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The Best Workout Warmup You’re Not Doing

As someone who has trained for the better part of 10 years, I've learned a lot along the way. Maximizing output and minimizing opportunity for injury have become my priority as my life has gotten busier and I realize the importance in longevity. In an attempt to save time, many individuals skip warming up, something I would strongly advise against.

Here is a time conscious warm up that has helped me minimize injuries and consistently progress throughout my exercising tenure:

Elevate Your Heart Rate

Elevating your heart rate is a great way to ensure your body is primed for lifting. Elevating your heart rate allows your body to bring blood flow to muscles, lubricating joints and allowing for optimal range of motion through many movements.

My ideal way to elevate my heart rate consists of walking at a moderate pace for about 5 minutes.

During this warm up, the goal isn't to feel physically challenged. The best way to know if you've been successful in elevating your heart rate is to start your workout off in a sweater. If by the end of the 5 minutes, you're ready to rip the sweater off, you're probably ready to roll.

Dead Hangs

Dead hangs are my favourite warm up sequence. I've played with many warm up combinations and I always find myself including these because of how I feel after they're done.

During dead hangs, your body has the opportunity to decompress your spine - something that takes place seldom through day to day life. Dead hangs also creates a connection between your upper body, torso, and lower body. This connection is crucial when executing most compound movements.

Adding a little twist from the torso during these dead hangs creates yet another dynamic prior to your workout, torque. Core control is an important element in mitigating risk of injury.

Scapular retractions are yet another positive when considering whether to incorporate dead hangs into your warm up routine. Creating scapular stability is crucial for improving posture and progressing movements. Not to mention through the scapular retractions, you have the opportunity to strengthen your serratus; yet another major area for creating overall stability throughout everyday movements.

During scapular retractions, allow your body to relax fully and think about pulling your chest towards the sky without bending your arms.

The final factor in suggesting a dead hang is grip strength. Grip strength and endurance are pivotal components when overcoming sticking points in training programs. As you increase resistance in your strength training program, the weights inevitably become bigger and heavier. Physically, you may have the ability to row a 60lb dumbbell but your grip might have different plans. Warming up with dead hangs until failure is a great way to continually challenge and improve grip strength and endurance on a consistent basis in a passive manor.

Hopefully this warm up helps you elevate to another level in your health & fitness program moving forward

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