T Nation

Tight Everything!


#1

Hello all. I will try to keep this short. I have always been tight and not a fan of stretching and as a result have always lifted relatively heavy with some pain and forced motion. I have recently decided to try some Olympic lifting and realized that I need to do some work on my mobility. I have tight shoulders, back, hips, and the worst of all is my ankle mobility (very poor dorsiflexion). I have watched some of Kelly Starrets videos and seen some techniques, but I was wondering if there was a daily mobility and flexibility routine out there I could use to hit these areas, especially ankles? I could do something twice a day of it would help. I would like to have a good amount of change in three weeks of at all possible so I can get back to lifting heavy. Thanks!


#2

Foam roll everything it helped me a lot and I’m 265 I thought the damn foam roller was gonna break the first time I used it lol. For ankles and everything else just keep at it stretched the calves, tight calves caused some of my ankle issues. Do shoulder dislocators once a day and some band pull aparts for your back. Three weeks might not cut it, the older you are the more you’ll have to work on it. It’s not something you’ll do for three weeks and stop you’ll work on mobility pretty much from here on out.


#3

Hmm… there really isn’t any sort of magical fix. You just have to be consistent about mobility over time. For what it’s worth, I have much better luck with weighted stretches like using a little weight for a standing hamstring stretch, or using a db in the goblet position for a stretch while using my elbows to push my knees out. There’s some stretches you can do lying down for your shoulders with dumbbells. I like shoulder dislocates. If they bother your wrists, try using a band or a yoga strap. And most importantly, be consistent. If you haven’t worked on this for a long time, expect it to take a long time to fix.


#4

stretch hard immeditely after post workout when more pliable.

Focus especially on pecs/opening up the chest for upper body (this will take strain off both back and shoulders) and a lower back+hammie stretch


#5

Tight ankles suck. I used to have them, and they interfered with my squat. I’ve had some tightness elsewhere too, but it seemed like ankles are the hardest to make changes on. Do what Starrett recommends, and do it daily, especially for ankles. It might take a couple of weeks or longer with consistency. And I agree with Fletch1986 - weighted stretches have generally been best for me.


#6

Donnie Thompson “Super D” does some cool ankle and calf exercises with Flex Bands. Check out " super d ankle secrets" and “flexion your ankles.”

Marryann Berry has a few recent articles on Tnation with some good moves/drills.

Then there are about a million articles about posture/mobility here on too.

In my opinion, its best to try 2 or 3 little mobility/activation type moves for each area you’re struggling with. Some will be too easy, or too hard. But then you’ll find that perfect drill, that does just what you want. Once you have a few good moves, you can work out your own super effective mobility routine. After like 2-3 weeks of doing that stuff a couple times a day, the moves start to feel bad, and don’t work so well.

So 1 series could be…
-Band Pull Aparts/Band Dislocates for upper back/shoulders/chest
-Hip Hikes and Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch for quads and hips
-Band ankle exercises, then goblet squat bottom position stretch.

After a couple weeks, when this stuff bores you out of your mind you can switch too

-Prone trap raises and Scarecrows
-Clamshells and Terminal Knee Extensions
-Glute bridges and b.w. calf raises on the floor.


#7

Oh, I just noticed you want to focus on ankles.

A squat position is your friend. At the gym, you put a barbell on top of the meat close to your knees in a rock bottom squat position and this will help. If you don’t have a barbell at home, you get in the squat position next to a rail or whatever and pull yourself closer to it. Of course some generic calf stretches and ankle mobility drills will help too.

Here’s the wall drill.


#8

I was the same way…tight in the mornings, not very mobile hamstrings. Nevertheless I got into decent shape, but once I picked up a trainer and he zero’d in on my poor hip/ham/lower back mobility I started to work it hard and really opened myself up.

Best motivation for me was so a nice pop in my squat strength…both in the low and high rep ranges.