I attended one beginner course in CFT Lauttasaari where they said that this is a common problem with guys and recommended stick/bar training to improve flexibility and range of motion. This is necessary for safe training for technical manoeuvres such as clean and jerk. I want to hear your opinion about this, I think inflexibility can be a serious flaw and all power training should be done so that it does not get worse. My goals are to get such flexibility that I can safely train basic weight-lifting movements and play tennis without compromising power (and still having the range of motion). I made a little video showing how bad the inflexibility is here.

Which muscles and which movements do I need to address the inflexibility problem with hands straight behind back?

enter image description here

Perhaps Related

  1. Arm cross stretching behind the back, how to improve it?

3 Answers 3


You honestly don't look that inflexible to me. It was a long video but I don't think I saw any front squats in the rack position which is really the weight lifting move that requires the most flexibility.

I've heard of folks getting shoulder injuries actually from them being too loose (i.e. too much stretching), but I don't have any data to back that up.

A couple of things I'd consider though, just for good shoulder health related to barbell training:

  • Do standing overhead presses, in a progressive lifting program (Strong Lifts, Starting Strength, etc).
  • Do overhead squats. Start with a broom stick before you have the Olympic bar up there. These are terrific for shoulder stability, and you'll need to learn them to do a snatch anyway.
  • I'll interlace my fingers, put my hands behind my back through a gymnast ring that's about waist high, drop on my knees, and that will bring my arms high up and stretch out my front deltoids.
  • You can also do a door frame stretch.
  • Do you know how flexible professional weight-lifters/power-lifters are there with hands behind back? Are tennis players more flexible to them? I am so confused by the CFT coaches: I think they are right in that I should (1) get the bar more easily over my head (not so wide grip) to back; (2) in front squat forearms should be in 90 degree angle supporting (my hands are in 45-60 degree angle, not shown in vid unfortunately).
    – hhh
    Oct 30, 2014 at 1:54
  • +1 I like doing the overhead squats and I am also worried that improving my flexibility can make it more prone to injuries. Overhead presses?
    – hhh
    Oct 30, 2014 at 1:57
  • I think I am just too worried about this. I compared my flexibility to yoga such as flower movement (I cannot do) (I cannot even put my arms like that behind my back). I think you cannot expect Yoga flexibility for a guy who likes weight-lifting or?
    – hhh
    Oct 30, 2014 at 2:14
  • The current thinking is to have the flexibility you need to safely perform your sport movements. If you want to be a yoga flexible power lifter you can be. The reality for most people is there are only so many hours in a day for training. Between weights, conditioning, yoga, foam rolling, and eating clean you'll spend 8 hours a day just being fit.
    – Eric
    Oct 30, 2014 at 2:25

I got an answer in the facebook group of Aalto Fitness (sport organisation in Aalto University). An answerer recommended the the video in Finnish after point 17.00 here (Finnish) and other answer pointed out the problem "Venytystä liikkeessä vastustavat hauis, etuolkapää ja rintalihas" (trans. "stretching movement is blocked by bicep, front shoulder muscle and breast muscle".

Movements in English

  1. front shoulder(?)/elbow muscle here

enter image description here

  1. bicep, how to get that more flexible(?)

  2. breast muscle, how to get that more flexible(?)


I list here movements from Yoga, I am new to Yoga so there may be more movements to improve the flexibility. So far I have found:

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.