When you watch weightlifting in the Olympics, you can really appreciate the strength, power, and mobility of these amazing athletes.
Their training and preparation is geared toward performing the two lifts perfectly and without restriction. Because if they have dysfunction or a limitation, they’re not going to be as strong as they could be and they won’t be able to get into good positions. They need to be in a good position to start, to receive, to explode, and to finish. There is so little room for error that even the smallest thing like tight hips or a tight upper back, can mean the difference between a medal and going home crushed.
Weightlifters do a lot of things right.
They develop specific strength mobility (mobility for the intended movement pattern and strength in this range of motion) by actually performing the lifts (specific adaptation, SPP) through a full range of motion. They don’t just rely on their supplemental passive stretching protocols. This is very important because many coaches focus just on one aspect or the other. They either try to develop too much mobility around a joint without simultaneously focusing on dialing in and cementing the pattern with resistance training. Or, they do too little mobility work and just focus on getting stronger. This will eventually lead to loss of movement and restriction.
So it is a delicate balance.
If the strength training is good, and the athletes have the ability (not all do, progression from regression), they should always be performing a full-range of motion with all lifts. Many times the forgotten element is the pre-workout preparation with the focus on getting more mobile and improving movement.
But this progressive approach is not just reserved for the warm-up. Mobility, dynamic movements, flowing or linking multiple exercises together, animal-like movements, breathing drills, fundamental movement patterning, and so on – should be done all of the time.
At the beginning of the workout, in between worksets or as a drop set, after the workout, and as part of a comprehensive extra recovery session at the opposite end of the day from the training session – or on a totally separate day.
Literally all of the time.
You are basically fighting a losing battle. The harder you train, the more negative affects of the workout you must overcome before the next training session. It all boils down to consistency. And if you are consistent, you will continue to be able to train hard and make progress.
Two Great Dynamic Glute Stretches
Here are two new movements we’ve been utilizing into our warm-ups and to progressively transition into the workouts. One is a dynamic movement and the other one is more of a flow.
Side to Side Glute Rockers
This is the dynamic version of the more familiar static variation where the athlete lays over their lead leg, which is typically bent from 45-90 degrees. With this variation, you can really focus on driving deeper and deeper with each rock AND focus on a more neutral torso position.
Lunge into Glute Stretch
I love to add flow into our warm-ups. They allow you to get a lot done in a short amount of time. And, because of the complexity, the athlete ramps up their focus, increases their core temperature fast, and really gets the opportunity to perform integrated full body movements and improve coordination.
For some really creative ideas for warm-up and recovery, you have to check out out AMPED Warm-up.
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