Something that I think gets neglected far too often in most workout routines is a proper warmup. But before I start just a heads-up; taking a pre workout does not count as warming up, riding the stationary bike for 5 minutes listening to the 300 soundtrack does not count as a warmup, and flexing in the mirror in the change room does not count as a warmup.
A proper warmup should consist of mobilization and stabilization drills specific to the exercises that you intend on performing that day. This means that you should probably have a plan before you go to the gym. If this seems too complicated fear not, wandering around the gym doing bicep curl variations requires no warmup at all. All that you need is a shirt with the sleeves removed and instagram.
If you can do this don’t bother reading this article.
The fact that most of us spend our days hunched over desks, steering wheels and smartphones means that our bodies have adapted to positions that are not conducive to most physical activities that are commonly preformed in the gym. Our bodies are highly adaptive which means that most of us have internally rotated shoulders, forward head posture and hip mobility that would make Shakira shake her head in sexy, sexy disapproval.
I have compiled a list of mobility and stability drills that you can follow depending on the type of exercise that you plan on doing. I would recommend warming up on the rowing machine for 2-3 minutes and then spending 10-15 minutes working on your joint mobility and stability before starting your workout. I know mobility and stability is not sexy but when you dead-lift 4 plates with no lumbar flexion your back will thank me. I hope that these drills help you as much as they have helped me!
P.S. You should invest in a lacrosse ball and a few mobility bands. They are required for most of the drills that I have recommended and they will work wonders for your mobility and flexibility. You can buy lacrosse balls at Canadian Tire and the mobility bands on the world wide web.
Joe Defranco’s Limber 11 series as a video and PDF. This is a really simple way to increase your mobility for the squat or really any type of lower body exercise that you plan on doing.
When I prepare for DL’s I like to attack three different areas that tend to get tight in my day to day life and which need to be supple for preforming a DL.
The Overhead Press is possibly one of the most difficult exercises for the general population to preform properly. There are two mobility drills and two stability drills that I like to do before I do any type of overhead movement.
1. Scapular Mobility – Lacrosse Ball required
2. Shoulder Mobility – Mobility Band required
Run through this drill doing 10-15 reps of each letter before moving on to the next one. Use very light dumbbells or even just your arms.
The chest can be an area that gets extremely tight so make sure that you show it some love before you start benching.
1. Pec smash
2. Thoracic Extension
3. Band Pullaparts – 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Most people know what a band pull apart is, but here is a video that goes over the biggest mistakes that most people make when preforming them.
4. Shoulder Dislocations 3 sets of 10-15 reps
These can be done with a mobility band as well!