Getting a solid warm-up prior to lifting can make or break your workout. There are a few different scenarios that happen:
- The athlete or client doesn’t warm-up at all, doesn’t increase muscle tissue temperature and goes into the lift stiff and putting themselves at a potential chance for injury.
- The person does a bunch of random movements that have no relation to what they will be training that day and in turn, place themselves at risk for potentially hurting themselves or having a lackluster performance.
- The person has a well-structured, focused warm-up that targets specific muscle groups, increases heart rate and tissue temperature and adequately prepares themselves for the training session ahead.
More often than not, the third scenario is rare and seeing someone properly warm-up to prepare themselves doesn’t happen as often as you may think. Most people don’t know what they need to do to be ready to go.
Today, we will be discussing an optimal way to properly warm-up your shoulders to be prepared to give your best possible effort in the upcoming training session.
How to Properly Warm Up Your Shoulders:
- Self Myofascial Release
- Activate at New Ranges
- Exercises Build Strength and Stability in New Ranges of Motion
1. Self Myofascial Release
Self Myofascial Release is a fancy word for self-massage. This can be done using a foam roller, lacrosse ball, etc. For muscles specific to the shoulders, the Latissimus Doris, Pectorals, and Posterior Shoulder are great areas to target to maximize overhead shoulder mobility.
2. Activate at New Ranges
It is important after you have improved mobility in various areas to train your body and brain to use those new ranges of motion. This can consist of simple isometric exercises (pulling/pushing into something where no movement occurs).
Some examples of this include:
Standing Lat Mobilization
Standing with your hands on something stable, spread the floor and pull down with your arms. Sit back until a stretch is felt while maintaining tension in your arms. Perform x 5 reps and then after 5 reps, maintain the bottom position and continue to pull x 15 seconds.
A common area that can contribute to shoulder issues is the thoracic spine. Lack of flexion, extension and rotation can contribute to issues at the shoulder blade and in turn the shoulder.
Performing drills such as the Sidelying Rib Roll or Sidelying Thoracic Rotation can be great options for opening up the thoracic spine.
Sidelying Rib Roll
Sidelying Thoracic Rotation
3. Exercises Build Strength and Stability in New Ranges of Motion
A series of exercises we like to incorporate into our shoulder warm-up are the:
Banded Face Pulls 3 x 10
Banded Pull Aparts 3 x 10
Banded Over and Backs 3 x 10
Perform 10 reps of each exercise and then go back through and perform 2 more cycles until you have achieved 3 sets x 10 reps of each.
In Closing: Shoulder Warm-ups
There you have it. This can be a quick and easy way to incorporate a well-structured warm-up for the next day you train your upper body and shoulders.
Have additional questions on shoulder warm-ups? Contact our Massachusetts physical therapy clinic, and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.