T Nation

Stretching and Powerlifting

Hey,

Been working out for awhile, but pretty new to powerlifting. It’s great fun and I hope to compete next year. I hear that stretching post-workout is very beneficial to lifting and have begun to incorporate that into my training. Just curious what stretches any of the more experienced (which is just about any of you haha) guys might recommend for maximum benefit for lifting. Thanks.

Check out the “mobility for old farts” sticky in the over 35 forum. Great information in that thread.

[quote]aeyogi wrote:
Check out the “mobility for old farts” sticky in the over 35 forum. Great information in that thread.[/quote]
I literally burst out laughing when I read that

In all seriousness I took yoga for a semester in school as a joke, but it actually really hellped

I would say about 75% of my training is now mobility work. If you can’t get into a good position, you can’t lift heavy shit.

Mobilitywod.com has been extremely helpful. Especially all of the shoulder work and squat/DL specific mobility stuff.

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:
I would say about 75% of my training is now mobility work. If you can’t get into a good position, you can’t lift heavy shit.

Mobilitywod.com has been extremely helpful. Especially all of the shoulder work and squat/DL specific mobility stuff.[/quote]

This. Sometimes ill take 30+ minutes before lifting just to work on mobility as a warmup.

People who dont powerlift dont understand the mobility that is needed to execute lifts with efficiency and proper technique.

Pavel has a video out called “Loaded Stretching”

I’m not putting up huge numbers or even a power lifter for that matter. But I do the lifts and take his advice and it helps me! I’m sure you could get some reviews on it yourself as well.

Just wanted to share an option!

[quote]Ryan Pelletier wrote:

[quote]aeyogi wrote:
Check out the “mobility for old farts” sticky in the over 35 forum. Great information in that thread.[/quote]
I literally burst out laughing when I read that

In all seriousness I took yoga for a semester in school as a joke, but it actually really hellped[/quote]

That thread is actually a fantastic resource.

[quote]Apoklyps wrote:
Hey,

Been working out for awhile, but pretty new to powerlifting. It’s great fun and I hope to compete next year. I hear that stretching post-workout is very beneficial to lifting and have begun to incorporate that into my training. Just curious what stretches any of the more experienced (which is just about any of you haha) guys might recommend for maximum benefit for lifting. Thanks.[/quote]

Really stretch the hell out of the pecs from all angles and low back/hips/hamstrings

Op–

You used the word “stretching” but notice the number of responders who used the word “mobility.” There’s a difference. IMO, static stretching is largely worthless, and yes, the mobility thread in the over 35 section is a great resource. I also have Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility DVD’s and think they are worth their weight in gold.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Op–

You used the word “stretching” but notice the number of responders who used the word “mobility.” There’s a difference. IMO, static stretching is largely worthless, and yes, the mobility thread in the over 35 section is a great resource. I also have Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility DVD’s and think they are worth their weight in gold. [/quote]

Yeah… I’m still quite new at this lol. Thank you all very much for pointing me in the right direction, though.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Op–

You used the word “stretching” but notice the number of responders who used the word “mobility.” There’s a difference. IMO, static stretching is largely worthless… [/quote]

I don’t know if I’d call it worthless. There are some positions and movements on mobilitywod that I can’t even get into because I have AWFUL flexibility in my calfs/ankles and hips/hams.

I still can’t do the FIRST mobilitywod because I can’t get into a squat position without at least 135lbs on my back. Even then, 185 is better.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Op–

You used the word “stretching” but notice the number of responders who used the word “mobility.” There’s a difference. IMO, static stretching is largely worthless, and yes, the mobility thread in the over 35 section is a great resource. I also have Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility DVD’s and think they are worth their weight in gold. [/quote]

Sleeper stretch is the only thing that keeps my shoulders from blowing up during pressing. Stretching your hip flexors, lats and pecs can also be very beneficial.

Dave, I feel your pain, but I just don’t think static stretching increases flexability, at least not without a lot of practice and some advanced techniques. The muscles being stretched need to be relaxed for static stretching to have any benefit to flexability, and as soon as you start the stretch, the muscle contracts and resists against the stretch. There are ways to fool the muscle to make it relax, but, again, this takes practice and advanced techniques. Also, if you are going to do any static stretching, its best done post workout, not before, IMO.

Here is an example of a “hold-relax-contract” technique:

@ gorangers0525: your experience may vary. I do some mobility work pre workout but don’t really spend any time static stretching.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Dave, I feel your pain, but I just don’t think static stretching increases flexability, at least not without a lot of practice and some advanced techniques. The muscles being stretched need to be relaxed for static stretching to have any benefit to flexability, and as soon as you start the stretch, the muscle contracts and resists against the stretch. There are ways to fool the muscle to make it relax, but, again, this takes practice and advanced techniques. Also, if you are going to do any static stretching, its best done post workout, not before, IMO.

Here is an example of a “hold-relax-contract” technique:

I feel like somewhere on mobilitywod he talks about contract relax, as well as holding stretches for like 2 minutes for any lengthening to actually occur. This was probably towards the beginning of mwod though, so maybe it’s now “obsolete.”

No stretching at all. I operate by the tight rubber band theory. The tighter and more inflexible I am, the more my body will have no choice but to lock out weight, because it can’t physically bend any other way.

(kidding)

For real though, sometimes I feel like my hip flexors are like a single ply suit by themselves.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Dave, I feel your pain, but I just don’t think static stretching increases flexability, at least not without a lot of practice and some advanced techniques. The muscles being stretched need to be relaxed for static stretching to have any benefit to flexability, and as soon as you start the stretch, the muscle contracts and resists against the stretch. There are ways to fool the muscle to make it relax, but, again, this takes practice and advanced techniques. Also, if you are going to do any static stretching, its best done post workout, not before, IMO.

Here is an example of a “hold-relax-contract” technique:

I like how he quotes the most useless and irrelevant stretch known to man as a benchmark test… and how he can touch his toes now lol…

Care to explain why my clients can do a workout with good form JUST from static stretching, where they couldn’t without it?.. No advanced bs or anything, just stretch your lat until you want to cry, now your hip flexor and ass… next thing you know they all can move properly. Yes, mobility work is key, but dont downplay stretching, especially for anyone who weight trains bc chances are they are unbalanced and tight as shit, they need all the help they can get

^^^ I’m glad it works for your clients. I’d suggest they keep doing what works. I’m an old fucker, who, in another life, was a collegiate springboard diver and later a professional highdiver who spent hours on end static stretching because he was told that was the way to improve “flexability,” which is an absolute requirement in those sports. IMO, and based experience, that was largely a waste of time, and almost all of the improvements I made to my “flexability” came from either active mobility work or using stretching techniques that allowed the muscle to relax during the stetch, which doesn’t happen by simply “stretching till you want to cry.” I’m convinced active mobility work is where its at. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat and if you think static stretching is the way to go, knock yourself out. I’m still convinced spending a bunch of time static stretching is largely a waste of time.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
^^^ I’m glad it works for your clients. I’d suggest they keep doing what works. I’m an old fucker, who, in another life, was a collegiate springboard diver and later a professional highdiver who spent hours on end static stretching because he was told that was the way to improve “flexability,” which is an absolute requirement in those sports. IMO, and based experience, that was largely a waste of time, and almost all of the improvements I made to my “flexability” came from either active mobility work or using stretching techniques that allowed the muscle to relax during the stetch, which doesn’t happen by simply “stretching till you want to cry.” I’m convinced active mobility work is where its at. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat and if you think static stretching is the way to go, knock yourself out. I’m still convinced spending a bunch of time static stretching is largely a waste of time. [/quote]

Fair enough. I do think that powerlifters and everyone as they get stronger and better in their sport have to keep adapting. I think think that if you drop static stretching completely for a while like a good amount of lifters do then incorporating it can still help. I think the main issue comes with the ability to stretch the stronger muscles later, as they need more motivation to hit end range at a particular joint angle (my main stretching focus, stretch the muscle from different angles), or if you are very flexible, like in your case as a diver. Static stretching probably wont help a yoga instructor, ballerina or a diver (sorry, im counting your flexibility in that category, but you know its up there).

Powerlifters, especially raw guys are fairly flexible, in SOME aspects, but not all of them, far from. If you cant perform the basic lifts without compensation at submax weight, thats a huge problem. Later, even with good form, you are likely going to develop imbalances, some of which are best worked with static stretching. Think of the hip and shoulder internal rotators as an example