Top tips:

  • More stretching = more mobility = using more of the muscle = more muscle growth
  • Dynamic stretches before exercise – 8-10 reps each side
  • Static stretches after exercise – 30 sec hold each side
  • Listen to your body (start small, ease into big stretches)

Dynamic stretches – leg day (warm up)

  • Leg swingsthese can be done forward & back or across the body to warm up the full hip joint

  • Body weight squatgreat for preparing the knees to lift… hips back, chest up

  • 90/90 hip rotationsit on the floor with feet further than hip width apart, slowly rotate the knees either side. Keep both glutes on the floor, back straight, don’t twist in the torso

Static stretches – leg day (cool down)

  • Pigeona great stretch for the piriformis muscle, helps to relieve tension in the glute and lower back

  • Lying glute (against wall option) – targeting a different area of the glute to the pigeon stretch. Can be made harder by pulling supporting leg towards you or using a wall. Keep working knee out as much as possible

  • Foot to wall quad stretchgreat for stretching the full quad muscle compared to a standing quad stretch. Try placing a mat under the knee for comfort

Dynamic stretches – shoulders (warm up)

  • Shoulder pole stretch – start with a wider grip and work towards bringing your hands in. don’t bend your arms or push your body past its current range of movement

  • TheraBand chest pull – start with band out in front of you and pull out and towards top of chest, try to keep arms straight

  • Overhead pull down – similar to chest pull, starting with band above your head pull out and down towards top of chest. If pulling behind the head aim for top of shoulders

  • Dumbbell rotation – great for warming up the rotator cuff, use a very light dumbbell, keep the arm at constant right angles

Static stretches – shoulders (cool down)

  • Pull across – gently pull one arm across chest and relax that shoulder into the stretch, creating as much space between the ear and shoulder as possible

  • Wall stretch – face wall and stretch arm out horizontally along wall, slowly turn body away from wall leaving the arm connected, don’t rotate too far

  • Laying sleeper stretch – lay with your shoulder underneath you, arm at a right angle and gently push your lower arm toward floor. Don’t force it all the way down, just enough until you feel a stretch

General static stretches for maintenance

  • Single leg hamstring – sit up straight with one leg extended and one folded in, breathe in and as you exhale fold along the leg, great way to stretch hamstrings if you have tight lower back

  • Sciatic twist – from a hamstring forward fold bend one leg keeping the other straight, same arm as bent leg on shin or floor, raise the other arm up to sky and twist into the stretch, good for those with sciatica

  • Childs pose (optional addition) – kneeling on shins stretch the arms as far out as you can and sink your chest towards the floor, head down. To increase stretch across your chest place the hands on their fingertips and push chest towards the floor further

  • Laying spinal twist – laying flat on the back pull one knee into the chest, stretching arm out to the side, twist the knee across the body keeping shoulder in contact with the floor

Keep an eye out for another Stretching for Weightlifting workshop with Tabby!