Loaded stretches will shockingly improve your results from each and every weight lifting workout.
There is no doubt about that.
I've seen it work too many times to not believe in it.
All you've got to do is implement these 9 stretches and you'll be a believer too. Just add these after each specific muscle group exercise.
Do this every workout for a minimum of 8 weeks and you'll be a believer too.
Loaded stretching is the closest thing to magical results that you'll ever use. Now — let's get straight to these weighted stretches:
Recommended Quadriceps Stretch
Once you finish your quad exercise, go straight into this stretch… you simply need a fixed bar that you can get under.
If you've ever done sissy squats before, it's just the very bottom of that movement. You want to hold it there and try to get the best possible stretch.
Here's a video of sissy squats — just use the bottom of that movement for the stretch.
Go as deep as you possibly can and get high up on your tippy toes.
Recommended Hamstrings Stretch
Everyone has done a hamstring stretch before… you know the ones where you touch your toes?
Well, I recommend the bottom of the cable pull thru motion for the recommended hamstring stretch with the WLC System. I recommend this stretch because you can easily increase the resistance over the course of the program.
Start out with light resistance and increase every workout. You can also increase the duration of the stretch as you progress over the weeks.
Recommended Calf Stretch
Just use a calf block and stretch your calves in a standing position. Try to imagine your toes coming all the way back and touching the front of your lower leg.
This stretch might be a little painful (in a good way) after a tough calf exercise. Blood flows very well to the calf area and that's why it can be painful. Just work on getting a better stretch throughout the duration of the stretch.
Recommended Chest Stretch
If you have a cable system as shown in the image below, use this stretch for your chest:
If you don't have a cable system, use dumbbells and a flat bench as shown in this image:
In the stretch above, you can easily increase resistance over the weeks by using heavier dumbbells. You want to really push your chest upwards when doing this stretch.
Recommended Back Depth Stretch
All you do for this stretch is grab something that's not going to move and pull for a good stretch:
You can even do this one on a cable machine as you would do cable rows. I do like the cable row option a little better because you can increase the resistance.
Recommended Back Width Stretch
Hanging from a Pull Up bar is the best back width stretch by far… you can add resistance with a weight belt:
As shown in the image above, you can use your feet to help you get an even better stretch in the lats. The lats are the muscles in your back that look like wings. This is what you're stretching when you hang from a bar.
This stretch will also help your grip strength.
Recommended Shoulder Stretch
In this stretch, you place a bar in a rack or grab any stationary bar and reach up behind you and grab the bar as shown below:
Your palms will be facing upwards with this stretch. Try to walk forward a little with this stretch. You'll feel the shoulder muscles stretch very well.
As always, be careful and start out very easy with this stretch.
Recommended Biceps Stretch
The biceps stretch is almost just like the shoulder stretch above except you'll be grabbing the bar with your palms facing down as shown below:
Then you can bend your knees to get an even better stretch in the area of the biceps. Start out light and easy with this stretch.
Recommended Triceps Stretch
Last, but certainly not least, is the triceps stretch. This one must be done one arm at a time as shown:
Start out with very light weight dumbbells and increase with each workout if possible.
And That's It For The Loaded Stretches…
Just implement those after a specific exercise for each muscle group and you'll be well on your way to even better results.
For example, after Squats, perform the quad stretch. After stiff legged deadlifts, perform the hamstrings stretch. After bench press, do the chest stretch. And so on.
As always, try to make progress on each stretch every workout. That can mean increasing the resistance or increasing the amount of time spent stretching.
I like to try to increase BOTH resistance and time.
For example, I start with 30 second stretches and light weight in Week 1 of any program. At the end of the 8-week program, I will doing the loaded stretches for 60 seconds and much heavier resistance.
This type of progression in stretching really improves your results. Give it a shot, and you'll see.