Mobility For Athletes: Banded Shoulder and Tricep Stretch

Do you long for an open, mobile and stable front rack position?

How about being able to jerk behind your ears like National Champion and American Record Holder Wes Kitts?

This stretch will help get you there and provide you with a mobile, stable and open front rack position perfect for executing pain free Jerks and Front Squats.

wes kitts overhead position in the split jerk

Setup Instructions And Cues

  • Grab a band with medium tension, one that is long enough for you to both step on and reach overhead with.
  • Begin by stepping one leg back onto the band, keeping that leg bent determine the intensity of the stretch by pushing down on your heel (less intense) or toward the center of your foot for a stronger stretch.
  • With your back leg bent, grab the strap with one hand (same side as your bent leg) and flip your grip behind your head. (See Modification #1 for further clarification)
  • Once you have the band in place behind your head, walk your opposite hand to meet your other hand. (See modification #2)
  • Straighten both legs. (See Modification #3)
  • Relax the neck, keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears, press your chest open wide while pulling your triceps back into the stretch.
  • Pull your belly into your spine while pressing your hips through.

REMEMBER TO BREATHE!

Even breaths will allow you to release tension and press further into the stretch.

To Release The Stretch

  • On the exhale, bend both legs far enough to release the tension of the stretch.
  • Come back out the same way you got in, slowly.

This stretch should be held for 30 seconds prior to your workout.

Modifications

  1. If you have a strap or a really long band with less tension, grab the strap over head with either hand.
  2. Grab the strap with one hand at a time and leave the other hand higher near your elbow (which will lessen the intensity), or leave the second hand out completely, stretching one side at a time.
  3. Bend at the legs to lessen the intensity of the stretch.

Only go so deep as you feel a solid stretch. Discomfort is expected, but pain, sharp or otherwise is not.

Notes

Do not worry about how far you are able to fold. That is not important. Hinging at the hips and not simply folding over is. If you excessively round over you will release the value of the stretch. If you maintain a straight lower spine by hinging at your hips, the stretch will be intense but most effective.


Sandra Arechaederra has actively practiced yoga for years but maintains a focus on its application for improving athletic performance. Sandra is an accomplished Olympic weightlifter in her own right, having medaled at the 2010 USA National Championship Meet, she continues her work with the California Strength weightlifting team on a weekly basis for mobility training and runs a mobility program implemented with the California Strength NFL Combine Prep Class every year. Sandra has her 200 RYT credential as a certified Yoga Teacher.

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Sandra Arechaederra

Sandra has led California Strength's NFL Combine Prep Class for the past two years through weekly mobility / yoga sessions that aim to increase both range of motion and aid in recovery for these athletes.  An Olympic weightlifter herself, Sandra set in motion the California Strength Women's Team by earning the teams first national medal in 2011 taking Bronze in the Snatch, Clean & Jerk and Total at the USAW National Meet.

Check back for weekly mobility / yoga posts geared towards athletes! For weekly videos, follow Sandra on Instagram.