Starting Stronglifts 5x5 today, few questions?

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Starting Stronglifts 5x5 today, few questions?

#1 Postby PdevC » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:13 pm

I've decided to switch from SS to SL due to the clearer instructions, smaller increases to avoid early stalling, and a ladder of strength so you aren't clueless on what to do next after completing the program. I also found the long explanations on form to be unhelpful, after getting more out of a few bullet points on the stronglifts website.

I have a few questions. In the past I've been unable to do low bar squats, I simply do not have the shoulder flexibility. I've inconsistently done stretches to help with this issue, as well as worked to improve my posture(been actively trying to keep my back straight when sitting, got a physical therapist to re-align my spine). The stretches I'm looking to do, and have done a handful of times over the past few weeks on vacation are shoulder dislocations with a broomstick, doorway pec stretch and thoracic extensions with a foam roller. I don't think I've done the doorway pec stretches correctly though, I didn't want to push my shoulder into the doorway too much because it hurt, and don't really feel a stretch in my chest or anywhere else except my neck, even when I look directly at the other side of the doorway.

Unfortunately, I lack the superhuman ability to instantly become flexible enough for low bar squats, so I guess I'll be doing high bar until I can squat low bar, and then switch? I've read this is no good because this changes the exercise enough that it's better to just stick with one. But both SS and SL are hot for low bar.

Also, the stronglifts website says to do the press by moving your back and your head just enough so the bar can get past, and then getting back underneath the bar once it passes your forehead. However, when I did this while lifting with my uncle, he told me not to do that. I noticed, however, that when he did it the bar curved around his head. I've read many times that this will simply not happen with heavier weights, which prefer to move in a straight line. I've also read a comment about "noobs" arching their back when doing overhead press.

Less importantly, should I add assistance exercises to the program? I'm looking at chin-ups, pull-ups, and dips. I've read they're all great exercises, and I've read 2 training logs of people doing stronglifts that do either chin-ups or pull-ups at the end of their workouts. I'm worried they'll cause me to stall on the bench press(dips) and barbell rows(pull-ups/chin-ups), though.

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Re: Starting Stronglifts 5x5 today, few questions?

#2 Postby chewybaws » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:56 am

My shoudler flexibility has improved vastly over the last few months since I started stretching them more effectively. When doing OHP the only way I could get the bar over midfoot-heel was to hyperextend (over arch) my back.

Here are the 3 stretches I found most effective;
Straight arm pullovers, arms facing up. Use a light weight, and ease into the range of motion bit at a time.

Simply taking an empty bar or broomstick or something, take your OHP grip. Squeeze your glutes/push your hips through and maintain a flat back, DON'T ARCH. Then simply front raise the bar up as far as you can, keep pushing the bar back stretching your shoulders.

Doing this during my hip stretch;

That should take care of any problems on OHP that come from shoulder inflexibility. Lean back slightly, as soon as the bar passes your head throw your torso through to get the bar over your traps and mid foot.

Something I had success with when low bar squats were getting uncomfortable were behind-the-neck resistance band pulldowns (stretch a band out over your head, pull it down to where the bar would be in low bar position). But to be honest, this shoulder warmup sorted all my problems;

This stuff shouldn't be done just a handful of times, do it every day till you see results. Simply attempting getting into low bar position frequently will help (after you've warmed up). Keep up with the thoracic extensions and stuff you're doing as well, it'll all help.

Most importantly, make sure you're not trying to go too low on your back.

EDIT: Do the prescribed assistance as well. Don't go overboard with it though. Don't add anything extra. Your focus is the main lifts.

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Re: Starting Stronglifts 5x5 today, few questions?

#3 Postby Adena » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:12 am

Chewy, thanks for posting those exercises. I don't really struggle with shoulder inflexibility, but I was wondering about some warmup ideas for my overhead press day. At the moment, I don't really warm up at all for it, so I'll definitely work in a couple of the things you mentioned.

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