Simply, I love exercise variety during warm up part and I am always giving my best to “kill a few birds with one stone” when it comes to non beginners. When it comes to basic warm up, my approach is simple “Joint by joint approach” and I like to make some combos according to it. First, take a look at the exercise below (video) and we will discuss about benefits.
Why I like this one during warm up? First and foremost, I would give this exercise to athletes because one short part of their warm up should be reserved for balance (activation of small feet and hips stabilizers mainly) and there is 4 very valuable upper back activation drills/moves as well (very useful when it comes to throwers especially). Just do a few more reps and you don’t need anything else for upper back warming up (maybe just one more shoulder mobility exercise + hanging or crawling a bit – especially if you are a wrestler or similar).
So, what’s included here? Activation and warm up of rear shoulders, rotator cuff muscles (humeral external rotators), rhombs, traps… What else? Activation of m. iliopsoas of course. Very important muscle who plays role in stabilizing lower spine (overall health of the lumbo-pelvic-hips area if works properly) and moving knees above hips level (it’s important if athletes need to work on some sprints, single leg jumps and similar). The psoas and the iliacus (m. iliopsoas) are the only hip flexors capable of bringing the hip above ninety degrees. The TFL, m. rectus femoris and m. sartorius – all of these muscles are capable of hip flexion up to the level of the hip.
While you are doing arms combo: you should relax traps (shoulders down), tuck your chin in, slightly bent standing leg knee (better balance and activation of the small stabilizers I have mentioned above), move rib cage down, tight stomach, and it’s not necessary to squeeze standing leg’s butt because legs are in split positon so there is no chance for excessive anterior pelvic tilt. Palms can face each other in starting position (neutral arms pos.) because we have all our arms needs when it comes to warm up (chest muscles, lats and upper traps a bit are exceptions).
Good activation of the muscles mentioned above is a must-do during warm up if you are a thrower or similar, or if you want to do almost any upper body strength training (upper body part of the exercise above), because on that way you are preparing CNS and waking up neuro signals coming from brain to that muscles which will help to properly prepare important muscles for max potential, and safe work first and foremost.
You can do 1 set of no more than 6-8 reps each move (both legs). Of course, you can do the same exercise by using pulley/cable machine which will make balancing even easier (rubber band is pulling you forward a bit but it’s easy once you gain a habit).
We can talk about details now but that’s for some another topic. Just try to mimic details you see on the video and you will take max out of the exercise. And of course, exhale when you pull – inhale back.
Thanks for reading and all the best