A Surprising New Way to Reconnect the Mind and Body (Interview With Rokas Move)
Imagine an exercise routine that you can’t wait to get back to. With as little as 5 minutes a day of using Octomoves weighted ropes, both Olympic athletes and fitness beginners reported feeling energized and stress-free. This new type of exercise focuses on the balanced motion that connects your body and mind.
Today, we sat down with Rokas Bakstys, better known as Rokas Move, and discussed his ingenious invention.
What was the inspiration behind rope flow?
Rope flow is inspired by kung fu soft weapons such as the chain whip, meteor hammer, and a simple jump rope. However, since the jump rope has handles and swivels, you get disconnected because your body can cheat and not do as much rotation to make the rope travel fluidly through the air.
Rope flow connects your body and mind, your left and right brain hemispheres, and helps you enter the flow state the easiest way possible. With it, you can train your non-dominant brain side by learning from dominant and vice versa.
How did you create it?
I started practicing with a chain whip until one of my coaches suggested that I start rolling the ropes. I watched some videos on YouTube and started practicing with my old jump rope. Once I learned it, the practice instantly made sense. I went down the rabbit hole of rolling ropes: tested different ropes, searched for that perfect one, and did thousands of reps for each pattern.
Every time I picked the rope, I was able to find out something new about my movement, and my thought processing changed. I kept learning. I started adding everything I knew and tested my hypothesis, which ultimately led to building my personal practice. After more than a half year, with the help of my friend, I created the first version of Octomoves flow rope.
After testing more ropes than I can count, I finally found the perfect combination of weight, bendiness, elasticity, air drag, tension, and overall sensation. Right now, Octomoves has 3 types of ropes, each with its own set of benefits.
What is the difference between these 3 types of ropes?
Each Octomoves flow rope is made of the same length (9ft), but you can adjust it easily by tying knots.
Phoenix is the heaviest rope, weighing ±500g (1lb). This rope is soft and bendy. Because of that, when rolling, weight concentrates in the farthest end of the rope, making it feel even heavier. Also, this feature creates air drag that makes a swooshing sound when rolling the rope.
Flowzilla is a little bit lighter (±460g) and more rigid. That means the weight is distributed evenly throughout the rope, and this makes it feel lighter. This makes it easier to learn the movements, and because it’s not that bendy, it doesn’t tangle. That makes it a good learning companion. Another great benefit of being more rigid is that it cuts the air like a knife with little air drag, making it very fast.
Funky Zen is the lightest of the ropes we have (±300g), also called a gentle teacher. It has the same characteristics as the Phoenix rope, except that it is lighter and cuts the air differently. Being 2mm narrower in diameter, this rope cuts air faster but still has its resistance from air drag. This rope is perfect for beginners, kids, and older people.
You can start with any of the ropes because you will adapt to the stimuli you will get. If you will get bored from sensations that your flow rope creates, try another one. You can always braid them together for a greater challenge.
How did you come up with the idea to start a business?
I am a personal trainer, and I’ve been testing these ropes on my clients. All of them liked it as well and always asked for more. The benefits were instant. Everyone who rope flowed noticed that their coordination was getting better, movements were more fluid and easier to perform, mobility was increasing, and the mind became organized and clear.
This was enough for me to start looking for that perfect rope and spread the word about the practice. After all, the ropes tie everything together.
Usually, while working out, people train their muscles. But in so many cases, they can’t even move efficiently, don’t feel the rhythm, and can’t coordinate their body parts. These things are more important because when you are coordinated and feel the rhythm, your strength increases significantly without any extra hard work.
So I wanted to change the fitness industry and help people unleash their potential by keeping the foundations of movement in mind. Basically, I wanted to show the beauty and effortlessness of training. Fitness can be fun!
So, rope flow is created for people who already work out?
No matter your fitness level, you will always be able to unleash your true potential with rope flow training. For beginners, this practice can be a fun and easy introduction to fitness and building active habits, so they can reap all benefits of movement. For people who already work out, this will help unleash their athletic potential.
Rope flow is a great training tool in itself, but it’s also perfect for recovery or mindfulness practices. It can also be used as a filler between sets at the gym, so you won’t walk in circles but rather move slow and smooth to improve coordination and rhythm, which will improve strength, power, and balance.
You can even combine yoga poses with rope flow to make those static holds more entertaining and train your coordination. Adding rope flow to your practice will bring more chaos in training, which will force you to adapt and get stronger.
Age doesn’t matter as well: we have great reviews from 70-year-old people who say they are loosening up their bodies and enjoying this practice.
You mentioned that rope flow is perfect for recovery after injuries. How exactly does it help people heal faster?
With rope flow, you train gait (walk, jump, swim), throw (punch), and swing patterns. By combining them, you can recreate almost every kind of human movement.
Post-injury, we want the person to get back to usual movement as fast as possible, and rope flow is a great tool for that. It allows you to perform every kind of typical movement pattern repeatedly and get feedback right away so you can improve.
While practicing rope flow, you are moving all of your joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It’s a low-impact practice, so it is suitable for everyone. You can even greatly benefit from it even when you are injured but capable of holding the rope at least in one hand.
Does rope flow help with posture problems, too?
Yes. I would strongly recommend people working at desk jobs to use rope flow for at least 1–2 minutes every hour to move the spine and other joints, get the blood flowing to restore energy, and regain focus for the task that needs to be done. It assists you in entering and maintaining a state of flow, which increases productivity.
Rope flow is great for posture and muscle strengthening. It also forces you to rotate your wrists, and this helps prevent such things as carpal tunnel syndrome and other dysfunctions created by working long hours at your desk.
Can rope flow help with weight management?
Yes. You can lose weight by doing many different activities, and rope flow is one of them.
Your eating choices, on the other hand, are the most important contributors to weight reduction. Educate yourself on food choices and become the person who picks items that are good for you. Weight loss will be a nice bonus.
By adding rope flow, your heart rate will increase, so you will be full of energy. This will set a positive tone for the rest of the day, so you don’t punish yourself with making poor food choices. It starts a chain reaction.
What muscles are working while doing rope flow?
Your body adapts to whatever stimulus you give to it, so in other words, muscle gain is a side effect of regular movement. While learning rope flow, you will mostly use your upper body muscles, including arms, shoulders, back, chest, abdominal muscle groups, and your most important body joint group — spine, as well as elbows, wrists, and hips.
Further down the line, you will be training your whole body and mind as ONE, from head to toes, from muscles to the nervous system, from joints and tendons to the lymphatic system.
How much time do you need to exercise with the rope?
You can benefit from as little as 5 minutes a day. But the more you play with it, the more benefits you’ll gain. If you are just starting your active lifestyle, start with 5 minutes a day. It is more important to maintain consistency than to overexert yourself on the first day and then injure yourself or quit.
If you feel like doing it for a straight hour, this is great. This can be difficult at first, but your body will adjust, and you will get more coordinated and start moving more effectively, which means your energy consumption will decrease. Your practice is not measured by time and reps only; there are also other factors that cannot be quantified. Those 5 minutes might be spent relaxing with contemplative concentration, or they can be quite difficult, leaving you sweating and gasping for air.
How much space do you need for rope flow?
The more space you have, the more you will be able to express yourself without worries. Once you know how to use it, 2x1x2m is enough. Spending a little more outside will benefit you more while learning. Or if you are concerned about the weather, an empty bus stop will do the thing.
Could you make such a rope at home?
Yes, you can make it yourself. Until I found the perfect rope, it took me more than 20 attempts and hours of research. Some of them were a total waste, some were quite ok, but still too light, not bendy, or poor quality.
But the most annoying part was that the ends got loose tips. I couldn’t use those with my clients at all. The faster and easier approach is to get an already made rope with nice finishing touches that will last longer and has been researched to match optimal rope flow practice, plus it looks so beautiful that having it in your house will inspire you to move more.
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