T Nation

Stretching and Powerlifting

Stretch the shit out of your wrists and shoulders before benching, and stretch the shit out of ankles and hips before squatting and deadlifting. Problem solved

So funny because I have the opposite problem: hypermobility. My joints naturally move too far beyond the healthy ROM, and it has cost me injuries in this sport. Anyone else have that problem?

Everything has its place. If I don’t keep up with mobility work and static stretching, I feel like shit all the time. I know the whole “stretching isn’t cool” movement is big now… mostly so people can sell their “Super Secret Warm-Up Protocol.” But, static stretching is important for most. Honestly, I don’t think it should be done anywhere near and actual workout but it still has its place in my training.

[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]
Examples of the stretches youre referring to please

When i static stretch during my warm up my training goes well. When I don’t I injure myself. For me, it is that simple.

I’ve found benefits from doing static stretching for a warmup and then some dynamic warmups especially for squats and pulls. My shoulders have always been fucked so I tend to try and stretch my pecs out regularly so my shoulders dont rotate forward as much and really get at it with a lacrosse ball. That lacrosse ball has caused more pain and done more for my mobility than most anything else. On a similar note I’ve been thinking about picking up “the stick” or “the big stick” to really work on my hamstrings as my left one has been nagging me for what seems like forever. Anyone have any opinions on either product? Sorry for the derail but thanks for any insight.

[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.
[/quote]

In my opinion one should only do mobility work and/or stretching IF there is a NEED. Kind of obvious but still.

Other posters mentioned cases when this stuff is needed:

  • you can’t get into proper position without it (e.g., losing arch)
  • you feel like shit or get injured otherwise

The two are probably related.

If you don’t suffer from problems, you might want to skip that stuff - training economy and all that.

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:

[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.
[/quote]

In my opinion one should only do mobility work and/or stretching IF there is a NEED. Kind of obvious but still.

Other posters mentioned cases when this stuff is needed:

  • you can’t get into proper position without it (e.g., losing arch)
  • you feel like shit or get injured otherwise

The two are probably related.

If you don’t suffer from problems, you might want to skip that stuff - training economy and all that.[/quote]

Maybe there is not a need and I don’t have a bunch of problems because I do it so much. I do a shit load of mobility and stretching and have very little problems even though I move some pretty heavy weights around and am technically a fat guy.

What you mentioned is seems half assed and lazy to me. “Oh, I’ll just worry about it when it’s a problem.” I’ve made a lot of training programs for people and one of the most important stages of developing something that is actually going to work in the long term is identifying and addressing common injuries in whatever the sport is being trained for. If I had to chose between spending extra time on pre-hab work then having to not train to re-hab something, I don’t mind if training economy is not 100%.

Most of my mobility work is done outside of heavy training sessions anyway.

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:

[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.
[/quote]

In my opinion one should only do mobility work and/or stretching IF there is a NEED. Kind of obvious but still.

Other posters mentioned cases when this stuff is needed:

  • you can’t get into proper position without it (e.g., losing arch)
  • you feel like shit or get injured otherwise

The two are probably related.

If you don’t suffer from problems, you might want to skip that stuff - training economy and all that.[/quote]

Maybe there is not a need and I don’t have a bunch of problems because I do it so much. I do a shit load of mobility and stretching and have very little problems even though I move some pretty heavy weights around and am technically a fat guy.

What you mentioned is seems half assed and lazy to me. “Oh, I’ll just worry about it when it’s a problem.” I’ve made a lot of training programs for people and one of the most important stages of developing something that is actually going to work in the long term is identifying and addressing common injuries in whatever the sport is being trained for. If I had to chose between spending extra time on pre-hab work then having to not train to re-hab something, I don’t mind if training economy is not 100%.

Most of my mobility work is done outside of heavy training sessions anyway. [/quote]

I agree. I much rather prevent injury and keep training then have to take time off and address an injury. I understand that prehab can feel like a waste because on the surface you don’t see anything being gained from it. But staying pain free and relatively healthy for powerlifting is huge. Prehab may not directly increase your total but being able to train effectively and get through a training cycle without any problems will increase your total.

[quote]UAphenix wrote:
I’ve found benefits from doing static stretching for a warmup and then some dynamic warmups especially for squats and pulls. My shoulders have always been fucked so I tend to try and stretch my pecs out regularly so my shoulders dont rotate forward as much and really get at it with a lacrosse ball. That lacrosse ball has caused more pain and done more for my mobility than most anything else. On a similar note I’ve been thinking about picking up “the stick” or “the big stick” to really work on my hamstrings as my left one has been nagging me for what seems like forever. Anyone have any opinions on either product? Sorry for the derail but thanks for any insight.[/quote]

Na, just use a barbell or railing that is about hip height. swing leg over and apply pressure, im sure you have access to either or both without having to pay for it, too. I do the same on my triceps, tried the lax ball but it pissed me off. wear some underarmour (yes, i said it) and roll it out on the bar, or you could baby powder on your tris, or just sweat a lot i suppose. not on the knurling of course…

bruised the hell out of my tris, but i could get into a front rack position that takes forever to warm up to

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:

[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.
[/quote]

In my opinion one should only do mobility work and/or stretching IF there is a NEED. Kind of obvious but still.

Other posters mentioned cases when this stuff is needed:

  • you can’t get into proper position without it (e.g., losing arch)
  • you feel like shit or get injured otherwise

The two are probably related.

If you don’t suffer from problems, you might want to skip that stuff - training economy and all that.[/quote]

Maybe there is not a need and I don’t have a bunch of problems because I do it so much. I do a shit load of mobility and stretching and have very little problems even though I move some pretty heavy weights around and am technically a fat guy.

What you mentioned is seems half assed and lazy to me. “Oh, I’ll just worry about it when it’s a problem.” I’ve made a lot of training programs for people and one of the most important stages of developing something that is actually going to work in the long term is identifying and addressing common injuries in whatever the sport is being trained for. If I had to chose between spending extra time on pre-hab work then having to not train to re-hab something, I don’t mind if training economy is not 100%.

Most of my mobility work is done outside of heavy training sessions anyway. [/quote]

I understand your point and it is good one. I really meant my advice more for beginners than intermediate or advanced lifters. While in an ideal world even beginners should have an understanding of mobility, pre-hab, etc., it would be very low on my list of things to tell/teach them if they don’t have an apparent form issue or injury/pain. Proper form, intensity, basic nutrition, consistency, etc. come way first and are already very difficult to teach. You know how they are and how many lifters, even on this forum, major in the minor shit.

Having said that, I’m incredibly lazy when it comes to mobility work. I think I would benefit a GREAT deal from it…oh well some day.

To have a little “couple time”, I have been going to a beginning yoga class with the wife. I think it is like the castor oil of exercise and can’t say I really enjoy it. However, I do notice a positive difference in lifting after I have suffered through a yoga session. Also, lots of cute girls in the class which helps pass the time. If I was a single guy, I would really consider taking a beginner’s class. I tend to prefer solo workouts of almost all types, but since I hate stretching so much it makes it a lot easier for me to have a set class with an instructor.

If you never have tried yoga, make sure it is a BEGINNER’S class!

Really, for me to recommend yoga it must work. I typically just want to smack anyone yammering on about yoga. If I start recommending a cleanse though, you have my express permission to shoot me.

Just like everything with lifting, the only way to know if something works for you is to try it out.

[quote]GoCal wrote:
lots of cute girls in the class
[/quote]

My buddy had mentioned this before to try and bribe me into going to yoga with him. Damn good motivation already, but if it will also help my lifts at the same time, I’m 110% sold. Any good?

[quote]UAphenix wrote:
I’ve found benefits from doing static stretching for a warmup and then some dynamic warmups especially for squats and pulls. My shoulders have always been fucked so I tend to try and stretch my pecs out regularly so my shoulders dont rotate forward as much and really get at it with a lacrosse ball. That lacrosse ball has caused more pain and done more for my mobility than most anything else. On a similar note I’ve been thinking about picking up “the stick” or “the big stick” to really work on my hamstrings as my left one has been nagging me for what seems like forever. Anyone have any opinions on either product? Sorry for the derail but thanks for any insight.[/quote]

I swear by The Stick. Never tried VTTrainer’s solution, but I highly recommend the Stick

I have only been to five yoga sessions so can’t say anything more than bro science. However, I went to yoga in the morning before the second and third week 3s day of Smolov and felt good. I was able to get al the reps in with deep squatting. I certainly think it helped.

Really, try it out and see how it works for you. It’s not like you have to invest in any serious equipment to try it.

For me, I am super lazy and only want to spend time doing things I get a good return on. I like it because it is an easy way for me to get a little stretched. The girls are a bonus to pass the time.