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Monday Mobility 1 – The Jefferson Curl

Welcome to our Monday Mobility Series. Each Monday we will be teaching you a new mobility exercise to ensure your movement quality improves each and every week. This week we will be focusing on the Jefferson Curl.

This exercise is one of the best mobility and prehab exercises we know. Some benefits include:

– Lengthening of the hamstrings and the spinal muscles

– Strengthening of the connective tissue between the vertebrae

– Increased control of spinal mobility

– Improved back health under load

Here is a video outlining the right way to do the exercise.

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Here are some tips to remember:

1. Roll down one vertebrae at a time like a string of pearls.

2. Progress load slowly. Some have suggested every 12 weeks

3. Lock the knees

A great performance goal for this is 50% of bodyweight for 5 reps. If you are really into gymnastics strength training you can work upto bodyweight on the bar for 5 reps. We recommend 3-5 sets of 5 reps at the beginning or end of your workout, 2-3 times per week for optimal results.

If you have any questions let us know. Have fun training!

Leave a Reply 2 comments

Jordan Shinn - November 9, 2017 Reply

The Jefferson Curl is definitely controversial. Many professionals say that since most people are subject to excessive spinal flexion already, the lift is a redundancy. For athletes that need tons of flexion like gymnasts, there may be no way around it.

Paul Meldrum - November 12, 2017 Reply

Hi Jordan,

Thanks for the comment. The key is where flexion is happening and is it controlled. We find that a lot of clients are in stuck in a position of spinal extension in the lumbar spine and restoring flexion in a controlled manner like the Jefferson Curl is a great way to re-introduce it. Definitely a topic worth exploring more.

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