Flexibly Challenged

Flexibility has never been my strong suit. Okay, maybe there were days of my nimble youth when I could bend over backwards, twist like a pretzel and kick my leg over my head, but those days are (mostly) gone. Flexibility is now a constant work in progress for me, and Jenn and I have both lamented our non-Gumby-like nature at some point on this very forum. So when TendoFlex offered up its flexibility and core-training product of the same name for us to try, I was happy to volunteer. (I was actually shocked Jenn and I didn’t battle each other for it.)

When I was working with my personal trainer last summer, my favorite part of the sessions was the post-workout stretch. Sure, it meant that the hard part was done, but I loved being stretched out by a trainer. I got a deeper, better stretch when I had someone there to facilitate the movement, pushing me just past that point of resistance. If you don’t have a trainer or friend at your beck and call to be your stretch helper, the TendoFlex is a great substitute. It’s a simple foot platform connected to a handle by a cord, and it allows you to pull yourself into deeper stretches than you could before.

One great thing about the TendoFlex is that it works as both a tool for flexibility and for strength. The handy little exercise booklet includes a whopping 19 exercises that stretch the hamstrings and core, as well as target abdominal strength. The booklet gives two pictures of the stretch or exercise and then details how to do it and how long to hold the stretch for maximum effect. While it does give a great stretch and midsection workout, there are a couple of drawbacks. One, it’s a little bit of a pain to have to roll the cord in as you move from one exercise to the next (a stretchy cord would be more convenient but might not give enough resistance). And two, the price of $49.99 is a bit steep when you might be able to use a simple resistance band to achieve the same effect. But if you’re sick of begging a friend or husband for help stretching and aren’t pinching pennies, this tool will definitely deepen your stretch. —Erin

Are you similarly challenged in your flexibility? Want to win the TendoFlex? Comment below for a chance to win. We’ll notify the lucky winner by email. U.S. residents only, please.

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