Upper Body Strength Training Warm Ups

by R. Carnavale | February 11th, 2013 | Strength Training, Upper Body

dumb bellNothing beats a great upper body workout, but you need to prepare your body for intense training before every lifting session. For some reason, while many people understand that they need to do warm ups before they lift weights, they resist doing so. It might help to think of a warm up as a transition from normal to more athletic activity that will activate all of the muscles you don’t normally use on the job or at home. Warm ups don’t need to take long – just 5 to 10 minutes at a low to moderate pace. Your goal is to raise your body temperature slightly and to increase overall mobility to improve performance to prevent injuries when lifting.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Do self myofascial release exercises using foam rollers or medicine balls on areas where you’re feeling tension in order to increase oxygen and blood flow to the muscle.
  • Do jumping jacks to increase flexibility, range of motion, and to get the body ready for dynamic exercise. Y-jacks and X-jacks will get your shoulders moving in multiple planes, which will help maintain should health when lifting.
  • Do a light cardiorespiratory warm up on a treadmill, stationary bike, or stair stopper.
  • Don’t do stretching exercises before your workout. Joe Wuebben and Jim Stoppani in Stronger Arms & Upper Body say that stretching before a workout decreases strength when lifting. Instead, just warm up.
  • When you start lifting, do at least one set with a light weight, and do subsequent reps at slightly higher weights until you reach your goal. Here’s an example: let’s say your goal is to lift 200 pounds on the bench press. Start out with 10 reps at 135 pounds, then do another 5 to 8 reps at 185, and then do 200 pounds.

Recommended reading:

The New Rules of Lifting for Abs: a Myth-Busting Fitness Plan for Men and Women who Want a Strong Core and a Pain-Free Back by Lou Schuler.

The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess by Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe M.S., and Alwyn Cosgrove

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.