3 Scalable Exercises To Improve Your Overhead Strength And Stability

3 Scalable Exercises To Improve Your Overhead Strength And Stability

Any exercise that requires an overhead component is largely considered a core exercise. To improve stability in your overhead movements like Snatch and Jerks, we can apply unstable components to specific movement patterns in order to increase our kinesthetic awareness. One method in particular that I have found to be a huge help over the years are perturbations.

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Mobility For Athletes: The Benefits of a Spinal Twist

Mobility For Athletes: The Benefits of a Spinal Twist

A strong and healthy spine is paramount to a healthy body and for a Olympic weightlifter, it's critical for stronger and more stable lifts. A number of nagging complaints can hinder performance including; lower back pain, instability, fatigue, and general stiffness. Any of these can lesson an athlete’s ability to stay braced when squatting, catching a Snatch, Clean, or while dipping and catching in a Jerk. Spinal health is to say the least, IMPORTANT. This week we shift our focus to twisting the spine using the Marichi’s Pose.

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Mobility For Athletes: Low Lunge With Shoulder Opener

Mobility For Athletes: Low Lunge With Shoulder Opener

Are you the type who prefers to stretch more than one area at once, getting more bang for your buck, while working your mobility? Or are you limited for time, so working multiple areas at once is a plus? OR, are you traveling through Costa Rica like I am this week and want to mobilize but don’t want to take away time from your vacation?

Today’s stretch, a Low Lunge with Shoulder Opener is a good example of how you can perform one stretching movement while gaining many benefits at the same time. This particular variation of the Low Lunge works the quads and hamstrings but you can also get a psoas stretch and finally an added shoulder opener when done correctly.

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Mobility For Athletes: Runners Lunge

Mobility For Athletes: Runners Lunge

Tight hamstrings are an area of concern with most athletes and can become problematic if they aren't addressed on a regular basis. The hamstrings are a catch 22, the harder you work in the weight room the tighter they become. As a result, tight hamstrings can lead to a limited range of pelvic motion adding additional stress on your lumbar spine which ultimately results in lower back pain. Alright, that sounds bleak I know but there is a stretching solution that should be implemented daily to maintain mobility in your lower body and increase your hamstring flexibility.

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Mobility For Athletes: Intense Shoulder Stretch

Mobility For Athletes: Intense Shoulder Stretch

This intense shoulder stretch is a great warm up to open the front of your shoulder, from your Deltoid down through your Subscapularis (see image below). Lengthening of the muscles in the shoulder area will help reduce the possibility of overuse injuries that are common in sports like Olympic weightlifting and football. Perform this stretch daily to maintain a healthy, stable and pain free shoulder!

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Mobility For Athletes: A Twist For The American Open

Mobility For Athletes: A Twist For The American Open

If you're attending the first meet in the American Open Series this weekend, this stretch will open both your hips and your spine having you ready to take the platform. The following stretch can be done easily without any props, perfect for the hotel room or training hall.

Demonstration Video and Cues Inside!

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Mobility For Athletes: Hip Opening Adductor Stretch

Mobility For Athletes: Hip Opening Adductor Stretch

Pain in the groin area is not uncommon for Olympic weightlifters and athletes across varying disciplines and is often the result of tightness in your adductors. The heavy weight room training combined with quick lateral and linear movements found in sport, the adductors can easily become overused and result in your hips compressing causing additional tightness. Sounds painful but how does this impact your training?

Click through to learn why adductor tightness happens and how to fix it!

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Three Stretches Every Weightlifter Should Know

Three Stretches Every Weightlifter Should Know

We can all agree that routine stretching of the muscles is important to the overall health of any athlete. With the constant grind of heavy weights, Olympic lifting takes a serious toll of your body and as a result it's important to keep your joints mobile and muscles flexible. Through the California Strength Blog, we have built a library of stretches to help with and maintain the overall health of our Olympic weightlifting athletes and have put together the TOP THREE stretches that every weightlifter should implement on a daily basis.

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Why Scapular Mobility Is Critical For Olympic Weightlifting

Why Scapular Mobility Is Critical For Olympic Weightlifting

The scapula, or more commonly known as the shoulder blades, play a critically important role as the foundation for mobile shoulder joints. A great movement for increasing strength, stability and mobility of the scapula is Scapular Cat Cow. This exercise enables singular focus on the movement of the scapula alone which will make it easier for you to call upon it when needed.

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Mobility For Athletes: When You Have No Time To Warm Up

Mobility For Athletes: When You Have No Time To Warm Up

It happens to all of us at one time or another, sometimes more than we would care to admit. Still, stepping on to the platform is hard enough on the body and with no warm up at all, you are more susceptible to injury. This quick flowing series is easy to remember and can serve as a warm up for those days when you just don’t have time to complete your full warm up.

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How To Stretch Your Shoulders and Triceps

How To Stretch Your Shoulders and Triceps

Tight shoulders and triceps are a common occurrence among Olympic weightlifters and are often one of the first areas that we need to address when on boarding a new member to the California Strength team. As a result of the sheer volume of overhead movement that every Olympic weightlifter undertakes, the upper body is often left feeling stiff and tight. To combat this stress, it is important to maintain a mobile upper body with a particular focus on opening your front rack position. In today's post, we break down two different stretches demonstrated in the video below.

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Mobility For Athletes: Plantar Ankle Stretch

Mobility For Athletes: Plantar Ankle Stretch

Giving proper attention to the mobility within your feet and ankles will greatly improve and strengthen your bottom position, which often means the difference between a missed or made lift on the platform.

 

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Mobility For Athletes: Banded Shoulder and Tricep Stretch

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.

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Mobility For Athletes: Seated Forward Fold For Hamstrings

Mobility For Athletes: Seated Forward Fold For Hamstrings

As we begin the new year, so begins a new weightlifting cycle across the California Strength online programs. During any accumulation phase, relentless work is placed on your hamstrings, causing them to work at full capacity every day of training. To accommodate this work load, your body will be in need of a good stretch to keep up with such a rigorous training cycle. The following assisted variation allows you to not only focus on your form, but will produce a deeper stretch as well.

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Mobility For Athletes: Standing Pigeon

Mobility For Athletes: Standing Pigeon

Hips hips hips. What can you do for tight hips? I hear it frequently. It’s one of the top complaints for Olympic weightlifters, much in part due to all the heavy squatting that is programmed on a regular basis. Hips are one area of the Fundamental Five; five areas that should be addressed daily to increase your range of motion. That said, a great stretch to increase hip flexion is the Standing Pigeon.

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Mobility For Athletes: Intense Couch Stretch for Your Quads and Hip Flexors

Mobility For Athletes: Intense Couch Stretch for Your Quads and Hip Flexors

The Couch Stretch is a strong quad and hip flexor stretch that is familiar to many athletes.  Instead of just jumping in, let’s first review and focus on a number of cues to help you take advantage of the full effects of this stretch. When done properly, the couch stretch is highly effective for lengthening the quadriceps and hip flexors, but with the variation below using a bench will provide a more intense stretch as well as an external stretch for the shoulders.

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Mobility For Athletes: Inner Wrist Stretch

Mobility For Athletes: Inner Wrist Stretch

The wrists, like ankles, are another area of the body that often gets overlooked when warming up for your weight lifting session. If you think about it, mobile and strong wrists are critically important for pain free Snatching, Cleaning and Jerking. Not only will every overhead movement benefit from having more mobile wrists but it will also improve your front rack position, which can be the difference between a made and a missed lift! Strong and mobile wrists provide support all the way up the chain from forearm to shoulder, which in turn lessens your chance of an injury.

Demonstration Video Inside!

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Mobility For Athletes: The Half Cross (Shoulder Stretch)

Mobility For Athletes: The Half Cross (Shoulder Stretch)

A few weeks ago we discussed shoulder mobility with regards to the overhead and front rack position. This week we focus around the head of the shoulder cuff and surrounding deltoid area. With many facets of the shoulder, it is important to isolate and work on each area for optimal shoulder mobility and flexibility.

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Mobility For Athletes: Calves and Ankles

Mobility For Athletes: Calves and Ankles

The calves and ankles are an often overlooked area when warming up for your training session. They are neglected and traded for the popular hamstrings and hips, but this is a critical mistake that can hold back your athletic performance. Mobile and flexible feet, calves and ankles serve as the base for bottom position stability in your Clean, Snatch and Squat.

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