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-   -   Relax during lifting (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3417)

Brian Lawyer 11-26-2008 07:25 PM

Relax during lifting
My Coach tells me I need to relax while I'm lifting. He says I am way too tense. Anybody got suggestions?

I think this is most noticeable when I am jerking or pressing. Coach told me to relax my face because I am not lifting the weights with my face. I've tried to loosen up my face before the jerk by shaking my head around to get the cheeks and jaw loose.Before I pull from the ground I usually shake my arms around to make sure they are loose.

The particular gym I go to is big on this "Z Health" neuromuscular thing they do. They suggested I look into that. I don't know if it is legit or some up-sale thing they are trying to get me to do cause most of the Z Health is by appointment only.

Kevin Perry 11-26-2008 07:51 PM

Take a deep breath before the lift, stop thinking, clear your mind, and just lift the weight.

sarena kopciel 11-27-2008 05:26 AM

Doc G likes ZHealth and so do many others!
I also need to relax more.....

Garrett Smith 11-28-2008 08:04 AM

The big place to concentrate on relaxing is the little muscles right under the back of your skull (suboccipital muscles).

See this link for info on how excessive tension in these muscles will generally decrease your athletic performance:

This subject will be addressed much more in a Z-Health private session or a seminar than in you at home with a DVD.

You will have to reduce the weights you are using to practice this, likely severe reductions in weight. You've been practicing being "tense", whether you know it or not, so you'll have to practice "relaxing" a lot, to undo your old habits. Anything heavy will cause you to revert to your old habits.

Look at the faces of Olympic sprinters...they are putting out a lot of exertion, yet they are not scrunching their faces in tension. This is key to athletic performance and longevity.

Brian Lawyer 11-28-2008 09:54 AM

Got any other resources Dr. G?

Brian Lawyer 11-28-2008 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by Garrett Smith (Post 44205)
The big place to concentrate on relaxing is the little muscles right under the back of your skull (suboccipital muscles).

More specifically, what resources do you recommend with relaxing the muscles right under the back of my skull. The link to the article you gave above proved your point but did not propose a solution. At least not one that I saw.

Blair Lowe 11-28-2008 11:02 AM

Actually, Dr. G I will concur that sprinters are taught the same thing from my HS sprint training in HS.

Garrett Smith 11-28-2008 12:18 PM

Wish I had more resources to help with this.

To relax the neck, there are several things one can try.

Actively tighten the posterior neck muscles, by isometrically "trying" to lift your chin to the ceiling but not allowing it to move upward. Then relax those same muscles you were just trying to contract. It is likely that the back of the head will try to move backwards and up (ie. retract and chin will move down). Eventually you will get to the point where no pre-contraction will be necessary.

Or you can do the "string pulling up on the top of your head" visualization, relaxing the neck muscles so that your cervical spine can elongate. This one can be tougher to do. Make sure your are not *actively* trying to elongate your neck with muscular energy. I made that mistake for a long while.

A single session with a good Z-Health instructor should easily get you to where you need to be with this technique, that might be worth all the money spent right there.

Found this neat little article on relaxing for guitar playing, thought there might be a pearl or two that could be used here: http://www.theguitarsuite.com/relaxing.html

Relaxing the face muscles (eyebrows, cheeks) can be a great warm-up leading into getting the neck muscles relaxed.

If you are scrunching your face at all, then I guarantee you your neck muscles are NOT relaxed.

I hope that's enough to get you started. This is a worthwhile thing to pursue.

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