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Old 09-22-2013, 02:58 AM   #1
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Default Optimal stretching routine

What is the optimal stretching routine? What should it include? How long should you hold each stretch? How often should it be performed? Feel free to post your routine here, in addition to your fave stretches and findings.

Although likely far from optimal, I'm going to post my stretching routine. It has helped me increase my squat mobility and deadlift setup greatly. It has also sped up the recovery from squats uncannily. I've found that you simply have to stretch if you wish to make optimal progress. Otherwise the muscles tighten up, don't recover properly and you develop injuries.

The routine is performed daily. I always change it depending on what is tight, and what doesn't need any more work at the moment. Right now my problem areas are my chest, shoulders, bis, forearms and rotator cuffs. I'm a believer that extremely long static stretches are the way to increased ROM:

Ankles - 2 min per ankle (on an angle board)
Dynamic ankle strecth - 100 reps per ankle (on an angle board with rubber band pulling ankle backwards)

Glutes - 4 min a side (bend knee in front of you and lean into it, alternating height: on the floor, on a stool or on a table, lower back arched)
Hammies - 4 min each leg (alternating: on the floor front splits, low table or high table... knees kept straight, lower back arched)
Hammies/hips - 2 min each leg (on the floor or on a table, knee bent, lower back arched)
Hammies - 1 min each leg (laying back against the floor, rubber band pulling leg downwards, pull knee against chest and grab ankle. then straighten knee for 3 seconds and release... repeat. lower back arched, other leg straight against floor)

Lats - 2 mins per side (kneeling down while rubber band pulls right arm across to the left, thus stretching right side of lats, and then vice versa for the other side)
Chest - 5 x 15 sec grab a broomstick in front of you with a wide grip and put it behind your back (arms straight)
Chest - 5 x 15 sec per side, elbow bent against a wall
Biceps/forearms - 5 x 15 sec per side, push your palm against a wall fingers pointing down, then turn away till it hurts (arms straight)
Forearms - 5 x 15 sec per side, push your back hand against a soft surface to stretch other side of forearm (arms straight)
Rotator cuffs - 5 x 15 sec - sit down and put the backs of your hands against the sides of your hips (left hand, left hip - right hand, right hip), put elbows between knees and squeeze knees together

Squat stretch - 2 mins in the bottom position with a 20 kg (44 lb) dumbbell held in hands.
Lower back stretch - 2 mins in the squat position leaning backwards while pulling a rubber band... let the back round and relax

In addition every non-training day I add these:

Glutes - 2 min a side (same as the 4 min stretch)
Hammies - 1 min stand with feet together and touch toes, or if you can, try to get forehead to shins
Hammies - 2 min a side (same as the 4 min stretch)
Groin - 2 min side splits
Quads - 2 min kneel down on the floor and bend your back to the floor
Quads - 2 min per quad, kneel one leg on the floor and grab the ankle with hand, bend forwards

Total time taken: 60 min - 90 min

For bands I use two big bike inner tubes tied together and one end crammed between a door. They work great!
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Last edited by mohiz; 09-22-2013 at 09:34 AM. Reason: forgot some things
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:12 AM   #2
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Good post.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:07 AM   #3
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How to make your own DIY Ankle Stretch Apparatus
"It ain't pretty, but it gets the job done"

Tools needed:
  • saw
  • screwdriver

Materials needed:
  • screws (32 x)
  • angle iron (4 x)
  • PVC pipe (around 11 cm (4"-5") diam.)
  • bicycle inner tube
  • wooden board (hardboard/chipboard/particle board)



Instructions:
  1. Saw a piece of the board around 28 cm x 46 cm across (11" x 18")
  2. Saw two pieces of 6 cm x 20 cm across (2.5" x 8") The ones in the image are of different sizes, but it's not critical.
  3. Saw a piece of the PVC pipe 45 cm in length (18")
  4. Attach one of the smaller pieces to the big piece with the angle irons, parallel to the longer side
  5. Put your foot against the piece you just attached and mark the location of the other side piece according to your foot size
  6. Attach the second smaller piece to the angle and place you just found
  7. Set the board on top of the PVC pipe. Place the inner tube on top of the board and the other end under the PVC pipe for added grip with both the floor and your feet.
  8. Ready to use!

Use your imagination on ways to use this. You can, for example, put your foot on it, and bend your knee past your toes while leaning to a wall in front of you. The side walls and the bicycle tube will hold your foot firmly in place for optimum stretch with less slippage. You can adjust the angle by moving the board in relation to the PVC pipe.

Added bonus: you can also use PVC pipes like this as foam rollers.
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Last edited by mohiz; 09-29-2013 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:42 AM   #4
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That thing looks like a device from Saw.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleurplaay View Post
That thing looks like a device from Saw.
Haha that's what it will feel like, too
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