T Nation

Static Stretching/Foam Rollers

Hi,

I have trouble maintaining an arch in my lower back during full squats (I even wear squat shoes), and keeping my chest up and lower back arched during deadlifts. But mainly, in squats I lack lordotic flexibility and deadlifts kyphotic. And probably both.

I’ve been doing static stretches for a month and foam rolling for about 2 months. Recently I’ve started to do dynamic mobility stretches (from MM). My question is - should I stop doing static stretches and only do foam rolling and dynamic? The reason being I read a lot about how static stretching is receiving a lot of flack and I’m afraid to lose any elasticity in my muscles. Should I do them all?

I’m getting frustrated with my lack of ability to keep my lower back arched, it’s becoming quite the pain in the ass (my lower back is starting to ache, albeit minuscule aches). Im benching more than I squat, and I know my legs are waay more powerful than my upperbody. In squat my legs never get sore, or any of my body for that matter.

The only thing squats do is make my back feel really tight after them as if I was doing back extensions. Its as if the squats was solely a posterior chain exercise (and I’m doing full squats). I’ve read Starting Strength by Rippetoe numerous times and for each movement I go by his form.

Thanks

Are you new to lifting free weights? Squats, DL’s etc Its very likely your low back is jst the weak link inn the chain. It just needs time and work to get stronger, sqauts, DL, GM’s, back extensions, reverse hyper.

nail a strong core (abs) as well to help hold that squat load goes a long way to you not folding over. Also be sure your getting the upper back and whole damn body for that matter tight as you can

Phill

I’ve been weightlifting for over two years.

My main question is should I be doing static stretches along side dynamic and foam rolling? Or should I not do static stretches?

Thanks.

[quote]Baldr wrote:
I’ve been weightlifting for over two years.

My main question is should I be doing static stretches along side dynamic and foam rolling? Or should I not do static stretches?

Thanks.[/quote]

The answer to this question will be different depending on who you ask.

On whether to stretch them at all:
I know Eric Cressey is a large advocate of no static stretching for the hamstrings and relying solely upon foam rolling and dynamic stretches/warmup stuff for himself and his athletes.

This is due to what he said is largely neural tightness of the area rather than actual tightness. (He addressed this in one of his articles this year, I can dig it up if you like).

On elasticity:
As far as the losing elasticity in your muscles, there is no rule saying you have to stretch pre-workout. Save it for postworkout and then you have no worries.

I can’t recall where I read it but a S&C coach for some hockey team said he’ll have his team statically stretch and then go warm up on the ice for 10-15 minutes, by then the loss of elasticity from the stretching has “worn off” (my words, not his).

On other issues:
Losing your lordotic arch when you do back squats is not necessarily your hamstrings fault either. How is your day to day posture? How are your hip flexors? Are you glutes firing?

Mike Robertson had a great article recently (last month?) about fixing your force couples in your Hips. Great read and it lays it all out on how tight/shortened hip flexors can cause a variety of issues with other things.

Good luck and if you need me to dig up the articles I can but they shouldn’t be too hard to find.

[quote]Backlash79 wrote:

On elasticity:
As far as the losing elasticity in your muscles, there is no rule saying you have to stretch pre-workout. Save it for postworkout and then you have no worries. [/quote]

Thanks for clearing that up. I knew never to stretch pre-workout, but I thought that stretching post workout (or any time) would permanently decrease some elasticity in your muscles.

I remember the same thing. I still wouldn’t static stretch within 1 hour of workout.

[quote]On other issues:
Losing your lordotic arch when you do back squats is not necessarily your hamstrings fault either. How is your day to day posture? How are your hip flexors? Are you glutes firing?

Mike Robertson had a great article recently (last month?) about fixing your force couples in your Hips. Great read and it lays it all out on how tight/shortened hip flexors can cause a variety of issues with other things.[/quote]

I recall that article as well. I believe it was “Hips Don’t Lie” and he talks about the different pelvic tilts?

So I guess the only thing I can do is keep on dynamic stretching, foam rolling, and static stretching - and someday after constantly doing this I will be able to maintain an arch in the lower back?

[quote]Baldr wrote:

So I guess the only thing I can do is keep on dynamic stretching, foam rolling, and static stretching - and someday after constantly doing this I will be able to maintain an arch in the lower back?[/quote]

As well as continue squatting with a light or no load. Overhead squats can be a good addition also.