Workout Tips

Bulletproof Your Body: The Ultimate Warmup

How to reduce injuries and have great workouts every time.

1. Foam Rolling

“We always do the foam rolling first and then the dynamic warmup,” says Gentilcore. Think of it like a poor man’s massage: it removes the knots, trigger points, and scar tissue that accumulate in the body. Over time, you’ll restore your muscle’s natural length and reduce nagging aches and pains.

“When you hit a tender spot or a trigger point, sit on that spot and let it dissipate,” explains Gentilcore. “Shoot for eight to ten rolls per body part.”

Spend a few minutes targeting the calves, quads, groin, IT band, glutes, upper back, and lats. Once you finish, it’s time for the dynamic warmup.

2. Supine Bridge

“When we talk about performance and strength, the glutes are where it’s at,” explains Gentilcore. Stronger glutes mean a stronger deadlift, squat, and even bench press. But when they’re weak, they force nearby muscles to compensate, reducing strength and increasing injuries.

Instead, start your warmup with a drill to kick your rear in gear: the Supine Bridge.

How to do it: Lie on your back and bend your knees about 90-degrees. Squeeze your glutes, drive through your heels, and lift your hips. Avoid using your hamstrings. Repeat 10 times.

3. Split Stance Dynamic Adductor Mobilization

The adductors are the muscles on the inside of your thigh. (If you’ve ever had a groin pull, you know how annoying it is.) Often, our hips tighten because of too much sitting, which can cause pain and injure surrounding areas. To open the adductors, use the Split Stance Adductor Mobility.

How to do it: Get on all-fours and extend your right leg 90-degrees to the right. Keep your right leg straight, push your hips back, and keep your lower back arched throughout. You’ll feel a tremendous stretch in your groin. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.

4. Quadruped Extension-Rotation

“You cannot get enough mobility in your thoracic spine,” says Gentilcore. Most guys have a rounded upper-back and shoulders that slump forward, called “kyphosis.” (Think Quasimodo.) Aside from looking unappealing, kyphosis can cause shoulder problems because it inhibits your joints. It also causes your shoulder blades to spread apart and bulge from your ribcage.

Yet much of that comes from lifestyle and training. “People are sitting and flexing all day,” explains Gentilcore. Thus, they get locked into that posture. “Not to mention the guys that bench press 4 days-a-week and get a muscular imbalance.”

To counter that bad posture, use the Quadruped Extension-Rotation.

How to do it: Get on all-fours and place your right hand behind your head. Keep your left elbow locked throughout the drill. With your right elbow, reach down then reach up to the sky, feeling a stretch in your thoracic spine. Watch your elbow the entire time. To accentuate the stretch, as you reach the top with your elbow, press your left hand to the ground. Repeat 10 times, then switch side.

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