Upper body warm up – Warming up is an indispensable part of a good workout.
Despite this, it’s often very neglected, usually just reserved to a chick jog on the treadmill and a few jumping jacks at best.
A good warm-up should aim to amplify the quality of your workout by preparing your body functions as well as reducing the risk of potential injury.
Raising body temperature, increasing joint mobility and activating the system of correct movement patterns are all necessary to this end.
The most minor workouts do often target the lower extremities.
Jogging, jumping and stretching easily target the legs and pelvic girdle, but because of this, the upper-body is often left out by many.
Importance of Upper Body Warm Up
Your upper body consists of your arms, chest, shoulders and upper spine.
When putting these areas through their paces, it’s important to consider just how sensitive these areas are to injury when incorrectly or inadequately prepared.
Take the shoulders for example.
One of the most complex joint systems in your body, the shoulder girdle is the cornerstone of upper body functionality.
Your productivity as a human being is governed by the ability to use your hands.
Your hands depend on your arms, and your arms rely on your shoulders.
They form the functional junctional junction of most upper body exercises, whether they are push or pull-based.
Tricep, bicep, deltoid, pectoral and scapular exercises all have their foundation on how well the shoulder girdle is prepped for action.
You want to focus on your core, upper back mobility and rotator cuff mobility for maximum benefit.
In this article, we’re going to give you a few pointers on just how to get the ball rolling on an upper body workout with some good upper body warm up exercises.
Walking out the gym with a great bicep pump is cool, but are you getting the most out of it and allowing yourself to be able to train another day?
What You’ll Need
Before we get started, there are a few accessories you’ll want to get your hands on to aid in the process.
These pieces of workout equipment will help you fire up your upper body and get things going for an amazing workout.
Equipment you should have:
- Resistance bands
- Pvc pipe or broomstick
Top 4 Upper Body Warm-Up Exercises
1. Band Pull Aparts
This exercise is designed to help you activate your upper back region as you prep for intense pulling exercises during your workout.
It involves a resistance band and can be useful as an exercise on its own, even without the pretext of a warm-up.
Simply hold the resistance band in both hands right in front of your chest and parallel to the ground.
Make sure you have a fairly close grip so that you maximize your range of motion.
From here, pull the band from the center going outwards with both hands.
Once your arms are fully extended and open, gradually succumb to the tension until you return to the starting point.
Do this one for 10 to 12 reps.
A big tip is to use a light resistance band, the goal is to upper body warm up, not work out.
2. Resistance Band Draw-The-Sword
Another great resistance band upper body warm up, this one targets the RC (rotator cuff) joint in the shoulder.
What you need to do first is secure one end of the band to the ground.
You need a fixed anchor point that won’t budge or give in under the tension, so avoid anything loose like a weight, no matter how heavy.
Once secured, stand next to the band.
Pick up the free end with the hand opposite to the side you’re standing from.
So if the band is next to your left foot, pick it up with your right hand.
Make sure there is a reasonable amount of tension when you lift the band to hip height.
From here, and with a firm grip, pull the band from your left hip diagonally up to your right shoulder as if you’re drawing a sword from its sheath.
Once you’re in a sword fully drawn position, gradually release tension until you’re back to the beginning.
Repeat 10 to 12 times for each side.
3. Broomstick Leans
This one is fairly simple.
The goal is to open up the shoulders for an increased range of motion.
Simply plant your broomstick or PVC pipe vertically, gripping the top with both hands with your arms stretched out.
Lean forward until your back is parallel to the ground and your ears are brushing your shoulders.
From here you just rock gently up and down, oscillating over a range of just a few inches.
Do this for about 30 seconds.
4. Back and Front Raises
Another broomstick exercise, but this time holding it in a horizontal position.
Hold the stick at just over shoulder-width apart and raise it over your head and down your back and bring it all the way back again.
If your flexibility limit doesn’t allow for the full movement, don’t force it, but rather do it in segments.
Do 10 – 12 reps.
And there you have it. 4 awesome ways to prep your upper body and shoulders for a workout of any intensity.
Be sure to check your equipment before use.
Nothing worse than a highly tensed resistance band snapping in your face!
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