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Old 05-18-2007, 04:09 AM   #1
Charles Johnson
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Default Shoulders and upper back

Hi guys Im relatively new to stretching. I have been lifting for a while but had no idea how much my lack of flexability was holding me back.So my question is this, could anyone here reccommend a good list of stretches to do that would help me get more Flexability and ROM in my shoulders and upper back? And also how often should I be stretching to get the most benefit? I am trying to get the barbell lower on my back when I squat (on my rear delts) and this is quite hard and a little painful for me.
Thanks in advance for any help

regards Charles
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Old 05-18-2007, 05:27 AM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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I find taking a stick with your hands and swinging it from the front, over your head and as far back as your can...keep it moving...more dynamic than a stretch as with each movement it should go a little bit deeper (it's called a shoulder dislocate). Keep your hands wide to start and move them in little by little. You want the pole to be able to go all the way down to your butt eventually (may take a week or two to get there). Do that as part of your warmup every time you workout and you should see some improvement. Also you can add in some pec and shoulder stretches at the end. Stretching is one of those things, the more often you do...the better you get at it....the less you do, the worse you get at it.

Sounds very common, probably due to the overdevelopment and tightness of your chest and front delts. Add in some more "retraction" exercises too as it is probably you have a tight front and weaker (imbalanced) back (rhomboids, etc.)
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Old 05-18-2007, 06:00 AM   #3
Charles Johnson
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Hello Mike thanks for the tip will give it a good go everyday for sure.I just had 1 more question.What are retraction exercises?? and could you possibly name a few please?

Thanks again
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Old 05-18-2007, 06:15 AM   #4
Allen Yeh
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Thoracic extensions:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1055409


Tip #15 has a video of it.
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Old 05-18-2007, 06:18 AM   #5
Mike ODonnell
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Rowing...squeezing the scapulas back...Cressney usually has some good articles on healthy shoulders and exercises...I'd look at shoulder savers Part I, II and III.

http://www.t-nation.com/ALSAuthor.do...essey&pageNo=1

Update: Damnit I had Cressney picked first....you are so cheating Allen...
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Last edited by Mike ODonnell : 05-18-2007 at 06:20 AM. Reason: cause allen beat me to it while I was typing
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:51 PM   #6
Robynne Chartier
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I have to agree with Mike on this one. When I was doing physical therapy and just finishing up with it, my trainer/therapist said using a stick or bar to stretch before lifting or working out really helps to improve your flexibility. Good luck!
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