Special Stretching For Strength Training

John Kuc was the first man to squat 900lb (1972)… He is a multi-title holder, multi title world record holder and world champion! The following interview is very rare and was published in the early 70s! – Mr. Berg

Stretching with John Kuc
More and more…stretching is seen as a valuable adjunct to any training program..many lifters at the intermediate to advanced level of proficiency incorporate some kind stretching movements before each workout…they’re usually not very time-consuming…nor complex, but they are typically followed with near dogmatic dedication…WHY???..because they help prevent injury, that’s why.

Heavy trainers like John Kuc fear injury more than any competitor…because they can wipe out any hope of progress in an instant, and hang with you for months.

John has managed to avoid major injuries over the years, but the minor ones have always been a plague..sometimes keeping him off the platform altogether..particularly when he was contemplating his comeback after a very long layoff.

A few weeks before one of his recent competitions, he was once again going through the frustration of trying to train heavy…around….an injury, when he decided to visit a local practitioner….a Naturopath, with a Chiropractic degree, by the name of Dr. Jerry Reisinger ( a few of you may remember that name…he was a good bench presser some years back). Jerry is a rather unique individual, lives in a cabin…refuses to use any electricity…a strong believer in everything “natural”..from childbirth to the healing of injuries. Jerry and John worked out a special stretching routine..to be done before and after each workout.

The routine consists of 3 movements..the first requires one to lay on the floor…bring your knees up and, folding the calves back, towards the chest….with the hips still on the floor…You twist your head one direction of the twist every rep.

John does 30 of these…followed by a form of the toe touch, where he sits on the floor…legs spread, and alternately touches one hand to the opposite toe…30 of these also.

This movement is specifically designed to stretch the hamstrings…and it also helps pelvic alignment. John follows this set with 30 leg raises, and that completes the routine…which, once again, is done before and after each workout..no matter which lift is being worked.

The results?….John has suffered none of the typical injuries that used to bother him since incorporating these moves into his routine. Randy Wilson is another lifter who absolutely swears by stretching..as an injury preventive measure..and, of course, Dr. Fred Hatfield’s PNF theory, as documented in a previous issue of PL USA, emphasizes stretching…though from a different perspective, one that promotes the idea of a specific type of stretching to build strength.

Most powerlifters are not extremely conscious of their level of fitness…and usually consider stretching as a “fitness” concept, and therefore not too high on the priority list, but as a lifter gets better and better, coming closer and closer to his ultimate potential, the threat of injury becomes very real.

With the consequences of major or long-lived injuries being so devasting, it becomes very important for lifters to protect themselves against those little pulls and tears that can become big pulls and tears. John Kuc does consider his “fitness” as a major part of his total training program, and stretching is one form of insurance he wouldn’t be without in his quest to maximize his performance on the platform..perhaps it can be a factor in your progress as well…why not give it a try?”

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