Are you feeling stale going into your upper-body press day? Are you having some aches and pains? Or are you simply not feeling as strong as you could?
Whatever the case may be, something needs to change. Let’s go back to square one and make sure your body is ready for the intensity of activity that you’re going to put it through.
RELATED: A Simple 5-Minute Warm-Up for Strength Workouts
Try this upper-body warm-up and you’ll never look at the first 10 minutes of your workout the same again.
1. Foam Roll Pecs
Use either a tennis ball or a lacrosse ball, pin it between one of your pecs and the wall and roll in all directions. Spend more time on any areas that seem to hurt a bit more or feel tighter. Spend around 45 seconds on each side.
2. Foam Roll Upper Back
Lie on a foam roller right beneath your shoulder blades. Give yourself a big hug, exposing more surface area of musculature, and roll back and forth on your upper- to mid-back for 30 t0 45 seconds.
3. Foam Roll Lats
Lie on your side with the roller right beneath your armpit and your arm reaching overhead. Roll back and forth from armpit to mid-side. Apply pressure to any area that feels tighter than others, and roll your body from chest to the ceiling to chest to the floor (open and closed). Spend about a minute on each side.
RELATED: The 10-Minute Warm-Up
4. Shoulder Traction
Hang a band from anywhere above shoulder height and grab the end of the band with one hand. Sit your hips back, getting your chest around parallel to the ground (depending on band height) and elongate the banded side from hip through lat, shoulder, elbow and hand. Organically move your shoulder around to find a stretch down your lat, hold it for a few seconds and repeat. Perform 30 seconds each side.
5. Overhand Pull-Aparts
Stand tall with a light resistance band in your hands. Lock your arms in front of you at shoulder height and grab the band with an overhand grip. Keeping tension on the band through the entire set, pull the band apart with completely locked-out arms. Pause when your wrists reach even with your shoulders, then return to the beginning. Repeat for 15 reps. Keeping your arms locked out ensures that you’re using your upper back to separate the band instead of your arms.
Using the same setup as the Overhand Pull-Aparts, begin with the band in your hands, arms locked out in front of you. Keeping your arms locked out, move the band over your head and around to your backside, then return to the beginning. Repeat 10 times. You should feel a stretch right outside your chest. If you cannot perform the exercise with locked-out arms move your hands wider on the band until you can perform it correctly.
RELATED: 3 Principles for the Perfect Dynamic Warm-Up
7. Underhand Pull-Aparts
These are Overhand Pull-Aparts performed with an underhand grip. Perform 15 reps.
Move through this upper-body warm-up, spending a decent amount of time on each exercise, to ensure that your body is prepared for strenuous activity.