My Top 2 Weighted Stretches…
Last week we discussed, a New Way to Stretch, talking about adding weight to stretching. I promised to provide my 2 favorite stretches this week. The first, Jefferson Curl, will improve most all of your posterior chain (lower leg, hamstring and all the way up the spine). Secondly, Shoulder Dislocates aka Passthru’s, working all aspects of your shoulders and thoracic area.
Begin by using a light weight such as an empty barbell, and stand on a box (or some weight plates) so that your feet are above the floor. Tuck your chin, lock your knees, and round your back one vertebrae at a time, letting the weight of the bar pull you into compression. Continue flexing your spine until you are as low as possible. In the bottom position your chin should be tucked, your legs should be straight, and the weight should be hanging from your arms. Slowly reverse these steps to stand up tall, focusing on extending your spine one vertebrae at a time. Start light (5-10 lbs might be enough for some people), and add weight only very gradually over time. Like other weighted mobility exercises, do not push through pain here.
The goal is to increase pain-free, active range of motion.
If you were to only perform one weighted stretch for the upper body, shoulder dislocates should probably be it. Briefly, use a PVC pipe loaded with a 2.5- or 5-lb weight plate to start, and stand up tall with your hands holding the PVC in front of your body. Keeping your elbows locked and your ribs in, lift the PVC up overhead, continuing all the way behind you until the PVC touches the small of your back. Move slowly and with control, and reverse this movement by lifting the weight (keep your elbows locked!) back up overhead until you reach the start position.
Quality is paramount here, so take your time and do these properly to yield the best results.
Any more questions, grab a coach and ask!