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Stretching for Functional Movement with Load

Grant Branam, [21/06/2023 19:46]

Hey all, I have a question about mobility prep. How long should one stretch a tight link for a functional movement bearing weight?

I did weighted butterflies for 2 minutes with deep breaths to pass the seated goodmornings, and it worked, but I’m not sure how to push clients who aren’t primed for this or as bodily aware and could hurt themselves if I’m not present.

Ben Patrick, [21/06/2023 20:00]

Grant it all works. I tend to use from 1 to 60 seconds. For example, ATG-style Seated Goodmorning reps with load often solve stiff adductors that don’t seem to change. Meanwhile I’ve prescribed 1 rep 30 second hold on split squats for tight folks.

Time is a variable, not an absolute. The exercise “science” community did more harm than good with all the absolutes around stretching. Time, load, reps, sets, frequency, just variables. Fine-tune to the client and what makes wins for them

I personally wouldn’t do 2 minutes in a butterfly simply because I’d be bored, not because I don’t think it would work. On that one I like to rep out 20 reps or so. That’s just me

Enjoy the art of tailoring things to your clients. 🔥 And never hesitate to ask here for specifics!

Specifics may vary a lot by the area, goal, issue, etc.

Grant Branam, [21/06/2023 20:05]

Ah ok, I didn’t try with load. My hips would just lock and my lower back would round. I like that philosophy.

Ben Patrick, [21/06/2023 20:07]

Grant loaded butterfly is among the movements I don’t consider essential, BUT can be useful. It worked well for my groin and lots of others have had the same experience, when stretching alone didn’t budge things

Often when an area doesn’t get strength trained, it doesn’t open up. Seated Goodmorning is a great example. I did endless adductor stretching with no lasting change. Now I kid you not I can throw a set of heavy loaded seated GM in once in a while, and my adductors stay opened up. I believe once seated GM opens up, if you’re squatting with intent you tend to keep your range naturally

But again, load is just one variable. It varies person to person but it’s all along a SCALE. Even what appears to be a passive stretch is some degree of load.

Casey Cathrall, [21/06/2023 20:12]

Ben since you’re on the seated GM subject any advice on ways to continue to improve the ROM or just time and patience? I’m finding it to be one of the tougher movements to progress for myself and others

Ben Patrick, [21/06/2023 22:34]

Casey #1 limiter is usually not adding load. That one seems to need some good loading to open up, since the adductors are quite strong. Always send form when wondering though. Without coaching a live set it’s only a guess.

And yes, in general when people think they’re slow to improve range on something, they may still be in beginner stages. The purpose of strength through length is more like:

“My range is totally different now compared to 5 years ago” and “I’m way more bulletproof than 5 years ago”

Most people in 5 years get stiffer.

Casey Cathrall, [21/06/2023 22:36]

Haven’t used anything more than 20lb DBs- how much load would you suggest?

Ben Patrick, [21/06/2023 22:36]

Right, for anyone athletic, that’s not even close to knowing how your flexibility can change from Seated GM. For an athlete male, we’re talking at least 50% BW on back to create significant change in those tissues.

So even without seeing video, I guessed right. But with video, I would have known instantly

It’s incredible than in 5 years time, someone can effectively reverse aging compared to normal exercise.

So it’s more like an overview is needed to understand how strength training works. It works based on adaptation to the tissues, over time. So a Seated GM is a strength exercise but it has tremendous power to change flexibility. But 3 weeks in I have no concern on that, only that you’re putting in pain-free reps, getting a pump, recovering, and continuing to increase load over time.

You’re doing fine 👍

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