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Loaded Stretching For Power?

I have recently seen a DVD by Pavel called “loaded stretching” that has to do with stretching with weights or resistince or something. It apperently promises increased strength, but more importantly, for me at least, increased spring and power. I tried the quad bridge stretch on the cover and noticed that my legs felt more mobile, yet more powerful at the same time. I know Louie Simmons has endorsed this, but it is hard to find an unbiased review of any Pavel’s products.

I was just wondering if anyone else has heard of these techniques (strectching with a controlled strain), and how to use them, or better yet if there is anyone who owns this product and can explain it. Also, any tips on how to increase power and explosin would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Personally I doubt that this technique will have the acute effects of strength that Pavel claims, unless a lack of mobility in a muscle is hindering a movement. However, you can give it a shot…

Here are some loaded stretches:

1)Stand on one leg, push your hips backwards. At the bottom position your torso should be parallel to the ground and your knees should be straight as possible. A bit like a good morning or a romanian deadlift.

Another stretch is this one:

One leg calf raise on a step, let your body sink down into the bottom position

And another one:

Get into a pushup position with your hands elevated a few inches on small boxes(phone books work well) Get your shoulders blades back and down, with your elbows tucked (like good bench press technique), and hold the bottom position. This is like a cambered bar bench press, except… with a pushup. Heh.

  1. This is a neat one that I cooked up. Fully extend your elbow so that it locks, and rotate your arm so that the palm of your hand is facing backwards. Isometrically tense your biceps and triceps. You can “load” any muscle during a stretch by tensing agonist and antagonist. This is similar to pnf techniques…

Now you should be able to apply and experiment with loaded stretches.

Hope this helps.

Thanks a lot for all of the information, I guess I was right to be a little skeptical, Pavel always tends to exergerate the benefits of his products, and how “secret” they are. You seem to know what your talking about and I can’t wait to try some of the drills you listed. Thanks again, the info, and newly gained knowledge is greatly appreciated.

Just a couple follow-up questions.

  1. Should I tense up when doing all of these stretches, and what should I tense up. For example during the “one legged deadlift” stretch should I tense the entire leg, the entire body, just the quads and hams, etc? I ask this because I have read an article by coach sonnon (great stuff if haven’t heard of him) about selctive tension, tensing one muscle while leaving others free flowing. For example, using crush grippers while practicing arm mobility drills (tense grip, loose shoulders).

I have also read, that in any fast-moving action (sprinting, jumping, O-Lifts, etc.), there needs to be a relationship between tension and relaxation. Like in sprinting, you will never be fast if you can’t relax during certain parts of the sprint, and the muscles that are tensed, that shouldn’t be, become a hinderence, acting like brakes.

  1. When tensing the agonist and antagonist muscles, do you tense them at the same time? I’m guessing yes, but not 100% sure

Thanks again for all the info, just want to make sure I’m applying it correctly.

Search for “Stretch Mark Mass” by Don Alessi. It’s about using loaded stretches to accelerate hypertrophy during bulking phases.

“1) Should I tense up when doing all of these stretches, and what should I tense up. For example during the “one legged deadlift” stretch should I tense the entire leg, the entire body, just the quads and hams, etc?”

It depends on how comfortable you are with the exercise. If you are unfamiliar with the exercise and/or it is difficult for you, I would not attempt to add antagonistic tension. However, if it is easy for you, then experiment with adding tension. Local tension should work just fine, although I would tighten the “core” if stability is a concern, such as in the one-legged stretch described.

Alternatively, depending on the exercise you may hold weights. Err on the side of light here.

“I have also read, that in any fast-moving action (sprinting, jumping, O-Lifts, etc.), there needs to be a relationship between tension and relaxation. Like in sprinting, you will never be fast if you can’t relax during certain parts of the sprint, and the muscles that are tensed, that shouldn’t be, become a hinderence, acting like brakes.”

Yes, I would focus on technical performance, and “feel” for lack of a better word.

2)“When tensing the agonist and antagonist muscles, do you tense them at the same time? I’m guessing yes, but not 100% sure”

Yes, like when you are showing someone your muscles.

Note that you do not want to engage in any sort of vigorous activity(especially sprinting) afterwards if you do this PNF style aiming to increase flexibility. That is how I hurt my hip two years ago.

[quote]skiburr wrote:
Thanks a lot for all of the information, I guess I was right to be a little skeptical, Pavel always tends to exergerate the benefits of his products, and how “secret” they are. You seem to know what your talking about and I can’t wait to try some of the drills you listed. Thanks again, the info, and newly gained knowledge is greatly appreciated.[/quote]

I haven’t seen this DVD but I’ve literally seen ever other flexibility DVD Pavel has and they’re ALL worth the money.

[quote]Robert Monti wrote:
skiburr wrote:
Thanks a lot for all of the information, I guess I was right to be a little skeptical, Pavel always tends to exergerate the benefits of his products, and how “secret” they are. You seem to know what your talking about and I can’t wait to try some of the drills you listed. Thanks again, the info, and newly gained knowledge is greatly appreciated.

I haven’t seen this DVD but I’ve literally seen ever other flexibility DVD Pavel has and they’re ALL worth the money.[/quote]

I’m not bashing Pavel by any means. I’ve done some of the mobility drills he prescribes and they are great. I’m just saying that it is usually difficult to get an objective review of his products.

If you are a neutral reviewer, then which of these would you recommend? I play baseball, so for me it is all about mobility and fluidity of movement, not being able to put my foot in my mouth.