Ever seen Spider-Man sidelined from super hero action or unable to scale a skyscraper because of a groin injury? Us neither. Maybe that’s because he’s staying limber with Mike Boyle’s Spider-Man Stretch.
According to the renowned strength coach, the Spider-Man is extraordinary because performing it to one side simultaneously develops mobility in both hips. The movement requires you to tilt your pelvis backward, which prevents your back from arching and forces you “to stretch the opposite side’s hip flexors,” Boyle says.
A consultant to the 2009 NCAA National Champion Boston University hockey team, Boyle doesn’t limit the Spider-Man to warm-ups; he also prescribes it for active rest between lifts. “The big thing is that we get extra flexibility work, because most athletes don’t stretch nearly enough,” he says.
Boyle pairs the Spider-Man Stretch with Olympic lifts, such as the Hang Snatch, a power move that requires you to drive explosively from the hips. You can also mix it between sets of Squats or Power Cleans.
• Assume Push-Up position
• Drive left knee up to left armpit, then place left foot flat on ground outside left hand
• Maintaining position and keeping right leg straight, activate right glute and push both hips forward until right knee almost touches ground
• Hold stretch at point of tension for three counts, then shift hips back and bring left leg back to start position
• Repeat on other side; alternate sides for required reps
Sets/Reps: 3×5 each leg; pair with Olympic lift
Coaching Points: Keep hips square and forward throughout exercise // Drive knee up as if you were going to step on your hand, but place foot just outside of hand // Initiate movement from the hip of the active leg // Avoid moving entire body to side of active leg // Keep hands in place throughout movement