Tom Brady may be over 40, but he's not retiring from football anytime soon. The quarterback, who made a stunning comeback last season, says that he's faster now than he was when he started. Part of that, he says, is due to his diet — he drinks up to 25 glasses of water a day and told CBS' Norah O'Donnell that he's never tried coffee. The other part, he says, has to do with "muscle pliability." It sounds fancy, but it really boils down to focusing less on strength and more on flexibility.
Muscle pliability, which is incorporated into the TB12 Method invented by Brady's trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero, is a way of preventing injuries by keeping your muscles strong, active, and easily flexible when you're training. This is Brady's "prehab," and it's something many NFL athletes do to avoid injuries before they happen. (In fact, it's pretty common for football players to focus on mobility instead of chucking weights around.)
For Brady, it's worked. As CBS points out, the Patriots QB is in his 18th season of a sport in which the average player lasts just six years. “If I can keep my muscles pliable, I can hopefully limit the intensity, or limit the injury altogether, if I do absorb some of these forces,” Brady told CBS, speaking about how the practice helps him on the field.
So what's Brady's "workout"? Instead of using heavy weights, he uses elastic resistance bands and a whole host of vibrating apparatuses, such as foam rollers and massage balls, and follows each workout with what CBS refers to as "specific massages." That may sound fun, but the rubdowns are actually meant to keep his muscles long and soft.
Don't have a trainer that will massage you on command? You can massage yourself before and after workouts. Sure, you may not be able to reach the same spots that a trainer would — although you could buy a Brady-branded vibrating foam roller for $200 to help — but you'll be doing something to keep your muscles lengthy and supple.
While you'll have to decide for yourself whether Brady's method are worth it, there's no denying that flexibility is an important part of a good workout routine. You don't want to tax your joints, so learn stretches that will keep them healthy, avoid these bad habits, and use this workout to get the same burn with less weight.