developed by Dr. Suzanne Osborne of Pure Life Inc. Dr. Osborne is also the author of the book “Pure Life, The Pura Vida Journey”. She is a retired Doctor of Chiropractic and is now an active holistic health and fitness educator.
When done daily, these low-impact stretches will increase your flexibility. In addition, some people say that it just makes them feel better. There are many stretching routines available today; however Zoga is different because instead of focusing on one body part it is more like a simple version of Yoga. You move your entire body to create a flowing circuit of stretching instead of isolated stretches. Zoga is based on physical therapy and rehabilitation style stretches.
Anyone can perform the Zoga stretching routine to increase flexibility in a quick and easy fashion without much thought; however it is designed in a specific order to relax some joints and muscles before stretching others. Zoga stretching routine can be completed it 8-10 minutes per day, divided into two parts. Part one is standing and part two is done on the floor. Some folks prefer to start with part 2 first thing in the morning, while still in bed. This is especially helpful for the elderly or those suffering from lower back pain or arthritis.
Don’t worry about going to a gym for these stretches. All you need is a little space to stretch and a thick mat. The more padding the better it is. To get started
I am just starting out in my body makeover journey and I know that adding a stretching routine is critical to improve my flexibility and prevent injury. Stretching and increasing flexibility is one aspect of most workouts that is completely overlooked and underrated. I thought the best way to start is to jump in with both feet and try out one of the most popular and intense workouts: P90X Stretch.
The program is advertised to transform your body in 90 days and consists of 12 super-charged, super-intense workouts. It is designed to take you from a beginner level to an advanced level of overall body fitness. Many people have had fabulous results with the P90X program, so I thought the P90X Stretch was a great place to start.
First of all, it is about a 60 minute stretching routine, but worth every minute. P90X Stretch is a comprehensive stretching routine designed to hit every muscle from neck to ankle. The video takes you through very simple and step-by-step instructions with a heavy emphasis on breathing. Breathing is a major part in all yoga routines and it is not skipped here either.
“Stretching is the one thing that will help you achieve a higher level of athleticism over a longer period of time. The X Stretch routine is an integral part of the program that will help prevent injuries and avoid plateaus. The extensive full-body stretches that make up this routine use disciplines from Kenpo karate, hatha yoga, and various sports to ensure that your body is fully prepared to meet all P90X challenges head-on.” Tony Horton, P90X creator.
P90X Stretching Routine
Although this is the “easiest” of the 12 workout programs in the P90X set, it is far from a walk in the park. Tony takes you through each stretch with a calm voice and he invokes a peaceful state of mind throughout the stretching routine. At the end of the DVD I felt great; I was relaxed and invigorated.
The P90X program is intense to say the least. According to Tony, X in P90X stands for extreme. There are modifications throughout the entire workout to accommodate the beginners like me as well as the advanced students with phenomenal flexibility. This is a handy component of the program so that you can use these modifications when you are just starting out and then gradually work into the variations as you become more flexible.
Implementing a stretching routine into your training will improve your performance in any sport. Tennis requires cat-like reflexes with short bursts of strength and speed. These short movements may not allow the muscles to extend their full length. When muscles are strenuously worked they become tight and can lose their elasticity unless properly stretched. Yoga exercises can increase the body’s range of motion and restore the elasticity of the muscles. Without muscle elasticity you will not be able to perform at your highest potential. A solid stretching routine can give you that edge on the court.
Using yoga techniques makes it possible to retrain the muscles so they learn that it is acceptable to go beyond their normal limits. Most tennis athletes play in a constant state of muscle tension. Yoga trains the body to relax muscle tension. Learning to begin your game in a relaxed state could mean gaining an extra step on the ball.
Yoga breathing exercises can help improve endurance and stamina. When exerting in sports or exercise we often hold our breath as a way to create strength. Yoga trains the body to create strength through breathing control. Holding your breath at points of exertion takes a great deal of energy that could be used during long sets or matches.
It is simple to learn the correct breathing form while doing a yoga pose. Exhale during the execution of a pose until you feel the muscles’ full length of stretch (maximum resistance). Never hold your breath. Breathe normally and listen to your body. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, and then release the pose slowly. With continued practice of yoga poses you’ll soon be able to apply breathing techniques in everyday routines.
The Spine Twist
One yoga stretch that is great for tennis players is the simple spine twist. Adding this to your stretching routine is excellent, especially for rotational sports. It can help increase flexibility of the shoulders, back and hips. Remember to apply the breathing technique to this pose. This stretch will help you maintain sideways mobility of your spine. It is easier to watch this one rather than to try to explain
Mind & Body
The physical benefits of yoga, like increased strength, stamina, balance, and flexibility, help tennis players meet the demands of the game. Your body is constantly being thrown out of balance while playing tennis. Your elbow and wrist take a beating along with your knees, calves, and ankles. As you lunge for passing shots and during the serve your back get twisted and jerked. Anyone who has played knows that tennis is very hard on your body. Adding a stretching routine to your training can help restore the balance and flexibility of your muscles.
Try these yoga poses to increase your flexibility and give you the edge on the court.
1. Tree pose (vrksasana) to strengthen the legs, open the hips, and improve balance and coordination.
2. Triangle pose (trikonasana) to strengthen and stretch the hamstrings, open the chest, and promote balance.
3. Warrior II pose (virabhadrasana II) to strengthen quads, calves, and Achilles’ tendons; expand range of motion; and teach you to move from the hips.
A total body conditioning and flexibility stretching routine is essential for the avid tennis player. Yoga techniques could be the edge you need in developing your game. Yoga can improve your game on many levels, most notably working on your flexibility, power, balance, injury prevention and mind control, all which will improve your tennis game and overall well-being.
You can combat fatigue during your flight with these simple stretching routines. This is the easiest way to stay refreshed, relaxed and comfortable during your flight. Exercising while you travel will help restore balance by keeping muscles relaxed and reducing soreness and stiffness.
At the airport while waiting for your flight, try not to sit. Instead, continue to walk around, or do standing bends. Don’t worry; you will probably never see these people again. Once seated on the plane try to take deep breaths that will help relax your muscles. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and try to stay away from leaning or slouching back into the seat. Scoot forward and sit up tall, relaxing your shoulders.
Important tips: Get up at least every hour and walk the length of the isle. Walk to the restroom a few times; you may want to also do the neck tilts or shoulder rolls while walking. This will also put other travelers at ease…they will see what you are doing and may join you! Also drink plenty of water. A bottle while you wait to board and another on the plane is a great idea.
The point is to keep your blood circulating. This will also help prevent deep vein thrombosis, which is a
While implementing a stretching routine into your workout is very important, performing it correctly is equally as important. There are several simple guidelines to follow that will protect you from injury while stretching and will also help minimize muscle soreness after your workouts.
We’ve all heard this before, but breathing is the perfect “counter” for us during our stretching routine. Take deep breaths as you stretch. It is a good rule of thumb to hold each stretch for a total of 5-6 deep breaths or about 30 seconds and up to 60 seconds for really tight muscles or problem areas. As you exhale each time, extend slightly deeper into the stretch. When you inhale you should relax the stretch slightly and contract the muscle.
Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t bounce as you stretch. This opens you up to muscle tearing and injury. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears, called microtears, in the muscle, which will leave scar tissue as the muscle heals. This scar tissue will tighten the muscles even further, making you less flexible.
Don’t overstretch. Your body will tell you its limits…listen to your body. A stretch should be tight, but not painful. If you overstretch you might create an automatic myotatic reflex that will actually cause the muscle to recoil and tighten up to try to protect itself from tearing and injury. You know you have gone too far if you feel pain as you stretch.
Do warm up your muscles first. If possible try and make the warm up as similar to your workout activity as possible. For example some light jogging in place prior to going for a run. Cold muscles simply don’t stretch. Get the blood flowing through your muscles by first performing a minimum of 5 – 10 minutes aerobic work.
When to Stretch
Are you supposed to stretch before or after your workout? That is a very good question. The answer is both. Before running or working out it is important to warm up muscles and get more oxygen to them. A great warm up is jumping jacks for a few minutes then a brief stretch of each of the major muscles. After running or working out, a good stretching routine will help to remove lactic acid from the muscle. This in turn reduces muscle soreness, which promotes better flexibility. You can also perform your stretching exercises while resting between lifts during your strength training.
After your workout when you are all sweaty, take a hot shower first and then stretch. The hot water will help relax the muscles and you’ll get the best stretch.
Follow this general guideline for a safe stretching routine.
Studies have found that when you follow your warm-up with a stretching routine you will increase your range of motion. While flexibility can be genetic, it can also be developed and improved by implementing a solid stretching routine into your workout.
Be sure to check with your doctor or physical therapist before you start a stretching routine.
You can find inspiration anywhere for keeping your stretching routine fun. Recently, I had a much needed massage for some muscle knots in my lower back. These knots had started some pain in my hip and I was told that I needed to start stretching my hips to prevent the muscle knots from reforming. Why can’t I stay motivated when it comes to stretching? The reason that came to mind for me immediately, was how this is the most boring part of my workout and usually I just skip it. Now I HAD to start a stretching routine and I needed a way to make it fun.
I need fun and flexibility…immediately I think of cheerleaders, but without the actual cheerleader present, boredom would set in very quickly. So my next thought was of Mixed Martial Arts fighter BJ Penn hopping around on one foot while some guy was lifting the other foot over his head and Joe Rogan saying BJ could put his leg behind his head without using his hands. Now I don’t know if you have ever tried to put your foot behind your head, but I found that to be an impossible feat. Try it now. Can you do it? I had to check out the video on YouTube in order to wrap my mind around how you could even attempt it without using your hands. When looking for a way to implement my passion for MMA into my stretching routine, I found this video of Eddie Bravo on: Flexibility and Work Ethic. He is demonstrating what he requires of someone to earn a black belt from him at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. He shows how to stretch the groin and hips in different ways, including the lotus position. He talks about how your knees, hips, and groin all need to be stretched and to continue stretching in order to maintain that level of flexibility. I won’t be earning a black belt from Eddie Bravo any time soon, but it does give me a goal to reach for my flexibility.
When I need some motivation or inspiration for a new workout I always look to mixed martial artists that train at the highest level of competition. They have tremendous cardio endurance and core strength, which is exactly what I want from my workouts. The flexibility these guys have is definitely something that I will be trying to emulate in the future.
I don’t think that I will need to kick someone in the head or do the Jean-Claude Van Damme side splits to punch an attacker in the groin, but you never know, right? All kidding aside, these things will never happen, but increasing your flexibility will increase your speed and balance while decreasing your risks for many types of sports injuries.
What are you interested in that can be translated into your everyday stretching routine? Do you sit and watch TV in the evenings? As Eddie Bravo talks about in his video, this is a perfect time to work on your flexibility and you will start seeing the benefits in your normal workouts in no time! Sticking to your stretching routine will be much easier and more fun if it incorporates something you find interesting or something you enjoy doing.
Here is Eddie Bravo’s DVD. In his best-selling jiu-jitsu book, Mastering the Rubber Guard, Eddie Bravo lays out his entire half guard game, his entire butterfly guard game, and the secrets of the infamous Rubber Guard. Now, for the first time, Bravo unveils his entire guard system on DVD. The box set includes three DVDs that contain hours upon hours of easy-to-understand instructional training and live rolling. The collectors set covers the half guard, the butterfly guard, the entire Rubber Guard, escapes back to guard, and Spider Web. Unlike the majority of martial arts instructional DVDs that can bore a viewer to tears, Mastering the Rubber Guard (DVD) contains hours of bonus footage, including comedy sketches, Eddie Bravo music videos, and never-before seen footage where the Victory Belt Staff punks Bravo at the 10th Planet Academy with a pretty girl and an angry 300-pound meathead.
People are always asking whether or not they should be implementing a stretching routine into their regular workouts. What they should be asking instead is when and how they should be stretching.
Stretching increases your flexibility, which will give you more range of motion and will lower your risk of an injury. Many sports injuries are easily avoided when you implement a proper stretching routine into your workout.
Stretching before you start any workout is very important to avoid injuries, but if stretching is done incorrectly you can cause as much damage as you prevent. The first thing to do is warm up your muscles. Cold muscles are far more likely to be injured than properly warmed up muscles. Light cardio exercise for 5-10 minutes will raise your body temperature to a nice level and your muscles will be far more receptive to the stretch. Think of your body as a high performance race car. You wouldn’t just turn the key and jam your foot on the gas. You need to warm up your motor before racing so it performs at the highest level.
How to Stretch
When stretching a muscle it is important not to stretch too much and cause injuries. Stretch as far as you can go and hold that spot for at least 30 seconds.
This should be done in 5 deep breaths and with each exhale relax more deeply into the stretch. You will feel the tension ease; this is called “muscle melting”. You will be able to feel the lengthening of the muscles and over time you will increase your flexibility with these stretching exercises.
Always use a smooth motion during your stretching routine and NEVER start to bounce as you stretch. Many people will do this thinking they are getting more out of their stretch. In reality, this is one of the most common causes of muscle tears and ligament injuries.
Breathing is another important thing that people forget while stretching. It sounds so simple but most people will start holding their breath when their body is put under stress, like lifting weights or during a stretching routine. Steady breathing will relax your muscles and keep them sufficiently oxygenated, which will prevent injury.
Stretching after your regular workout is another important way to improve your flexibility and this will also help prevent soreness from your workouts. After an intense workout, your muscles build up lactic acid. This is what causes the soreness in your muscle and why some people will skip working out or even stop altogether. By implementing a solid stretching routine you will lower the chances of sore, stiff muscles that leave you thinking of excuses to stop working out.
If you are injured it is recommended that you do not continue your normal stretching routine without first
consulting with a doctor or physical therapist. Continued stretching of a torn muscle can make the injury worse and
prolong your recovery time. Always consult with a physician before starting any type of exercise program.
Organic India Flexibility Formula
Here is a supplement you may be interested in taking to increase flexibility. It is known for these benefits:
Lubricating support to joints & muscles.
Offers relief from morning stiffness.
Promotes strength & stamina.
Organic India Flexibility Formula-Complete Flexibility™ is a unique combination of 100% organically grown herbs and roots that help maintain healthy joints by gently cleansing and supporting joint tissues. Complete Flexibility was designed for those who lead a physically active lifestyle, supporting flexibility, strength, stamina and overall muscle and joint health. It’s gentle on the stomach, non-habit forming and excellent when taken in combination with our Turmeric Formula.