Six Flexibility Exercises For Powerlifters and Strength Trainers
A flexibility program can benefit any type of workout program, especially when it comes to powerlifting and serious strength training.
It only make sense: the greater range of motion, the more strength gains across the board.
Here is a list of six flexibility exercises that will not only make you stronger, but help you prevent injuries by making your muscles more pliable.
Perform the program at least three to four times per week.
Pectorals and Shoulders
Strength trainers and powerlifters often overwork the chest muscles, lending to tight pectorals. This can lead to a something known as kyphosis, also known as a round back or hunchback, a condition in which the spine in the upper back has an excessive curvature.
The below stretch, coupled with various rowing strength training exercises, can help open up the area.
- Find a small to medium doorway.
- Grab both sides, with your hands outside the door frame, one leg forward, and elbows positioned below your shoulder level.
- Start with your forearms approximately 90 degree to your arms, and lean forward while extending out your arms. You should feel the stretch in your chest (pectoralis minor) and shoulders.
- Hold for 30 to 90 seconds, depending how tight the chest area is.
- Now, move your hands up to shoulder level, and lean forward (stretches middle fibers of both of your pectoralis). Hold for 30 to 90 seconds.
- Move your hands slightly above shoulder level, and repeat (stretches upper chest area).
Bicep and Front Deltoids
Standing Bicep Arm Stretch
- While standing, extend one arm out, with your palm facing upward.
- Press your fingers downward until you feel that stretch in your bicep.
Frequency: Hold for 20-30 seconds; Repeat three to four time, then change arms.
Lower Back, Hip and Gluteal Area.
Supine Knee-to-Chest Stretch
- While lying on the floor, grab one bent leg, and pull it close to your chest while keeping the other leg bent or straight on the floor while relaxed.
- You should feel a pull in your lower back region, along with a measure of “comfortable” tension in the hip and gluteal areas.
Frequency: Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat three to five times, then stretch the opposite leg.
Cobra Stretch (abdominals and spinal muscles) Video
This flexibility exercise will stretch your abdominal muscles and muscles along the spine, while tighten your butt and opening up your chest and shoulders.
- Lie face down on the floor, with your hands at your sides and the top of your feet flat of the floor.
- With your hands on the floor, push up and arch your torso back, pulling your shoulder away from your ears.
- Make sure to inhale on the way up, and exhale as your lower your torso.
Frequency: Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, and repeat three to four times.
Standing Hamstring Leg Stretch
- Place one leg on a chair or another level surface.
- Keeping your back leg straight, as well as the stretching leg, and reach as far down as you can without unlocking your knees.
- When you no longer can move forward, hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds.
- Switch legs, and repeat. You should will be able to move forward a little more with each repetition.
Frequency: Repeat three to four times.
Standing Quadriceps Stretch
Quadriceps (vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis and rectus femoris). – watch video
- Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, preferably with a hand on a door frame or chair for balance; a gate or bench when you’re outside.
- Grab the ankle of the leg you’re stretching, and pull back toward your buttocks until you feel the muscles working.
- Engage your abdominals to prevent the lower back from arching.
Frequency: Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times, then stretch the opposite leg.
November 15th 2015, written by Jerry Del Priore for Bodono.
Jerry Del Priore has worked as a certified personal trainer, and received his degree in Physical Education from Brooklyn College in 1991. Jerry is also a veteran print and digital Sports Writer-Reporter-Author experienced in writing in-depth profile stories on a variety of high school, college and professional athletes and teams.
Additionally, Jerry has developed a presentation based on his book, Running Through Roadblocks, which encourages children to overcome obstacles and never give up…no matter what!
Specialties: Baseball, football, hockey and basketball writing. Jerry also has covered lacrosse, soccer, golf and track and field, with ample experience cover women’s sports. Jerry is also a Food Writer/Blogger experienced in venue write-ups and reviews.
In addition, Jerry has ample experience working with medically fragile children, children with behavioral challenges and children with cognitively impairments.