DC Training is one of the most popular bodybuilding programs in the world.
It uses many advanced techniques like extreme stretching to help you build muscle mass and strength as quickly as possible.
If you want to learn how to do DC-style extreme stretches then this article is for you!
- Part 1: Chest
- Part 2: Shoulders
- Part 3: Triceps
- Part 4: Back Width
- Part 5: Biceps
- Part 6: Hamstrings
- Part 7: Quads
In this comprehensive guide I will teach you how to perform DC Training extreme stretches for every body part.
Extreme stretching is an advanced training method popularized by Dante Trudel through his world-famous DC Training program. The idea is to hold the stretched position of an exercise for 1-2 minutes to fully exhaust a muscle after it has already been trained.
Here is Dante Trudel describing his training method:
“Extreme stretching is putting the muscle in a stretched position under load for a period of time.”
That sounds simple enough! Here is Dusty Hanshaw performing an extreme stretch for his chest:
Chest Extreme Stretch
Dusty is holding the bottom position of a dumbbell fly for as long as he can.
This is an incredibly painful technique but Dante Trudel believes it is one of the most effective ways to stimulate muscle growth in advanced bodybuilders. Just listen to Dante yourself:
“Extreme stretching definitely does something special for a great many people… I’ve gotten 1000’s of emails to prove that point and I know its not a placebo effect… I believe highly in its merits.”
The truth is there are at least 6 reasons why extreme stretches work so well:
The 6 Reasons To Perform Extreme Stretching
- Reason #1: They stimulate mTOR, the “on” switch for protein synthesis
- Reason #2: They overload your fast-twitch muscle fibers
- Reason #3: They increase blood flow and induce hyperemia in your muscles
- Reason #4: They release anabolic hormones into your muscles
- Reason #5: They **potentially** stretch out the fascia surrounding your muscles
- Reason #6: They **potentially** stimulate hyperplasia in your muscles
Talk about a powerful training method! Let’s quickly go through some of the major points.
With extreme stretching you are taking a muscle that has already been trained and is already pumped full of blood and you are performing a very heavy static stretch.
This stretch stimulates many different muscle-building pathways inside your muscles. It stimulates protein synthesis and releases many anabolic hormones in your muscles like IGF-1 and mechanical growth factor.
It also places a TON of tension on your fast-twitch muscle fibers which stimulates size and strength adaptations.
There is even some research showing that extreme stretching might stretch out your muscle fascia tissue or stimulate hyperplasia in humans.
Here is Dante Trudel himself summarizing the many potential benefits of extreme stretches:
“Under various circumstance a stretched muscle under load has produced hyperplasia, an increase in IGF-1, an increase in MGF (2 very potent growth factors), increased protein synthesis, and increased the long-term production of prostaglandin F2 alpha, an anabolic stimulator of myofiber growth.”
Many advanced bodybuilders swear that extreme stretching gives their muscles a completely different look – especially in their chest, triceps, back width and quads.
Here are some great extreme stretches you can perform for every body part:
Extreme Stretches For Every Body Part
- Extreme Stretch: Chest
- Extreme Stretch: Shoulders
- Extreme Stretch: Triceps
- Extreme Stretch: Back
- Extreme Stretch: Biceps
- Extreme Stretch: Hamstrings
- Extreme Stretch: Quadriceps
One of the best muscles to stretch is the chest. Here is another video of Dusty Hanshaw performing a chest extreme stretch:
Chest Extreme Stretch
This is an incredibly painful exercise but the results are more than worth it. If you are doing DC Training then you would do your main rest-pause exercise for chest, rest 1-2 minutes and then perform your chest extreme stretch.
Some people will look at this video and say “that will never work. It looks like Dusty is trying to rip his chest off the bone!”
The truth is there are thousands upon thousands of advanced bodybuilders who have benefited from this chest extreme stretch.
Here is Dante Trudel talking about some of the feedback he’s received about this stretch:
“I’ve gotten reports of (for lack of better terms) “an enhanced roundness” with extreme stretching particularly in the chest, quads, triceps.
Its very rare you get someone who doesn’t report beneficial results.”
Dante Trudel has invented many other ways to stretch out your chest.
One variation involves holding the bottom position of a V-bar dip with your elbows pointed out to your sides. Check it out:
Alternate Chest Extreme Stretch
Dante says that you should perform this exercise with your feet supported on the ground so you can adjust the amount of tension on your chest as needed.
I recommend you stick with the first chest stretch until you really get the hang of it. If that stretch becomes too easy or if you just want to mix things up in your training then you can progress to the version with the dipping station.
A third option is to hold the bottom position of an old-school pec dec machine with the padded handles. IFBB pro David Henry demonstrates this chest stretch in his bodybuilding DVD “Beyond Motivated.”
Now let’s talk about shoulders. There are a couple of different ways to perform the DC Training shoulder stretch.
The first way involves holding a vertical barbell behind your back and rolling your shoulders forwards. For example:
Shoulders Extreme Stretch
This is Dusty Hanshaw’s favorite way to perform this shoulder stretch. If you perform the exercise correctly you will feel a massive stretch all across your front and side delt.
Dante Trudel says that you should try to roll your forward into the stretch and hold for 60-90 seconds.
If it is not possible to perform this stretch in your gym then there is an alternate version that you can perform in the smith machine. You grab the barbell behind your back with an underhand grip and slowly roll your shoulders forwards.
If you perform the exercise correctly you should feel a massive stretch in your front and side delts.
Now let’s talk about extreme stretches for the triceps. There are many different ways to stretch your triceps.
The most common way involves holding the bottom position of an overhead triceps extension. For example:
Triceps Extreme Stretch
For this variation of the triceps extreme stretch you need a training partner to help get the weight into the starting position. All forms of overhead triceps extensions put the long head of the triceps under a very deep stretch.
Many DC Trainees have said that their triceps take on a completely different look in the front double biceps pose after a few weeks of performing this stretch.
Just make sure you are using a heavy enough weight. It should feel like your triceps are about to explode if you perform it correctly!
Dante says that you should be able to hold this exercise for 60-90 seconds max. Check it out:
“If you are using loaded stretching to build maximum muscle you want to use fairly heavy resistance.
You should not be able to hold a certain position for longer than 60 seconds. If you can last longer than 60 seconds you need to increase the resistance.”
You can also perform this exercise with dumbbells or cables if that is easier on your shoulders.
Here is Dusty Hanshaw demonstrating the triceps stretch with dumbbells. Check it out:
Alternate Triceps Extreme Stretch
Most bodybuilders find that the one-arm version of this stretch is easier on their shoulders.
I recommend you contract your triceps and try to push the dumbbell up a half an inch out of the bottom position when you perform this stretch. This static contraction will maximize recruitment of the triceps and make the stretch that much more effective.
Now let’s look at the back width stretch. Check it out:
Back Width Extreme Stretch
Dante Trudel says that the back width extreme stretch is the mother of all extreme stretches. It has the potential to completely transform your physique if you perform it correctly.
For this exercise you are going to hold the stretched position of a wide overhand grip pull up. You want your hands at least wider than shoulder-width grip. If you can tolerate holding your hands wider then that is even better.
Your gut instinct will be to pull up out of the stretch after about 20-30 seconds. Your job is to fight that instinct and let your body relax down further into the stretch.
Dante Trudel says that this exercise will cause your lats to flare out like nothing else if you perform it correctly.
If this sounds like bro-science to you then listen to the Canadian strength coach Christian Thibadeau talking about the science behind extreme stretching:
“The three ways extreme stretches work to stimulate muscle growth is they trigger mTOR activation and because there is a very slow eccentric, it also increases the production of IGF-1 because blood cannot come into get the metabolites out of the muscle.
It also makes those IGF-1 receptors more sensitive to the hormone. It also creates a lot of muscle fiber fatigue which stimulates a lot of growth in the fast-twitch muscle fibers.”
Many bodybuilders find that this exercise preferentially targets the upper outer lats and the teres major muscle. Take a look at Dorian Yates’ rear lat spread pose to see what a difference these muscles can make for the overall appearance of your physique.
If you are an advanced bodybuilder I recommend you start out with 45 pounds and slowly work your way up from there. Dusty Hanshaw rarely uses more than 150 pounds and he is close to 300 pounds in the offseason!
Now let’s look at the biceps extreme stretch. Check it out:
Biceps Extreme Stretch
This is the main way to perform the biceps extreme stretch. You sit down on a flat bench press station and face away from the barbell. Then you grab the barbell behind you with an overhand grip and push your elbows down as if you were trying to hyperextend the joint.
You should feel a deep stretch in your biceps near the elbow joint. Don’t worry, this is perfectly safe if you have already performed your 1 rest-pause set for biceps and your muscle is already flushed with blood.
Some people find this version of the stretch uncomfortable. In that case you can perform a stretch with your arm flared out away from your body. Check it out:
Biceps Alternate Extreme Stretch
Dusty Hanshaw and his training partner deserve a gold medal at the Olympics for this synchronized performance! Tik Tok nurses all over the world saw this video and said wow, we need to step up our game!
In all seriousness this is a great alternative to the first biceps stretch. The bodybuilding coach John Meadows often uses this variation with his athletes to safely stretch out the biceps muscle.
Now let’s look at a stretch that you can perform for your hamstrings and quads. Here is what the quads extreme stretch looks like:
Quads Extreme Stretch
For this exercise you stand up on your toes and slowly push your knees and hips forwards as you sink into the stretch. If you perform this exercise correctly you should feel a deep, powerful stretch in your quadriceps muscle.
Dante Trudel says that this stretch has the ability to completely transform the way your quadriceps muscles look if you perform it correctly.
The limiting factor with this exercise is probably going to be your pain tolerance – this is one painful exercise if performed correctly!
The hamstrings stretches are a little less complicated. You can perform any normal hamstrings stretch such as performing the splits or the half-butterfly position.
Here is Ronnie Coleman showing some great hamstrings extreme stretches. Check it out:
Hamstrings Extreme Stretch
This is a great video of Ronnie Coleman performing the splits after his leg workouts.
Is this a coincidence? It might be but this is one of the reasons Dante Trudel started looking into loaded stretches so much in the 1990s. He thought if all these great bodybuilders were so flexible then maybe there’s something more to it…
Extreme stretches are one of the most powerful training methods you can use to build muscle mass and strength.
This technique was first talked about by John Parillo but the bodybuilding coach Dante Trudel really brought it to the limelight with his world-famous DC Training program.
If you are using DC Training then you have to start using the extreme stretches in your workouts. They are an essential part of the program.
The bodybuilder Justin Harris says that he mostly skipped the stretches in the past but he really regrets that now because there is so much research showing that extreme stretches work synergistically with other training methods to boost muscular hypertrophy.
Don’t be like Justin and regret taking the easy way out… become an extreme stretching masochist and watch your gains take off like never before!
Here is a great quote by Dante Trudel about his DC Training program to pump you up even more:
“If you have been lifting for many years with no muscle mass to show for it, the last thing you need to worry about is peak contraction.
GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT AND BEAT THE LOGBOOK WITH BIG WEIGHT JUMPS (and then you and I will be happy).”
Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!
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