Stretch with Weights for Muscle Gains
Arnold Getting a Good Stretch on Dumbbell Flys
Holding a stretched position when doing an exercise under load can be done using barbells, dumbbells, or your own bodyweight doing exercise like dips or chins. All you need do is simply lower your weight until your target muscles start to become stretched. When you get to that reach and hold those two contracting muscles hard so it then becomes an isometric contraction.
Over time it slowly starts to get more and more stretched. The movement becomes a very slow, and very gradual negative or eccentric action as you start going deeper. It hurts like hell because you suddenly won't have all that strength to be able to hold that position any longer.
Stretching is an important part of weight training and should be a regular habit. You should try to load 3-5 minutes which are broken into sets doing 60-90 seconds on each. When you're doing bodyweight exercises, you'll probably have to start at about 45 seconds for each set. It's OK to start with but you have to shoot for doing 3-5 minutes, but first get to around 60 seconds as soon it's possible. When you can hold the weight for 90 seconds you need to add more weight.
When your objective is specifically to increase muscle mass you need to make sure that you do EQI (eccentric quasi-isometrics) when your targeted muscles have been pumped, after the workout. This gives you a much better stretching effect and it will lead to a more overall level that has much better growth factors inside your muscles. You'll see more hypertrophy and you'll see a much faster improvement in your range of motion when doing EQIs just after doing bodybuilding or strength work.
You should concentrate on doing your EQI's before your training session if you are getting affected by improper execution. For example, when doing an EQI split squat when your hip flexor or your hamstring extensibility is making it impossible to do a proper full-squat without your lower back arching.
There are a number of different reasons to transfer your stretching throughout your whole workout. Firstly, you'll improve your mobility and your range of motion your muscles can produce and you'll be able to produce more tension or force.
Unlike when you stretch with regular stretching, you'll not only improve your parallel elastic component (PEC) in your muscles, but you'll also have the series elastic components (SEC) as well. EQIs will improve your dynamic mobility and it will be much more transferable directly into movement performance.
Any load stretching will increase your capacity to be able to contract a muscle as it is being stretched. This will be able to improve your performance using a higher force of production while you're training. It'll also be able help to reduce your risk of injuries when a muscle is suddenly violently stretched, usually when pulls and muscle tears happen.
Any loaded stretching done will help to strengthen the tendons. There are many lifters that simply can't get any stronger because they got tendons that are too weak. Using this method will help strengthen your tendons and can also help to heal tendonitis.