Mobility Work For Exercise Prevention During Fitness
In the past people thought that holding a stretched pose for a few seconds was optimal for warming up for a workout. This is known as static stretching and static stretching actually causes your muscles to be shut off rather than warmed up. In order to warm up for exercises I will give you some procedures that I personally use before every work out and reasons for each.
Mobility Work For Upper Body Workout Days
For an upper body workout I recommend that you use a small dumbbell at least. The dumbbell is to work out the rotator cuff as well as other smaller muscles located within the shoulder. The shoulder is an extremely complex joint so care must be taken as to not injure it. As the muscles of the shoulder get bigger and stronger the rotator cuff does not leaving it susceptible to injury. We remedy that by working them out before the workout. They are very weak and small muscles so not a lot of weight is needed.
A large elastic band of some sort can be of great help to you. They are great for warming up the shoulders. However, they are not necessary. Also, not pictured but a foam roller is incredibly helpful to roll out your back before a day where you are going to work out your back.
Upper Body Mobility Workout
On day’s where you are going to be doing a lot of pressing is is important that you do some inner and outer rotations. Take the dumbbell in one of your hands and keep your elbow at a 90 degree angle. Rest your elbow on a surface which allows your shoulder to be level with your shoulder joint. Start with your hand parallel to the ground and then slowly swing it upwards until your upper forearm is perpendicular with the floor. Make sure your elbow stays rested the entire time and that the movement is coming from your shoulder joint. Lower the weight back down and repeat. Do this for 10-12 slow repetitions. If it hurts your shoulder lower the weight. Then switch arms. You can also do the exercise without resting your elbow and just suspend your arm in midair.
Band Pull Aparts
If you have a band, great. Take the band, grab it shoulder width apart. Raise your arms straight up and pull your hands opposite of each other until your arms are parallel with the ground and the band is behind your head. Then bring your hands and arms back to the original position. Repeat this for 4-5 repetitions. Next do the same procedure except your hands out in front of you and pull until the band rests across your chest. Then bring your hands and arms back to the original position. Repeat this for 4-5 repetitions. Finally, with your hands out in front of you down at your sides while grabbing the band with a shoulder width grip begin to swing your arms until they are behind you. Imagine that you are doing that motion from gym class where you hold your arms straight out to the sides and do small circles. But, instead of having your hands perpendicular to your body they are down by your side, and in stead of doing small circles you do big ones. You basically do a counter clockwise circle until your hands are behind you and down by your sides, then reverse the maneuver until they are back to their starting position. Repeat this for 4-5 repetitions.
Foam Rolling Your Back
If you have a foamroll, awesome. You’re going to love it! With time… Foam rolling your back is great for back day. As well as days where your spine is heavily involved, such as squat day. Take the foam roll and lay it down length wise with your body. Lay on top of the foamroll, with the roll being directly under your spine. Stay like this for a minute or two to loosen up your back. Then take the roll and lay it perpendicular to your body. Lay on top of it and roll up and down the length of your back. In the upper part of your back it will feel amazing. In the lower part of your back where there isn’t much muscle to protect your spine it will be excruciating. Over time you will learn to love it however. Your body just needs to get used to it. I am to the point where if my back feels weird I can just get on my foam roller and crack my back like a whip.
Mobility Work For Lower Body Workout Days
For a lower body workout all you really need is yourself. Most of the movements I am going to show you can be done by your lonesome, possibly on a mat if you don’t want to get rug burn on your knees.
This is a foam roll. If you go pick one up, I recommend that you get one that is long enough to run along your entire spine. These are great for warming up and recovery.
Lower Body Mobility Workout
Grab onto something. Take one leg and begin to swing it fowards and backwards. Do this 4-5 times or until you feel satisfied. Switch legs and do the same. Go back to the first leg and begin to swing that leg left and right like a pendulum. Do this 4-5 times or until you feel satisfied. Switch legs and repeat.
Walking Quad Stretches
Take a look at the picture to the left. Do you remember that stretch. It’s a static stretch that we’re going to turn into a dynamic stretch. Start with one leg planted and the other being stretched behind your back. Only do it momentarily, then take a step and switch to the other leg. I like to do this while walking in a circle to the area where I do the next few exercises.
Get on all fours and begin the exercise by starting with one leg. Take that leg and kick backwards up towards the sky. Get a nice, fast stretch in your hamstrings and butt and bring it back down. Switch legs, then repeat 4-5 times or until you feel satisfied.
While still on all fours, lift one leg up as though you are a dog looking to pee on a fire hydrant. Move the leg first in a clockwise motion, repeat 3-4 times. Then follow this up with a counter-clockwise motion. Also repeat this 3-4 times. Then switch legs.
If you ever feel pain in the front of your hip while at the bottom of your squats, you are not experiencing a hernia. This is merely a matter of flexibility in your hip flexors. I would recommend supplementing the above moves with mountain climbers. Google it to get an idea of what it looks like.
Optional: Foam Rolling Your Lower Body
Foam rolling your lower body is great to do before a lower body workout, cardio as well as for recovery on days when your legs are sore from working out.
Foam Rolling Your Shins and Quads
Place the foamroll on the ground perpendicular to your body. Begin by placing your hands on the ground and your shins on the foamroll. Begin to maneuver your body so that you are rolling your shins into the foam roll in a back and forth motion until you are satisfied. Next straighten out your legs and begin to foam roll the front of your thighs, also known as your quadriceps. Roll them back and forth until you feel that you are satisfied.
Foam Rolling Your Calves, Hamstrings & Buttcheeks
Flip your body over. Place your hands behind you and lay your legs on the foamroll and begin to roll your calves back and forth. When you are finished with that begin to foam roll your hamstrings. Do this back and forth until you are satisfied. Finally place your butt on the roll with your hands on the ground still behind you. Cross one leg over the other while keeping the uncrossed leg straight. Lean to the side of the uncrossed leg and begin to roll that buttcheek back and forth. You’ll notice there is a 3-4 inch strip of butt that is particularly painful to roll. Do this until you feel satisfied and then turn the other cheek.
Foam Rolling IT Band: Optional
Be warned, this one is particularly painful and I only do this about once in a while. If it’s your first time doing it you may cry or scream. Roll each side at least a couple times back and fourth. It’ll be painful but your legs will feel good after. Turn to your side and cross one leg over in order to transfer some of your weight to the foot that’s on the ground. You’ll see why as you begin to roll the side of your leg that is touching the foam roller. Roll back and forth while slightly rotating your leg to hit the IT band which runs along the side of your thigh. Do it back and forth until you are satisfied and then switch sides.