General Stretching Of The Upper Body

stretching upper body

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand with your feet a little wider than your pelvis width and you back is straight :

  • Hold your ams vertically with your hands clasped and your fingers crossed. Your palms directed upwards :

  • Inhale to inflate your lungs to the maximum and stretch your intercostal muscles. Push your palms up keeping your back and head upright.

  • Exhale slowly by relaxing and starts again.

This stretching exercise stretches intercostal, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, teres major, triceps. When you incline your torso laterally, you stretch more your external oblique and internal oblique, quadratus lumborum and the internal and medium part of your erectors spinae.

stretching upper body lateral

Note

This stretch is great for relaxing the body after a training with heavyweights like leg press, squat, deadlift because the ribcage and spine have been compressed.

This movement may occasionally replace or supplement the stretching at the bar  to rebalance the pressure and tensions of the intervertebral joints.

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-Steph

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Abs Stretching

abs stretching anatomy

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on your stomach on your hands with your arms extended :

  • Straighten up your chest slowly by tilting your head back slightly

  • Maintain this position for few seconds while breathing slowly to feel the stretching of your abs.

Variant

It’s possible to make this movement with your hands on a bench and your feet on the floor, or you’re lying on your back on a big ball (Swissball).

Note

Stretching of abs can be an important element in some sports like throwing sports, especially the javelin. In this type of sports, it’s essential to have good flexibility and a good abdominal amplitude to make the movement perfectly.

Attention

Abs stretching are to be avoided in case of lumbar pathology.

different pelvis position man woman anterior superior iliac spine pubic tubercle anatomy

abs pregnant woman child belly weight antomy

Note

The position tilted forward (anteversion) of women’s pelvis allows a portion of the child’s weight to be transferred to the abs. By analogy, abs muscles can be compared to a « hammock ».

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-Steph

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Stretching Of Glutes

stretching glutes

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Sitting on the floor with one leg stretched out and the other leg bent with your foot on the floor and moving from the outer side of your leg stretched. Press on the outer side of your knee bent with your opposite elbow. This exercise mainly stretches the muscles of the gluteus maximus and the lateral rotator group (piriformis, gemellus superior, obturator internus, gemellus inferior, quadratus femoris and obturator externus).

Variant

It’s possible to press on your knee with your 2 hands.

lateral rotator group muscles hip

stretching glutes variant

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-Steph

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Stretching Of Gluteus Maximus And Hamstrings

stretching gluteus maximus hamstrings

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lie on your back with your legs stretched out on the floor :

  • Bring gently to your torso one leg with the knee flexed. This is help relax hamstrings with the help of your hands.

  • Maintain this position by breathing slowly and trying to really feel the stretching of the gluteus maximus muscle.

  • Back to the starting position and change of leg.

Variant

stretching gluteus maximus hamstrings

It’s possible to make this movement by bringing back to your torso a leg with the knee in extension. The stretching will be more intense on hamstrings and less on gluteus maximus. For some people, the tension of hamstrings will limit the flexion of the hip.

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-Steph

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Calf Stretching

calf stretching

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with your hands on your hips. One leg forward with your knees stretched and your feet in the knee axis :

  • Flex the knee of the front leg while advancing your pelvis. Be careful to keep your back leg straight and keep your heels on the floor.

  • Keep this position to feel the stretch of the back leg.

This exercise mainly stretches triceps surae (composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus), flexor muscles of the toes and tibialis posterior. This exercise stretches a little bit long and short fibular.

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-Steph

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Hamstring Stretching

hamstring stretching

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing in support on one leg with your knee slightly bend. Your other leg stretched with your forefoot in flexion :

  • Your hands on your thighs with your back slightly arched. Slowly tilt your torso forward and focus on the feeling of stretching to the back of your thigh. The tilting is done at the level of the pelvis.

  • Hold this position for about 20 seconds and return slowly to the starting position.

This exercise stretches all the hamstrings muscle , adductor magnus, gastrocnemius, soleus and a little bit gluteus maximus.

Variant

hamstring stretching bench

Standing in support on one leg. Your other leg stretched out on a bench :

  • Your hands on your thighs with your back slightly arched. Slowly tilt your torso forward and focus on the feeling of stretching to the back of your thigh. The tilting is done at the level of the pelvis.

  • Hold this position for about 20 seconds and return slowly to the starting position.

To have a better feeling of streching, it’s possible to relax the calf’s muscle of the leg on the bench with the foot in extension.

Attention

In bodybuiding/fitness, stretching movements have the function of equalizing the tensions of the muscles fibers inside the muscle and limiting the risk of injury.

By using heavyweight, if the muscle fiber tension inside a muscle isn’t homogeneous, it’s the most tense fibers that will tear.

It’s for this reason that it’s advisable to do stretching exercise specific to the muscular group worked at the beginning of the session and between the warm-up sets.

Stretching exercises are always done gently and moderately to preserve the joints and avoid excessive ligamentous stretching which could destabilize the joints and create inflammatory pathologies.

Note

To avoid squat and deadlift injuries, it’s necessary to do stretching exercises at the beginning of the session and between warm-up sets.

hamstring stretching

During tilting of the pelvis forward (anteversion), the hamstrings are stretched.

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-Steph

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How To Do Quadriceps Stretchning

quadriceps stretching

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand on one leg :

  • Take your ankle or your foot of your opposite leg.

  • Try to bring your heel closer to your buttocks by pulling upwards

This exercise works deep the iliopsoas and work a little bit the tensor fasciae latae.

To better feel the rectus femoris muscle (biarticular portion quadriceps), the thigh must be pulled as far back as possible. The quadriceps extension is naturally limited by the iliofemoral ligament’s tension.

Note :

To have a better balance, it’s possible to put your other arm on a stable object or a wall.

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-Steph

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