Loaded stretching is really nothing more than stretching with weight. Complete a set of any basic exercise for the target muscle group and add a set of additional weight stretching exercise at the end of the exercise. An example would be e.g. bench press and then the stretched position in flying with dumbbells in your hands. The goal is clear: targeted and loaded stretching creates extra microtrauma, which in turn stimulate muscle growth. For each of the exercises below, choose a weight that you can normally perform 6-10 reps at full range of motion. Then, immediately move to the stretch position and hold for 20-30 seconds.
The prerequisite for “Loaded Stretching” is that you can bring the target muscle into a stretched position by means of an exercise with weight. Unfortunately, this is not possible for every exercise. Generally one can say that particularly dumbbell exercises are suitable, but also some cable exercises. Here you have to try and experiment. Noteworthy are:
- for the chest all forms of dumbbell bench presses and flying,
- for traps shrugs,
- for the legs sissy squats and leg press.
- lats are best stretched on the pull-up bar with additional weight or on the lat pulldown,
- the shoulders with lateral raises on the cable and dumbbell presses.
Holding a stretch for a period of 15-20 seconds or longer will release tension from the target muscle, weakening it significantly for the next few sets. This in turn increases the risk of injury if further follow-up sentences are completed with heavy weight. Therefore, always put “Loaded Stretching” on the last set of an exercise or, even better, the last exercise of a muscle group.