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-   -   Got props? Know props? Need props? (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=608)

Rick Deckart 03-05-2007 08:47 AM

Got props? Know props? Need props?
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Please post all about the props you use during your stretching routine in this thread. If you know about props which in your opinion are not worth the money, please explain... If you use props which are invaluable for you again, please explain.

I will make a start. Recently I build myself (actually my son did build it according to my specifications) a backbender. This device can be used to fascilitate backbending stretches, side stretches and even is good for strength training (abdominals and back extensions). The advantage over a swiss ball is it is rigid, and you can pinpoint your effort on the part of the back which needs the work. I will post a description of what I do with the thing later.

Costs? Zero (it is made from scrapwood in ~1hour). The thing shows you merciless which part of your back needs work...



Steve Shafley 03-05-2007 10:15 AM

1. A piece of rope (a 'Fraid Not from Tom Drum, actually)
2 Jumpstretch bands...these are actually the tools I use the most when I stretch and do prehab/rehab work now.
3. A strap...functions like the rope, except it's longer. Pulled it off a defunct infant car seat. Ususally works better than the rope.
4. Foam rollers, Big PVC pipe, tennis balls, 1.25"-1.5" diameter superballs for soft tissue work.

I use the pad of my GHR as a "backbender" kind of thing, or the swiss ball.

Rick Deckart 03-05-2007 11:01 AM

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One of my most important props is a wooden stick made according to the specifications recommended by Tommy Kono. It has grooves which mark a 34" and a 38" wide grip and a mark for the middle of the dowel/broomstick. Especially the latter tells volumes when you do dislocates infront of a mirror. I never realised that my dislocates were asymmetrical ( 1--2cm) before I used this stick. As you can feel the grooves slippage of grip is greatly reduced via feedback.
Well I got a lot better at dislocates in a short time and will add 30" and 26" marks soon...



Steve Shafley 03-05-2007 11:23 AM

Not a bad idea at all. I like it. I remember that from the TK book.

Mike ODonnell 03-05-2007 01:05 PM

2nd on the stick for shoulder dislocates and the PVC pipe/Foam roller....I need to get a jumpstretch band for more active ROM movements...are there any good books/vids on how to use the band like that?

and yes...a swiss ball for stretching...lots of crazy ways to use it besides the standard one...

Chris Forbis 03-05-2007 02:52 PM

I keep a PVC around for dislocates and have marks on it for where the collars would start. I'll have to mark the center too so I can gun for symmetry.

I keep an Ab-Mat around for most stretches that I do while lying on my back.

Rick Deckart 03-06-2007 09:33 AM


Originally Posted by Chris Forbis (Post 5885)
I keep an Ab-Mat around for most stretches that I do while lying on my back.

Hi Chris, can you elaborate what kind of stretches you are doing with the abmat?



P.S.: The middle mark makes a big difference for me, I never realized that I avoided to stretch my left shoulder to its full potential.

Rick Deckart 03-06-2007 11:04 AM

Another usefull prop, socks...

Sometimes when I practice Vajrasana (Yoga Diamond position) and my left knee (with a partly ruptured ACL) kills me I put a rolled up sock into the knee joint between upper and lower leg. This creates room in the joint and often makes the otherwise painfull stretch possible. I got this tip from Jean Couch (Yoga for runners)

Chris Forbis 03-06-2007 02:26 PM



I also do one where I lay on my back near an outward jutting corner of the room (or door frame) and put my leg up vertically against the wall while the other is still flat on the ground.

I just put the Ab-Mat under the small of my back to keep the arch there and my pelvis tilted properly.

Went from being pretty damn inflexible in the hammies to being able to put both hands flat on the ground in just a couple of weeks.

Rick Deckart 03-10-2007 01:14 AM

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Thanks Chris, I may try that in a while.


The best strap I found for stretching is a ordinary judobelt: it's soft, long enough, virtually indestructible and was designed so that you can fix it with a knot if you need and best of all, it's cheap. Here is one example for a setup of a lying groin stretch.

Fold legs and pull feet to your groin. Loop the belt around the feet and loop it the around you lower back. Then secure with a knot and place some light weight plates on your tights. I am using 2 x 2.2kg plates per leg here, but I could easily manage 20kg plates. Now slowly lower youself on your back, first on your ellbows and eventually on the back. This action will pull your legs closer to the body and now all you have to do is to relax. Try to let the legs fall wider apart with every exhalation, don't force it. When you breath in the legs will be lifted a couple of mm, when you exhale they will drop again...

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