Flowing is a relatively new type of training. American and European trainers characterize this fitness training exercise as one of the most effective for simultaneously boosting endurance and engaging flexibility in muscles.
The term “flowing” is applied to a streaming training system that appeared in Sweden in 2006. The characteristic features of this system are as follows:
- Non-stop (streaming) exercise
- High efficiency of training achieved due to the sliding effect
The desired effect is provided by the Flowing board, which looks like a sliding platform. To practice on such a board, it’s necessary to put thin pads under your feet, knees, or palms that will act as support for your training.
Due to sliding movements during your class, it becomes necessary to put in more of an effort than in a regular kind of workout. You should avoid losing your balance. Plus, you should keep your support under control along the entire trajectory of your movement and especially upon the return of your arms and legs to their original position.
The basic principles of flowing are reduced to the following aspects:
- Compliance with the specified sequence when performing exercises
- Absence of breaks during the training process
- Performing all exercises without slowing down
Thanks to such features, flowing training has the following advantages:
- Makes your stabilizer muscles work, which are not used during typical strength exercises
- Simultaneously boosts muscle flexibility, endurance of the body, coordination and dexterity
- Provides a load on different problem areas and ensures high efficiency of each class
- Accelerates metabolic processes in the body
- Gives the body an athletic shape
Another significant advantage of flowing is the opportunity to diversify your typical training process. Due to the use of the Flowing board, performing even the simplest of exercises (ie: lunges, squats or planks) become ever more difficult while maintaining an entertaining workout. Throughout your flowing workout, you will find a motivation to do these exercises as accurately as possible, without losing rhythm and balance.
Disadvantages of flowing
The disadvantages of this type of physical activity are not as numerous as the advantages.
Firstly, it’s possible to engage in flowing only if you have special devices:
- Platform board
- Pads that perform a supporting function
Without these devices, classes will be ineffective, and their key meaning will be lost.
Secondly, today it’s impossible to organize full-fledged home Flowing workouts due to the lack of high-quality video instructions. For now, you can only practice in the gym with a professional trainer.
Purpose of classes
Flowing workouts are beneficial because they’re suitable for men, women, and even children. Your age and the degree of physical fitness don’t matter. The purpose of classes may be different:
- Maintain physical fitness
- Train the sense of balance and coordination
- Lose weight
- Prepare for sports competitions
Selected exercises from Flowing are recommended for people undergoing rehabilitation after injuries.
Recommendations for the organization of training
To ensure that Flowing brings real benefits to you, you need to properly organize your training and follow a number of important recommendations.
First, it’s necessary to use the Flowing board correctly:
- Wear comfortable shoes that don’t slip
- Be sure to use support pads
- Climb onto the platform using your leg muscles and avoid bending your lower back
- Put the entire foot on Flowing, preventing sagging toes or heels
- Don’t descend or jump off the platform on straight legs
In addition to the rules for handling the board, there are other recommendations that you should follow:
- Start with basic exercises. As in any kind of fitness, you need to master the technique from simple to complex.
- Choose the right load. Training on Flowing is quite a serious type of physical activity. To prevent injuries and overstrain, one session shouldn’t include more than 5 exercises repeated 10-15 times. The number of repetitions of 1 session should also be no more than 5 times.
- Control the free weight used. Some exercises in Flowing allow the use of kettlebells and dumbbells. Their weight shouldn’t exceed 50% of the weight that you usually use during strength exercises.
- Don’t neglect rest. This rule is especially relevant in cases when you alternate Flowing workouts with strength and cardio exercises. Before performing the latter, it’s necessary to give up training on the Flowing board for 1 day. Otherwise, there is a risk of overloading the stabilizer muscles.
The frequency of Flowing workouts depends on whether other types of physical activity are present in a person’s life. If, in addition, there are moderate cardio loads and strength training, you can practice on the sliding platform a maximum of 1-2 times per week. If Flowing is your only option for maintaining physical fitness, the number of workouts can reach 3-4 per week. The specific number depends on your training level and the purpose for which you exercise.
Examples of Flowing exercises
Flowing is a streaming training system. One session can contain up to 10 exercises.
To perform this exercise, follow these steps:
- Stand on the board with a straight back, having previously placed pads under your feet.
- Leave your arms lowered along your body.
- Turn slightly to the left, while pulling back your right leg to the corner of the platform diagonally.
- Return to the initial position by making a sliding movement.
- Repeat the same with the other leg.
When performing the skating step, monitor the smoothness and continuity of your movements. Set the pace with your hands.
To perform a twist, follow these steps:
During this exercise, your back should remain straight, and your knees slightly bent. Your arms should be positioned at chest level in a locked position.
Retraction of arms
The second exercise is the retraction of your arms while standing on your knees. Follow these steps:
- Take a position as when doing push-ups on your knees.
- Put the support elements under your knees and hands.
- Slowly move your right hand to the side.
- Return to the starting position.
- A minute later, do the same movement with your left hand.
Flexion and extension of the legs in the plank
Performing the third exercise requires the following actions:
- Take a position on the board, as if doing a back plank, with your hands on the floor.
- Stretch your legs forward.
- Pull them back with sliding movements.
When moving forward, achieve maximum lifting of your body.
For this exercise, follow these steps:
- Lie on the floor with your back down, placing the lower part of your body on the board.
- Pull up your feet standing on the support pads towards yourself.
- Lift your pelvis so that your hips and lower legs are perpendicular to each other.
- Straighten your legs, making sliding movements away from you.
When returning to the initial pose, monitor the position of your knee joints. They should be slightly bent. Keep your pelvis a short distance from the floor without touching it.
Sliding with half-bent arms
To perform this exercise correctly, follow this scheme:
- Kneel on the floor.
- Put your palms on the support pads on Flowing.
- Move your hands back and forth without changing the level of your body position.
In this exercise, avoid back bends or bending forward.
Lunges on Flowing can be straight or lateral.
For the first type, recommended steps are:
- Turn your back to the platform and do the following:
- Take your left leg back, placing it on the pad lying on the board.
- Fix your hands on your waist, keeping your back straight.
- Start sliding with your left leg while bending the knee of your right one.
- Fall into a lunge until the hip of your right leg is parallel to the floor.
- Return to the starting position by making a sliding movement.
- After 10 repetitions, change the leg.
Performing lateral lunges follows these steps:
- Turn your right side to the board while standing on the floor.
- Place your right foot on the platform on a pre-placed pad.
- Fold your arms into a lock at chest level.
- Slide with your right foot on Flowing with a gradual descent into a lateral lunge.
Perform the lateral lunge until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. After 10 repetitions, do the same with your left foot.
Pulling up legs in the plank
Handle this exercise as follows:
- Take the plank position on the board, resting your palms on the floor and placing your feet on the pads on the platform.
- Keeping a straight back and straight elbows, slide your right foot, pulling your left knee toward your abdomen.
- Smoothly glide, returning to the original position.
Change legs and repeat the same.
For this exercise, follow this technique:
- Sit on all fours on the board, with pads under your knees and palms.
- Slightly swing your body forward and jump up.
- Land in a squat.
When landing, position your feet slightly wider than your shoulders.