Expert explains why enjoying exercise is important
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Everyone can benefit from training their upper body because people use muscles they may not have ever known were there. Stronger upper body muscles mean a person can lift heavier items in their day-to-day lives with ease, and experts warn that without proper focus on areas such as the back, shoulders, chest, core and arms, they could be putting more pressure on their lower back muscles.
This can then lead to further issues down the line, such as unexplained lower-back pain, strains or an overuse injury.
Personal trainer Ryan Conway, spoke to Express.co.uk about the benefits of warming-up properly.
He notes that if you want to lift your best, executing a solid warm-up in the most efficient way possible is a must for the following reasons:
1. Lower risk of injury
2. Increased blood flow and oxygen
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3. Better performance
4. Improved flexibility
5. Lesser strain on muscles and joints
A good warm-up will activate all the muscles needed to engage during lifts, working those smaller muscles like the rear delts, serratus anterior, and rhomboids that often get overshadowed by your bigger muscle groups.
And while many use a jog on the treadmill before a resistance training session to loosen and warm-up the muscles, this could be a mistake.
Studies have suggested that in some in cases it could be setting a person up for an injury, regardless of lifting experience.
Fitness experts advise that for an effective upper body warmup routine, a person should include bodyweight and resistance band exercises that not only prepare the body, but the mind too.
Ryan explained: “It’s no secret that warming up will aid your workout. But don’t treat it like a workout in itself.”
He added that the end goal of a warm-up is to get a person ready for the main event.
“Keep your warmup flowing for the best results while making sure you utilise all your muscles,” he added.
Ryan pointed out many people tend to jump straight into more complex movements first, but instead suggested starting with slight movements that are of a lower intensity.
This is to ease the body and mind into hard training sessions.
It also allows the body to increase blood flow properly, elevate core temperature and become neurological prepared for more challenging exercises.
Upper body warm-up:
1. Jump Rope
Perform 200 jumps to activate your shoulders without putting any pressure on them.
2. Pull-apart with resistance band
Fires up the upper back and rotator cuff muscles and provides some mobility work for the chest and shoulders. Pause for two seconds when the band is fully extended.
3. Incline push-up
This move works the pectoral muscles, especially your lower chest and core
4. Scapular slides (whole body press against a wall)
Ryan explained this move is specifically designed to activate your rhomboids and serratus anterior. It’ll help engage relatively smaller muscles in upper body lifts.
5. Bear hold
This exercise works the spine, shoulders, deep core muscles, and core stabilisers.
Repeat warm-up two times, performing six to 10 reps each set.
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