Want to lift weights to your full potential? Try this 10-minute warm-up

According to strength and conditioning coach Dan Lawrence, a mobility warm-up could do much more for your results than you think.

SOME of us might throw caution to the wind and speed through our pre-lifting warm-up with little care (that’s if we even bother with one), but according to strength and conditioning coach Dan Lawrence, a mobility warm-up could do much more for your results than you think.

“From a safety point of view, mobility is key because having a range of motion of the joints helps you to execute movements safely and optimally,” he explains. 

“Put simply, if you carry out an exercise under load but your body can’t get into the correct position comfortably, it will seek a compensatory movement pattern to get there.”

Not only might this cause imbalance in the body — increasing the chances of injury — but it also means that you’re not getting what you want out of the exercise.

HOW TO DO IT: Spend 10 minutes going through the exercises. You should be increasing your range of motion over the course of the sequence itself as well as each time you perform it.

ONE-LEG BALANCE

Want to lift weights to your full potential? Try this 10-minute warm-up

WHY? 

To test proprioception (your spatial sense of your body) while also preparing your glutes in the frontal plane, and to work through any restrictive issues in your adductors

Technique

* Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

* Step as wide as possible to the side, keeping both feet flat on the ground and one leg fully extended. Bend as deep as you feel comfortable, then gradually increase your range of motion as you get used to the movement.

* Drive back up, bringing the extended leg up to balance on your lead leg.

* Hold for one to two seconds, then repeat all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

SAFETY TIP: Keep your chest up and shoulders back as you lower

ANKLE GRABS

Want to lift weights to your full potential? Try this 10-minute warm-up

WHY? 

To raise your core temperature and open up your anterior chain (hips and quads)

Technique

* Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

* Reach backwards to grab your right ankle with your right hand while extending your opposite arm into the air and pushing your hips forward.

* Pause, then repeat on the other side.

SAFETY TIP: Focus on pushing your hips forward as you do this move

WALL DRILL

Want to lift weights to your full potential? Try this 10-minute warm-up

WHY? 

If your ankle mobility is restricted, this will affect your squat technique

Technique

* Stand facing a wall, feet at least four inches away from the wall. 

* Keep your heels firmly fixed on the floor and push your knees towards the wall without allowing the arches of your feet to collapse.

HOT TIP: Over the weeks, slowly increase the distance your toe is from the wall as the knee comes forwards. Measure your progress over four weeks

LEG SWINGS

Want to lift weights to your full potential? Try this 10-minute warm-up

WHY? 

To warm up and dynamically stretch the hip extensors and flexors, adductors and abductors, which get tight from sitting

Technique

* Holding onto a stable surface or wall with one hand, stand with feet shoulder-width apart.

* Once you are stable, swing one leg forwards and backwards, gradually increasing the range of motion after the first few reps.

* Then do the same laterally, swinging the leg in front of the body and out to the side.

HOT TIP: Try not to control the movement too much — let it swing as far as is comfortable

LUNGE AND THORACIC ROTATION

Want to lift weights to your full potential? Try this 10-minute warm-up

WHY? 

To prepare the hips, glutes and quads while improving mobility in your thoracic spine (uppermiddle back area)

Technique

* Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

* Step forwards into a lunge with your left leg.

* Using your left hand to apply a small amount of force just above your knee, open your opposite arm into a high diagonal position (around two o’clock) and follow it with your eyes.

* Stand back up by bringing your back foot forwards to meet the front, before repeating on the opposite side.

SAFETY TIP: Keep your spine long and maintain a good posture


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