Samson Stretch – UPDATED 2022 – A Complete Guide
When you’re looking for a CrossFit warm-up exercise in 2022, you want something quick and easy to do. Many updated warm-up routines are comprehensive and effective, but they can be just as intensive as your WOD; meaning that by the time you’re done limbering up, you’re too exhausted to actually work out.
If you’re looking for a simple warm-up, there are few better than the Samson stretch. This is a whole-body stretch that will get you ready for any exercise and will instantly release any build-up tension in your body.
This complete guide will show the benefits of the Samson stretch, how to do it properly and effectively, the different types of Samson stretch, and more.
Samson Stretch – A Complete Guide
So, what is the Samson stretch? While it’s not clear who designed the stretch or where it originated, the name might come from the biblical figure Samson, who was known for his great strength (and great hair). The pose of the stretch resembles a great biblical figure, and the position of the hands represents Samson lifting his hair.
For the Samson stretch, you take up a ‘lunging’ position with one knee on the floor, with your hands outstretched over your head. You hold this pose for a short while and then switch to the other leg.
The stretch requires no equipment and is a great warm-up that you can do from home. It also isn’t only good as a pre-workout routine; it’s a great stretch to do right after you wake up to release the built-up tension in your muscles from sleeping in a sedentary position.
It’s also frequently praised by experienced athletes, as one of the few stretches that they do before a workout. This is because the Samson stretch encompasses everything, from the lesser-known muscles such as the psoas all the way down to the hamstrings.
The stretch can ‘reset’ your body into a neutral position and prevents muscles from becoming static. If you’ve done a lot of exercises that isolate 1 muscle group such as bicep curls or hamstring curls, it can be easy to develop a muscle imbalance without realizing it. The Samson stretch will help to prevent this by reactivating those muscles and keeping them prepared for future exercise.
If you’re looking for a more impactful take on the Samson stretch, you can adapt it into Samson lunges. The position is the same, but instead of holding the stretch, you’ll be switching between each leg for as many reps as you can.
With the Samson lunge, you’ll be fully stretching your body and getting the benefits of the Samson stretch but also exerting yourself a little bit at the same time – this helps you to get into the right frame of mind for your CrossFit WOD.
It’s a great idea to fit the Samson lunges into your CrossFit routine, and there are a lot of recommendations, adaptations, and tips to help you do this.
One of the most popular is the Samson lunge pulses. These are a good middle ground between a stretch and a lunge and focus on strengthening your quadriceps. For these, you’ll want to assume the Samson stretch position as normal, but then push forward onto your leg that is supporting your weight with your foot planted on the floor.
Repeat this 5 times for each side, and with each rep try to stretch a little bit further and push that little bit harder.
Samson Stretch Benefits
CrossFit enthusiasts love the Samson stretch because it’s so easy to do, and it’s so effective. It’s been called the ‘world’s best stretch’ by some and for good reason.
One benefit of the stretch is that it loosens your hip flexors – these muscles are essential for all lower-body movement including walking and running. They’re also susceptible to injury and moving quickly without stretching properly can cause a debilitating muscle tear.
The Samson stretch for just a couple of minutes will help mitigate any chance of injury, making them useful even if you’re not planning intensive exercise.
The stretch is also beneficial as a winding down stretch. After a long day, your whole body might feel strained, and your muscles might feel tight. The best way to signal to your body that you’re ready to relax is to release any tension in your muscles, and the Samson stretch will help you to do this.
For a lesser-known benefit, did you know that the stretch can improve patellar tracking? What this means is that your kneecap, and area that’s susceptible to dislocation through normal activity, can be stabilized and aligned through proper stretching with Samson lunges and the Samson stretches.
How To Do Samson Stretch
Now that you know what the Samson stretch is and the benefits, here is a step-by-step guide of how to perform it properly:
1. For the starting position, stand straight up and face straight ahead. Take a deep breath and tighten your core.
2. Put your right foot forward and onto the ground in a ‘lunge’ position.
3. Then, lower your body and put your left knee onto the ground. At the same time, bend your right knee up to roughly in line with your navel area.
4. Raise both arms above your head as far as possible.
5. Face your palms upwards and interlock your fingers.
6. Hold the position for as long as you wish, and then return to a neutral standing position.
7. Perform the same motion as before, except with your left leg forward.
Samson Stretch – Closing Thoughts
The Samson stretch is a great pair with a 2022 CrossFit routine; it puts you in the frame of mind for working out and sets you up for a complete and productive day.
We hope this updated guide has made you aware of the benefits of using the Samson stretch as a warm-up or wind-down activity.
Warming up is essential to a safe and effective workout routine and neglecting this can put you at risk of injury or leave you feeling sluggish during your WOD, so keep checking for more guides, tips, and exercises that you can adopt into your workouts.