Regardless of how fit or strong you are, you’ll perform better if your lungs can take in more air. This is often limited by a tight rib cage, especially these days after much bending over computers and smartphones. The Backpod is particularly effective at stretching free tight rib cage joints. So if you can pull in more oxygen, you’ll perform better.
An indication that the rib cage is tight and restricted is that upper body rotation is limited. Here is a home test for tight ribs: Sit squarely on a bench or desk and twist your torso to each side. Normal range would be about 90˚, with your shoulders coming in line with your thighs. If the joints round the back where your ribs hinge onto your backbone are tight or frozen, you won’t get that far. You also won’t be able to take a completely full breath in – because the tight rib joints won’t let you. Being short of breath can simply be a rib cage tightness problem – it’s not necessarily the lungs. This is often missed by doctors.
Free up your rib cage: The Backpod is particularly effective at stretching these posterior rib joints. Other spinal fulcrums like foam rollers and Swiss balls aren’t. The long cylindrical shape of a roller means you can’t get much specific leverage onto a tight rib joint, and all balls and rollers are unstable, so your muscles can’t relax on them. Anything too squashy like a rolled towel or tennis ball can’t give enough leverage.
The small stable peaked shape of the Backpod is especially designed to stretch tight rib joints. We don’t think that there’s anything else that does this effectively – for clear, scientific reasons.
A freely moving rib cage doesn’t just mean you’ll be able to take in more oxygen. It also means your thoracic rotation will be full and easy. This has important implications for some sports. If your torso rotates better, then regardless of your strength and fitness you’ll hit a ball further in golf, baseball, cricket, tennis, squash, etc. This is unequivocal. It’s like saying if you release the hand brake then your car will go faster – of course it will. Also, you’ll run, walk and swim more easily.