Your Warm Up Determines Your Results
The title of this blog post isn't 100% accurate, so stop stretching your hamstrings while you're reading this. There are a lot of other things that go into whether or not you get results (nutrition, sleep, actually lifting HARD, etc). Your warm up is crucial, very crucial, to the extensive workout you are about to get into. There are trainers out there that can tell how serious individuals are about working out, based on what their warm up looks like. What does your warm up look like? Do you bend over and touch your toes, bouncing up and down and then try to grab your foot for a quad stretch or are you the type that hops on a treadmill or bike for 5 minutes gets warmed up? Or, are you in the gym on a Monday (international chest day) and you start swinging your arms around like Michael Phelps for 20 seconds and think that will get you ready to hit a new PR in the bench press? While that will get your central nervous system a little fired up, it doesn't get your muscles ready for the lift you are about to tear up! Spend 5-10 minutes to get yourself prepared properly for the workout, by utilizing the below items.
The goal of this specific post is to give you some upper body warm up items to do prior to a specific workout you are about to do. All of the items below are based on the average individual. If you have a specific issue, like knee stiffness or a bum shoulder, then this would/could change a bit. If you are one of these individuals, with a specific issue, let Jackie or Brad know and we can give you a tailored plan to help.
If you are about to head into an upper body specific workout, here is what I recommend (based on the average individual). First, you will need a lacrosse ball and foam roller. You can get these from just about anywhere these days, but getting a lacrosse ball from a local store is completely ok, but you can get an even better tool like this. Get a good foam roller, like this. You can shop around and maybe find them cheaper, but these are very good pieces and will last! Second, you need time. Devote 5-10 minutes prior to your workout and get these in, even if it is on your gym floor the big box gym you belong to or at your house prior to a workout. Lastly, the biggest problem out there is, YOU HAVE TO DO IT! Here is your upper body list:
1) Roll out your pecs and lats. When we say "roll", that doesn't mean you go nuts and fly up and down on the muscles. Take your time. Apply pressure and then move. Think one inch per minute. SLOW DOWN. Yes, you are probably wondering how in the world you can do this. Well, you can roll your lats, like you are on the beach below. And you can roll your chest either on the wall with your ball or on the ground with your roller.
<Pec Release <w/Lax Ball
Lat and > Serratus > Release >
<Pec Release <w/Roller
2) Work on Internal and External Rotators, to work on activation for your main stabilizers. Light weight, auxiliary exercises like the ones below will help prep the shoulder for strength work. These muscles are designed to be able to do a lot of reps, so hit around 12-20 repetitions on each arm. 1-2 sets will be good enough to get warm. These are just a couple examples, as there are many others. The video on the bottom helps show a ton more.
3) Hit some light strength/activation work after you do your release work, as following those items up with strength work will help them build and develop long term strength/mobility. A couple examples would be bodyweight push ups, TRX push ups, Band Pull Apart, Band Pull Down, etc. But, if you wanted to get a good mix of everything, watch this video and pick a handful of them and go. Great, fast video here, but I would recommend keeping your shirt on.
Bottom line is, you should warm up prior to working out. This was all about the upper body, so check back for the lower body version soon. If you have questions, concerns or simply just want to say hi, you can shoot us a message via email, Facebook or IG.