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The Barbell Smash and Banded Stretch

(Episode Transcribed Directly from Video)

Hey guys, coach Mike here from MROC Training with another episode of MOB of The Week. In today's episode, we're going to talk about opening up the posterior chain, lower to mid-range, specifically, the glutes and the hamstrings, we're going to use a barbell to get in there and smash them up, we're gonna grab the band and do a banded hamstring stretch and supine twist, so a few great tools to help loosen up this area of the body.

Typically, you're gonna get tight in the butt from doing some heavy squats, back of the hamstrings, you're gonna start to fire up from deadlifts, maybe your lower back is starting to compact and grind from all those miles you're putting it out on the trails, so here's a few tools you can use to open that up.

You can see I've set a barbell up in my squat rack just below hip level and what we're gonna do is we're gonna straddle the barbell - there's a lot of inappropriate things I can start saying here but we're just gonna keep it clean for today's episode - we're going to straddle the barbell and we're gonna go in your inner thigh and ride right along the inside of your butt cheek. And from here, we're going to do the same technique we're gonna apply with most fascial release techniques, cos that's what we're doing, we're doing fascial release of these big primary movers on the back of your legs, we're gonna relax our face, control our breathing and allow yourself to sink into the bar. Now, this bar is a lot denser in a much smaller surface area than say a foam roller would be, so your pounds per square inch are gonna be a lot more significant, you're gonna feel this. So, allow yourself to sink in, allow that bar to get a couple inches into that meat of your butt and then what we're gonna do is we're gonna fan or peel away from the bar and what's happening is the bar’s staying put and my body is peeling across. So, we're starting right inside of the butt cheek on the one side of the glue, just one side, one cheek, and you're gonna get deep and peel across. And what you'll notice is if you've been really working your glutes, like I said with heavy squats and a lot of other things, you're gonna feel this right away, you're gonna get some tender spots and you're gonna be hesitant to even put your own body weight down on it. So, you control the amount of pressure you put in by holding onto the rack or still standing up on the foot and if you can get deep enough and go completely off the grid and lift your foot up, hey, go for it, get in there and do some work, especially if you feel some dense area of tissue that's knotted up and banded.

So, this is one way that you can get in there and start peeling away some of those fascial adhesions. And that would be how you'd work the glute on the bar, which sets you up in a great position to now attack the hamstrings. So, from here, I'm right in that glute hamstring insertion, right at the under cheek of the butt if you will and I'm gonna, again, allow my body to fall down, get into the bar. And what I'm going to do from here is I'm actually gonna rock my hips back so that my knee is slightly higher than my hip so I can slide backwards. And this is brutal, I didn't warm-up for this, my hamstrings are just screaming right now, trying to relax the pain face for you for the sake of television purposes but we're just sliding across this surface and looking for tender spots, knots, bumpy areas, anything that feels grainy, and then I'm just gonna lift and reset back into the insertion point - the under cheek of the butt - rock back and roll, it's a rock and roll is what we're doing. Tight spots are typically going to be that insertion point where we started and then the belly of the hamstring, you get a lot of tenderness in there. You’re just gonna keep peeling, like peeling back an onion, go a little bit deeper, maybe change the angle a little bit each time and if you get something really gnarly, you can even stop and just kind of fan across or wave back and forth a little seesaw action across the fibres of those muscles and then return back to where you were. If you get something that's really gnarly, you can lock down, tack it and floss it. We're gonna use all those skills that we've been learning, so if I'm tacked down really bearing into this area, then I can just start flossing the knee and this one, this is insane, because you're pinning down that adhesion and then you're forcing it to stretch underneath all that pressure and I can't even straighten my leg out right now, it's so intense. So, that would be another technique.

So, you've got your pressure wave you’re rocking and rolling, you're fanning on the glute, you're tacking and flossing those knots at the belly and then extending that knee, a little bit of oscillation back and forth, all these big words I'm just saying them to make it sound like I know what I'm talking about but really, this is an amazing tool, all jokes aside. Use your barbell, start to work this out. Now, once you've spent some time here and broken up some of those tighten adhesions and knots, then you're gonna want to take it down to the floor where I can show you how to do some stretches with the band.

All right, so we just spent a few minutes on each leg smashing out the hamstrings and the glutes, they're feeling nice and supple, so we're just gonna finish this off with a little bit of banded stretching. So, you take any monster band, yoga strap, belt, hook it around the ball of the foot, go ahead and lay back on your back. And what we're gonna do from here is go ahead and engage your lower abdomen, keep this nice and tight. You're gonna start with just a nice stretch with an easy pulse, flexing the toe down, straightening the leg and trying to bring that thigh close to your face, just a light stretch here, hold this as long as it feels comfortable. And then what we're going to do is we're going to set ourselves up for a supine twist, so we're going to grab the band with the left hand and grab our right arm out to the side, take a deep breath in and on our exhale, we're gonna allow the right leg to collapse over the left. So, the right arm will stay anchored, I'm gonna look to the right, my legs will fall to the left, it's gonna give me a nice little stretch in the lower back and up the side of the leg. Deep breath in, exhale and then we'll hold this stretch. Great stretch up through the side of the hip, glute and if you stay engaged with that toe flex, you’re still gonna feel this in the back of the hamstring. And then we're gonna inhale and come up and then now we're gonna switch, we're gonna switch hands. I'm gonna take my left hand, grab the inside of my left knee and on my exhale, just so I can hit the opposite side of that stretch, which is an awesome stretch.

And then that's it guys. So, just straight down the middle, inhale cross over the side and then back to the outside. The star of the show in today's episode is this barbell smash but if you've got the time, throw in some banded stretches to follow it up and everything is just gonna loosen up and feel that much better.

That's all I've got for you today. Thanks for watching. Stay tuned for our next episode. AROO!

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