Marcus Filly, the founder of Functional Bodybuilding, recently went over his favourite six stretches to reduce and prevent injury.
While many strength and functional fitness athletes aren’t the biggest fans of stretching, Filly has an important message for all:
“You know what sucks more than stretching? Getting hurt.”
Not from overreaching, but from having less than ideal body positions, he explains. Therefore, he has done all of us a favour by simplifying the stretching process.
6 Stretches to Reduce and Prevent Injury
“These six stretches have had the most profound impact on my ability to stay in the game, continue to give great effort in the gym, and not deal with nagging back, knee, shoulder, elbow – fill in the blank – type of pain,” Filly says.
“It turns out, you don’t need to do as much stretching as you think,” he says. “You just need to hit the right positions, doing it consistently, and then have a training approach that reinforces those positions with full range of motion strength work and proper strength balance.”
As he explains, he has managed to continue to train throughout the past three years without having to take time off as a result of injuries.
“At some point in every trainee’s life – in your life – you will cease to make progress on your lifetime PRs. The game at that point becomes much more about staying in it, rather that trying to win it,” Filly says.
These six stretches, performed weekly, cover the whole body and should help you stay in the game:
- Couch stretch
- Incline Pigeon Stretch
- Toes Elevated Toe Touch
- Passive Bar Hang
- Ring Chest Bicep Opener
- Can Opener
This is a very intense hip flexor and quadriceps stretch.
Incline Pigeon Stretch
The incline bench is really valuable for protecting the knee, especially if you can never get into a comfortable position during the floor pigeon pose. This stretch help you get a deep stretch in the rear leg hip flexor and the glutes.
Toes Elevated Toe Touch
Once you place your feet on an inclined surface, fold forward with your chin tucked to your chest, round your back and keep your legs completely straight. This is a brilliant stretch for the hamstrings and calves.
To give both sides an equal stretch, try the Elephant Walk.
Passive Bar Hang
The passive hang is performed with the upper back is relaxed, as opposed to the active hang. Try this stretch with different grips for a deep stretch in the back, shoulders, and lats.
If you can’t hold your bodyweight for over a minute, you can place a bench underneath to support some of your bodyweight.
Ring Chest Bicep Opener
This is a great chest and biceps opening stretch. Dumbbells and an incline bench can be an alternative if the rings don’t feel comfortable.
A great stretch for the upper back, the thoracic spine. You can extend your feet further out in front of you as you start to feel more comfortable in this position.
Marcus Filly recommendations
Pick two of these stretches to reduce and prevent injury and perform them every other day or three times a week, just make sure that you spend two to three minutes in the stretch per position.
Read more: Marcus Filly’s 7 Most Important Functional Bodybuilding Exercises