The one stretching routine you should be doing that covers your whole body and gives you mobility for performance in CrossFit, Kettlebells, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
One of the first things you’ll see me do in the video is kneeling and laying back down with the arms extended. I press my hips up and head down. This whole exercise provides so many benefits that it’s the one exercise you should also include in your stretching routine.
- You’re kneeling and creating ankle plantarflexion (overlooked tremendously)
- Stretching the quads
- Pushing the hips up for hip extension and stretch the psoas and other hip flexors
- Pushing the head into the ground with the chest up to create a thoracic extension
- And so much more that we’ll cover in our upcoming book
Note: This is not something everyone can nor should do, and there are progressions to it.
From there I move into a bowing position with the knees coming wider, pushing the hips toward the ground and hands as far out as possible. Focus is on the shoulders and adductors here.
Next I’m moving into a deep squat where the feet remain flat on the ground, knees pushed outward by the arms, palms facing out, pushing the chest out, and moving side to side working on the ankles (calves). The great thing is that you’ll also be working on strength if you do this right. You should not just sit there slouched forward, contract your glutes, remain an inch of the bottom resting position, keep your thoracic extended, and more.
From there I like to move the hips up and down getting into the hamstrings and gluteus maximus. I do this a few times and hang for a while.
Next I get into a position where the shin is flat on the ground as far up as possible. It takes a while to get to this position, don’t force it, it should never hurt in your knee, when it does, bring the ankle back more toward the groin. Sit back and walk the rear leg back. Sit up and stretch, from there move down to the ground. This stretch gets into a lot of muscles in the legs but also the thoracic.
A good hamstring stretch is next. I have some work to do here, but it’s a great stretch for the hamstrings and those around the groin area. Be careful with this stretch, don’t go crazy with it. I like to pulse into it inch by inch. On that note, I like to pulse in many different positions near the end of the stretch, rather than holding and pushing/forcing. Keep the bulk of the weight on your arms.
From there I move into an adduction stretch and pull the pelvis down to add the rear as well.
Next is the runner’s lunge in which I place one foot near my hand and have the other foot as far away as possible while keeping the leg straight, pulsing the hips towards the ground. Next I push myself away from the front leg with a straight arm, this feels awesome around the hip area. You can come on to the side of your foot with this. Really activate your lat on the side where your hand is supporting you, this is to keep the shoulder safe.
My favorite is next, thoracic rotation, hand in the air and looking at it as much as is possible. This is all about moving the shoulders, from the top down, where the top rotates the most, this has nothing to do with the lumbar, neither should you feel it there.
Time to move out of the position and into lunging position with the arms up, focussing on the shoulders, thoracic, psoas (and other hip flexors). Push the hip forward on the side where the leg is back, this gets deep into the psoas. Keep the weight on the front leg. From there into thoracic rotation again.
And that is the main routine I stick with. I’ve been using this for performance in CrossFit, with kettlebells, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
A book on all variations and routines we implement will be coming out this year with more detailed descriptions and photos. Progressions, and much more. If you want a good routine for the thoracic with a kettlebell, check out the Thorax Workout. If you want that workout with 40 others, check out the book Kettlebell Workouts and Challenges 1.0.
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Check out the Man Of Steel Workout in which I filmed this.