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Full Body Mobility Drills For Weightlifting?

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My name is Eric and my mobility sucks.


I was hoping by just doing weightlifting that my various flexibility issues would sort themselves out. This has not been the case.


I haven't seriously worked out for like 3-4 weeks now because I've been suffering Analysis Paralysis from hours scouring the 'Net for stuff to do about this. Unlike barbell training there's really only a few "central authority/One-Standard-To-Rule-Them-All" sources that have most of what one needs for beginners (SS:BBT, SL), but for stretching and such? Mountains of programs! And yes I realize the irony of asking for yet another. But I need to do SOMETHING about:

  • It hurts like hell (mostly the upper area between my scapulae and a bit shooting up my arms to my elbows) for the first few sets of back squatting. I have to high-bar squat for these sets because I simply can't get it any lower until I've loosened it up with a few warm-ups. I'm not even sure if it still hurts at this point or if I'm just ignoring it for the rest of my squats.
  • During squats, I STILL can't keep the bar over mid-foot.
  • I have no idea where exactly to put my feet when I begin squatting.
  • My upper back STILL rounds for both squats, and deadlifts. And probably everything else, but this is what's been pointed out to me.
  • I forget off-hand other stuff I was having trouble with so I'll link my old form check videos. I also posted the same topic on NerdFitness and I think elsewhere, I don't remember.
  • I am still unable to do the Starting Strength program because as far as I can tell, I am physically incapable of achieving the "start position" for the power clean. I was about to make this and another thread, but instead of being spammy I'll just copy-and-paste the thread I was about to make here since it directly correlates:

Will I Ever Be Able To Power Clean Or Front Squat?


I have crap flexibility in my arms, shoulders, what-have-you. From wrist to elbow, I'm about 12-1/2" to 13" (33cm) and another 13"/33cm from elbow to shoulder, with a total arm span of about 82"-83" (maybe 205-210cm). This is what happens when I try to do the whatever-this-is-called position:


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Hard to tell from the thumbnails, so:

  • Pointing my elbows forward, my hands go behind my head and neck.
  • Trying to turn my wrists, makes me flare my elbows out almost side-to-side.

I've tried to front squat since that looks like, as well as what I've read that's, the exact position of a power clean "finisher". Plus I'm entertaining the idea of alternating front and back squats instead of back squatting 3x/week.


Anyway, with the bar I can get maybe my index and middle fingers (no matter how wide my grip) to balance the bar on my upper sternum (I can't even get it onto my anterior deltoids), but my elbows are pointed almost directly downwards like I'm about to overhead press. Try and point my elbows a bit higher and much narrower (with pain), and now the bar has rolled onto my clavicles. Even more forward and narrow (more pain) and the bar crushes my windpipe.


My mobility issues (which I think why my form, especially for the squat, sucks so bad; hopefully if I improve mobility I can finally concentrate fully on form and not how much my elbows and ankles are hurting when driving myself out of the hole) have really discouraged me from weightlifting, but I really want to eventually squat four-plate or more. I'm not sure what I can do about them, or maybe I do know, but the information is buried under mountains of other conflicting information overwhelming my brain.


There is SO MUCH MORE on the Internet for stretching and such! so many yoga drills and programs from Jim Wendler, etc. Yeah, there are also a bunch of lifting progs too, but I feel can safely disregard the vast majority as intermediate/advanced or for bodybuilders. Plus there's the whole "compound barbell movements have been proven to work for over a century" thing, but as far as I can tell there's no similar metric for boring old stretching. But enough whining about that.


I guess what I'm asking is, what can I do so I can go back to lifting, and this time with proper form so I don't hurt myself like I was starting to do when I got my squat reps to two-plate and my deadlift reps to three-plate, so I can reignite my passion for picking up heavy things and then putting them down? Preferably something I can do every single day without hurting or exhausting myself.

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Have you tried looking through mobilitywod.com ?

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I personally also like "Stretching Your Boundaries" by Al Kavadlo (it's pretty cheap as an ebook).


But also keep in mind, this is neither magic nor rocket science. If you can't do a movement, or get into a position, while other people can, it's normally oone or both of the following reasons:

1. They have practiced the movement. A lot.

2. You have actively fubared your movement patterns and body posture for example by sitting at a desk, or in a car, or on a couch, or in front of a computer, or... . Over a long period of time. You get the picture.


Consequently, no single exercise or routine will fix you quickly. The only thing that helps is to practice the movement or to get into the position. A lot. This is a painful process, too. Searching the internet for routines, on the other hand, will not help. The time is better spent with practice, any practice really. Practice squat balance with lower weight and paused squats. Practice the clean grip - with the bar or a broomstick.

As for lifting, if you can't do a low bar squat, squat high bar, no biggie. With the front squat, try cross grip until you can do the clean grip.

For me, doing overhead stuff before squats helps with getting into squat position.


As for the upper back rounding, this might be a strength issue (in addition to fubared posture). There are exercises that help:

- Press behind the neck, for example Klokov press.

- Heavy rows off the floor (Pendlay rows)

- Farmer's walks help to correct posture issues. Start with about 25kg - 30kg per hand and work you way up.


I won't comment on your form videos, because other people (more knowledgeable than I am) have said it all and it is good advice. Follow it.



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Defranco has some nice drills to do preworkout.



Not much of a full mobility program but its good to supplement that. And thats another thing, really think of your mobility work as part of your training. This helps people do it.

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I started with the DeFranco stuff - really helped when doing them before/after workouts.


I have since moved on to doing Flossing/Smashing and Stretching from the "Supple Leopard" Book. 

You are welcome to download it from my dropbox here


I've found the Kavadio book on pirate bay - it will be in the dropbox folder tonight.


I suggest going through all the movements in the Supple Leopard book first to see what Floss/Smash/Stretch is all about.


~my 2cents~

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