HOW TO BOOST MUSCLE PLIABILITY IN LESS THAN 10 MINUTES A DAY
“During our daily lives, we build tension within our muscles, whether you’re an athlete performing repetitive motions on the field or in the weight room, or a person sitting too long at a desk all day,” says TB12 Body Coach Paul Hagerty (LAc, CSCS). That tension can lead to problems when you don’t actively combat it. “This overload on the muscles can be painful, restrict our range of motion, decrease strength, or lead to injuries,” says Hagerty. That’s why at TB12, we talk a lot about being pliable. The dictionary definition of pliable is something that’s “supple enough to bend freely or repeatedly without breaking” or “adjustable to varying conditions.” And for all intents and purposes, that’s what it means for your body, too. “A pliable muscle is a softer, longer muscle, that doesn’t hold tension in it,” says Hagerty. Ultimately, it allows for a wider range of motion, increased strength, and pliabilty can mitigate the risk of injuries. If it sounds good, that’s because it is good: good for your body, good for your performance, and good for your longevity. Which brings us to our 12 Day Change: for 12 days, you’re going to focus on becoming more pliable, thanks to simple pliability exercises you’ll do for a few minutes every day. It’s worth it — we promise.
For the next 12 days, you’re going to use a vibrating roller or vibrating sphere to “roll” your lower extremities for about a minute or two on each side every single day. You’ll focus on your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quads. “With every exercise, you’ll be decreasing the tension within your muscles and creating more pliability,” says Hagerty. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts. “Because tension builds up as time goes on, you want to be proactive in continuously focusing on creating pliability, and consistency with rolling is a great place to start,” says Hagerty.
HOW TO DO IT
All you’ll need is your body and a vibrating roller or sphere. If you don’t have one, check out our TB12 pliability products at TB12Sports.com, so you can add on a few minutes of pre- and post-workout pliability to your routine. Once you have this product, then just get started on the exercises below!
TRY IT ON YOUR CALVES
While sitting on the floor with your legs out straight and arms by your side, place the roller or sphere under the calf muscle on your right leg. Lifting your hips in the air and holding your lower body up, start to roll the entire length of the calf muscle, then left to right on the device. As you roll, rhythmically contract and relax the muscle. Give a little bit of extra attention to any places that feel particularly tight, and continue for 1-2 minutes before switching to your left leg.
TRY IT ON YOUR HAMSTRINGS
Sitting on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you and your arms by your sides and your hands on the floor, place the roller or sphere under your right hamstring. Lift your leg onto the device holding yourself up on your hands, roll back and forth along the entire muscle, then side to side along the roller. As you roll, rhythmically contract and relax the hamstring, focusing on any areas that feel especially tight. After 1-2 minutes switch to the left leg and repeat.
TRY IT ON YOUR GLUTES
Place the roller or sphere under the right glute muscles, keeping your hands on the ground and the leg you’re rolling out straight in front of you. Roll back and forth, and side to side, focusing on any areas that are extra tight. Rhythmically contract and relax the glutes as you roll. Roll for about 1-2 minutes, then switch to your left leg and repeat.
TRY IT ON YOUR QUADS
Get into a plank position on your elbows and knees, with your face down towards the ground. Place the roller or sphere under your right quad muscle, and roll up and down the entire length of your muscle, as well as side to side, focusing on any tight areas. Rhythmically contract and relax the quad muscles as you roll. After 1-2 minutes, switch to your left leg.
TRY IT ON YOUR OUTER THIGH
Lay on your right side with your body weight on your right elbow and the roller or sphere placed just above the knee. Roll up toward the top of the hip elongating the outside of your leg, focusing on any areas that are specifically tender. As you roll up and down, extend your arms to maintain balance. After a minute or so, switch to the left.
TRY IT ON YOUR INNER THIGH
Start in a plank position (on your elbows and one knee), and place the roller or sphere just above your right knee on the inner thigh, with your left leg extended on the ground helping to keep balance. Move the device up and down your adductors (inner thigh) and as you elongate, rhythmically contract and relax the inner thigh muscle.
Congrats, you did it! Once you complete your 12 days, you’ll be on your way to a greater range of motion in your lower body, less tightness, and less general discomfort. And since that feels so good, we’re willing to bet you’ll want to keep it up, so amp up your routine (and whole-body muscle pliability) with the tb12 method app. Through its “my plan” feature, you’ll be able to customize a sport-specific pliability plan that will give you even more exercises to help maximize your muscle pliability!