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.

2 Answers 2


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.


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.

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.