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Lifting (power and Oly) and Stretch Therapy


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Would be interested in hearing others' experiences of how their lifting has been affected by the rapid increases in range of motion stretch therapy yields, and how people have adapted any training they did with this in mind.

I've been focussing on the squat and hip master series and have notice real improvements in ankle, hip and shoulder (mobility and health). I remember reading some comments of Kit's about temporary losses in strength as the body will initially be weaker in the new ranges of motion and lack some of the "tonus" that is needed for good lifting.

The comments refer to 3-5 rep max lifts, so c.85-90% of absolute maximum. Im not super strong ("intermediate" per exrx.net) but would say technically OK.

Strict Press. This lift is a real weak point of mine. I think I will see a rapid gains here, as I can get my shoulders into a stronger position throughout the lift from rack to overhead.

Bench Press. I think the main benefit will be in rotator cuff health, but I'm also noticing I can brace my legs much more powerfully with better hip extension.

Back/Front Squat. Again better rack position, but of course now better hip and ankle motion. Additional depth issues are easy to fix by bringing the feet a bit closer. Meanwhile better hip alignment is allowing me to use my glutes much more effectively, this is particularly noticeable in the back squat.

Overhead Squat. This feels more solid too, due to the combo of improved... well everything.

Deadlift. This is the one lift I'm struggling with, my normal setup routine is not yielding enough hamstring loading anymore, and the position I end up in with that tension dialed just doesnt feel right for pulling.

I havent commented on Oly lifts as these anyway go through the positions found in the above lifts, with more dynamic transitions.

In general, Im also noticing much better awareness of which muscles Im engaging when, which Im sure will be beneficial.

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I can't imagine flexibility worsening your deadlifting. It should improve it as you're less likely to round your back at the bottom of the lift. The lift shouldn't be dependent upon the stretching of the hamstrings to get a good workout from it. You might try RDL's, I find they are better for the glutes and hams, though they still get the whole posterior chain. My weightlifting is much improved since focusing on strength training. I'm not lifting more weight, but my ROM is improved, so effectively it is stronger, and most importantly, I feel less stiffness after my workouts now, and feel more stable, less injury prone, during the lifting. I mostly use weights just for squatting, deadlift, and cleans. I use bodyweight/gymnastic exercises for my upper body and core strength.

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I think the DL is the one lift where my performance is/was not adversely affected by RoM, as long as you can reach 6 inches above the floor with straight legs you are flexible enough... for sure a big deadlift needs you to have everything "loaded". As I say I think I just need to adapt my setup routine..

I'll give RDL a go. I dont lift round-backed, but am a back-lifter, so will need to be really careful not to revert to pattern there if Im to get the GH full effect.

Bodyweight. My bar dips have improved dramatically in a short period, again due to much better shoulder position through the movement. I havent noticed much impact on pushups, pullups etc.

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MT wrote:

You might try RDL's, I find they are better for the glutes and hams, though they still get the whole posterior chain.

These are a truly excellent exercise; I recall doing these with 140Kg, sets of five back in the day, with zero knee extension, too. If these don't get your glutes and hams, you don't have any! And much safer for the lower back too (partly because it's much easier to maintain any desired shape there, once you have the ROM, and secondly because of the longer levers, you do not need anywhere as much weight to get strong effects).

I do single leg versions now, and superset these with speed skater squats. Glute Hell.

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MT wrote:

These are a truly excellent exercise; I recall doing these with 140Kg, sets of five back in the day, with zero knee extension, too. If these don't get your glutes and hams, you don't have any! And much safer for the lower back too (partly because it's much easier to maintain any desired shape there, once you have the ROM, and secondly because of the longer levers, you do not need anywhere as much weight to get strong effects).

I do single leg versions now, and superset these with speed skater squats. Glute Hell.

I also used them in the past with strict form. In 2008, I remember I could to a 180kgx3 reps with a 1RM DL of 230kg. Also, you might not know but there's a more "dynamic" version of this exercise which is called Dimel's (from the famous PLer Matt Dimel).

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I meant to add, "with zero knee extension when doing the lift"; the knees are flexed, but their angle is held fixed while the extension happens at the hips. Beginners have a really hard time with this, always straightening the knees as well as extending the spine around the hips. Properly done, once the kneed angle is set, it does not change until the set is done.

Fede: good numbers, specially for one so light.

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Fede, the version I describe hits the glutes WAY harder, and why I was doing them that way. The straight-leg version does target the HS more, for sure. The SSS will reactivate the glutes; you'll see. And when you have re-acquired symmetry in the body, many things will become possible again.

As well, my sense in the body is that the version you did produces far higher inter abdominal pressure, too. Something to think about.

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Fede, the version I describe hits the glutes WAY harder, and why I was doing them that way. The straight-leg version does target the HS more, for sure. The SSS will reactivate the glutes; you'll see. And when you have re-acquired symmetry in the body, many things will become possible again.

As well, my sense in the body is that the version you did produces far higher inter abdominal pressure, too. Something to think about.

Yes Kit, I know and this is why I pointed that out. Dimel's deadlifts have a similar effect on glutes as well. I'm not doing deadlifts since more than 2 years now. I'm looking forward to learn the SSS.

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Just tried a meaty combo of sumo DL, push press, pistols and pull ups. Topped and tailed by 1000m on the rowing erg... gluteliscious. The second round of rowing and indeed the push press were surprisingly difficult.

Kit, I found your demo for the skater squat and tried the few my legs still had in them. I will be using those with my students who cant manage pistols, it looks like a good way of building glute strength/activation while working on the other elements needed for a pistol (in addition to your pistol progressions)

For the bent knee/zero extension RDL, do I understand correctly, from the top:

- hold bar in hang position

- bend knees x amount, keeping torso upright (like you might initiate a jerk)

- keeping knees and a constant angle, lower bar by pushing hips back and so hinging at the waist

- descend as far a mobility allows

- rise focusing using glutes

- constant neutral back throughout.

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checked my DL yesterday. here's the post on facebook with the video.

<div id="fb-root"></div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>

<div class="fb-post" data-href="

data-width="466"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="
>Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/keilani.gutierrez">Keilani Y. Gutierrez</a>.</div></div>

about my technique, i should have been doing more lifting and less doing the robot xD hahahaha

DL January '13- 135lbs for 3 reps, 225lbs as my 1RM. BW of 146-150lbs

DL September '14- 135lbs warm up for 3 reps, 225lbs for 8 reps, 295lbs for 2 reps at BW of 160lbs (with 7-8 failed attempts to get it out of the "hole" because the barbell kept rotating out of my hands, because the swivels were welded solid and it was the only barbell that could have that much weight put on at the time.)

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@keilani My DL is pretty similar to yours, just off 2x BW..

As a powerlifting style DL, form looks pretty good to me, especially if it's a max lift; setup position is solid, however hips initiate slightly which suggests you could perhaps be a bit more braced and connected through your core and shoulders to the bar, that said back angle is then constant until bar is past your knees. Personally I prefer to breath/brace my core and set my shoulders while still standing up, then go down to the bar and really just focus on tensioning my legs by taking the slack out of the bar, because I find it hard to tighten my core from scratch at the bottom. Finally, I would just say that once it's off the ground it seems almost too slow, and I don't think that was due to the weight but from being too deliberate, once that bar levitates, try and keep it accelerating (of course this will be relative close to max).

Solid work!

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