3.4. I Improved Flexibility (and Recovery)

<p>I’ve always been fairly flexible for a male, but when I began squatting heavy, I noted a lack of flexibility in my thoracic spine and rotator cuffs. To remedy this, I purchased an elastic training band, a 12″ foam roller and a Tiger Tail, and continue to use them every day.</p>

Mobility and flexibility tools.

Mobility and flexibility tools.

<p>I use the elastic band primarily to perform shoulder dislocations (sounds disgusting, but the shoulder is not actually being dislocated; see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6RERZJM6gE), while I use the foam roller primarily to stretch my thoracic spine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxQkVD0UQNg). Not only does it feel great, but along with the shoulder dislocations, it improved my posture noticeably within a few sessions. I also use the roller on my hip flexors (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8JvMNg3eCE), glutes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ch8iu7Y4HQ), groin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV76wuM50GQ) and triceps (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LR-3J-mxOY).</p>

<p>The Tiger Tail is a massage bar that can be used to do deep trigger point massage. I find it particularly helpful for busting through knots in my calves and upper quads. I also perform several static stretches for my hamstrings, hip flexors, groin and lower back. If interested in specifics, please indicate so in the comments. I occasionally spend five minutes targeting any particularly tight areas in the morning (after lifting) and conduct a more general session for up to 15 minutes in the evening while watching TV. I have found that stretching noticeably enhances recovery potential, and if I skip stretching/ foam rolling for more than a couple of days I notice a reduction in recovery and performance.</p>

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