Since I started to do more mobility work & corrective stretching during my warm ups, I have seen a tremendous increase in my ability to move more fluidly & smoother
These stretches make me feel mobile & healthy, which allows me to lift heavier weight & practice bodyweight skills with better form
There are common areas that get tight in all of us, and this is due to our lifestyle habits (specially from sitting down a lot)… but instead of bitching about being tight all the time, why not do something about it? right?
So that is where corrective stretching comes in
Just doing this for about 5-10 min will loosen you up and make you feel super awesome, so you can lift heavier weights and move better!
- There are no set time or reps for the stretches
- Simply hold the stretch for as long as you want
- one of your sides will be tighter than the other, so spend more time stretching that tighter side
- you can do some of these stretches before doing a specific compound exercise (example: stretching the pec minor & hip flexor for 10-15 seconds before squatting to be able to squat deeper and keep the chest up)
Now lets look at each stretch with more detail:
Pec Minor Stretch
Grab a pole, a squat rack, wall, door or anywhere where you can put your arm & stretch out your pec
If you can’t feel the stretch simply move your arm up or down to find the spot
This will open up your chest making it easier for you to pull your shoulders back and push your chest up + also help to improve your rounded shoulders posture, so this stretch is essential!
QL Stretch (Quadratus Lumborum)
This a muscle in your lower back that is often unknown by many
There are multiple ways of stretching it, but the way I showed in the video (pushing your hips away from your body & back) works great!
Personally since I started stretching the QL I have been able to relieve my low back pain & tightness + increase my Deadlift!
Not many people stretch this muscle, but I guarantee you that once you do, you will become hooked on it & feel amazing afterwards!
The lats are often ignored as well but stretching them will make a huge difference in you ability to move your arms (specially when doing pull ups & front squats as they will help you raise your elbows higer)
Simply grab something & hang from it so you feel the stretch
One of your lats will be tighter than the other so just spend more time on the tighter side
Wrist & Forearm Stretch
I hate stretching my right wrist since it’s always tight compared to my left one, but it helps me big time, specially to practice bodyweight exercises
If you are gonna be doing handstands, muscle ups and front squats then this stretch is crucial to mobilize your wrists and forearms
Handstands alone put a lot of stress on this joint so it’s crucial that you stretch it out & also mobilize it by doing arm circles as well in order to prevent injury
You can do this in all fours like in the picture above (just move your butt down so you put feel the stretch a lot more & can also one arm at time instead of both together ) or you can also do it standing up against a wall by stretching one arm at a time
Puling your calf muscles sucks and am sure you are familiar with the feeling
For this stretch simply push against the wall, keep one leg straight with your Achilles tendon planted & the other one flexed….as you push the wall, also push your Achilles tendon back & you will feel an awesome stretch on your calves
This is essential to do if you are gonna do any type of heavy lifting, jumping or if you drive too much as pushing in the pedal shortens one of our calfs and makes it tighter than the other
Hip Flexor Stretch
All of us have tight hip flexors from sitting too damn much, so it’s crucial we stretch them out
Simply do a lunge, raise your opposite arm on top & feel a big stretch on your hip flexor
Stretching your hip flexors will make a huge difference when squatting!
Deep Squats and Hamstring Stretch
Squat down as deep as you can, grab your toes & raise your hips up – you will feel a big stretch on your hamstrings
The piriformis is a small muscle in your glutes (and if you have ever foam rolled it then you know it is tight!)
There are multiple ways to stretch this muscle, but the one I showed works great!
Simply cross your leg in front of you & drop down..when your down shift your weight to your flexed side to really feel the stretch on your glutes
This is perfect for any type of deadlifting or squatting
Simply raise your hips up as high as you can while contracting your glutes
If for some reason you can’t feel your glutes tensing up, then close your legs in even more & you for sure will tighten them up
This is more of a static exercise than a stretch, but activating your glutes is crucial for your workouts (specially for any leg exercise)
Prone Cobra (low back stretch)
This one also works on your glutes as well as your low back
You will notice that when you do this that you can’t hold it for a long time, and that’s because most likely your low back is weak, so start doing a couple of hold of prone cobras to strengthen your low back
Simply raise your arms and leg in front of you and contract your glutes so you feel tension in your low back & then hold for as long as you can or do sets of 10 seconds (or something like that)
Back Bridge Holds
If you need more flexibility on your back & a healthy spine then there is nothing better than back bridges
Since I started doing them my back feels a lot more mobile & healthy
Stretching your wrists, lats, calves & pec minor before doing back bridges will help you a lot to not feel tight while on the bridge position (which is often why most people cant do them)
If you can’t do back bridges right now, don’t worry – it does take time to develop the flexibility for them so don’t rush them
I wrote tutorial on how to progress to them, you can check that out here: Back Bridge Tutorial, Progressions & Tips
Touch Your Toes Stretch
Our last stretch on the list: touching your toes
The main reason why I included this stretch is because after doing back bridges, following them up with a opposing stretch works great to balance them out
A lot of strain can be put on your back from the bridges so this is a nice way to release some of that tension
All of these stretches work in conjunction to relive tightness throughout your whole body & are connected with one another
There are tons of more stretches that you can do, but I only included corrective stretches here; which are the ones that will release tension from your tight muscles and boost your performance during your workouts
So give them a go…and even if you don’t do all then pick 4-5 and get to work with them
I know you will feel a ton better & possibly even break PR if you have never stretched some these muscles before!
In the end doing these stretches will also improve your posture & make you a lot more mobile!
If you have more corrective stretches that have helped you to get stronger, then drop them below! I’d love to hear them!
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