A quarter century ago, spandex was the preferred gym attire, Tony Little held the answer to washboard abs and static stretching, from professional sports on down, was the performance enhancement and injury prevention secret of the stars.
In the 1990s, research started to question this infallible supposition and in the subsequent decades, scores of studies started to pile up, showing that after static stretching, force production and explosive power decreased.
Today, the preferred warm-up protocol to maximize both strength and explosive power is dynamic stretching. What if I was to tell you that research that doomed static stretching before any activity that requires strength or power actually opened up a way to increase strength and power via static stretching?
A couple of years ago, I was testing vertical jump ability of athletes I train and through experimentation, learned static stretching the hip flexor prior to the jump increased jumping ability across the board. Is that logical?
Yes! And here is why.
When performing a vertical jump, power comes from the posterior chain. The hip flexors work as antagonist to the glutes (meaning resist vertical jump ability). If the hip flexors are in a weakened state, you can jump higher; you have opposed the resistance.
This got me thinking. In theory, the same technique could be used with the deadlift. When your glutes lockout a deadlift, like the vertical jump, they are opposed by the hip flexors. You can weaken the opposition the same way.
The experiment proved fruitful. Before your next heavy deadlift, static stretch your hip flexors for 2-3 sets of 30-60 seconds and instantly increase your deadlift.