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I have noticed flexbility is a big issue for me in squatting as well as snatching (I cannot snatch at all currently).

For example, if I squat with no weight, I cannot complete a squat with my arms pointing to the ceiling. However, with my arms by my side I can go very deep past parallel comfortably.

In my weighted barbell squats I have found widening my grip on the barbell allows me to squat more comfortably because of the flexbility explained in the paragraph above. But how can I increase the flexibility of my shoulders so I don't have to do this? Exercises? Stretches? Is it impossible?

Hope the question makes sense.

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2 Answers 2

I suggest you check out Kelly Starrett's Mobility website. He has a doctorate in physical therapy and focuses on the type of issue you are complaining of. He has posted a bunch of videos on how to improve flexibility of various joints. Besides stretching in various ways, he suggests rotating elbows inwards to stack the bones and muscles properly.

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There's a few stretches you can do to help your shoulder flexibility:

This article on prepping for the overhead press also has some good mobility/stretching exercises that will help you.

So yes, there's a lot you can do, and flexibility is important to having good form.

Just a note on hand position on the bar for squats: you want them wide enough not to put stress on your arms/elbows, but narrow enough to keep a tight upper back. There is some leeway on proper hand position. I suggest finding a spot that is comfortable yet keeps your back tight.

The one stretch that will help improve the flexibility you need for snatches the most will be the shoulder dislocations.

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