A big thanks goes out to Marcus for directing me to Tim Henriques’ article on T-Nation entitled “My Favorite Upper Body Warm-Up”. Tim is the Director of the National Personal Training Institute of Virginia and a regular powerlifting, strongman, and arm wrestling competitor. In his T-Nation article linked above he has refined a basic shoulder girdle warm-up that is simple, effective and efficient taking only 10-15 minutes to accomplish. His warm-up consists of 5 parts, but I’ll only touch on a few of my favorites here.
1.) Thoracic Spine (T-Spine) Extension-This mobility drill, typically done with a foam roller, is very effective at restoring range of motion to our upper backs. Think about your posture throughout the course of a day and for most of us our T-Spine spends a good amount of time in flexion (think slumping or slouching, probably what you’re doing right now reading this!). If you feel challenged in overhead positions this drill can really help you feel more open and your overhead position more solid. Here’s Tim’s demonstration on T-Spine Extensions using a foam roller:
2 & 3.) Pullovers & Lying Military Press-Really this one combines Tim’s second and third segments. I like the way Tim offers ways to scale these drills to make them less challenging or more difficult. Give his video a watch:
4.) Band Assisted Stretches-Some of the stretches he shows are ones we may be familiar with from previous posts or mobilitywod.com, but he offers up a couple of new stretch variations that might intrigue you. Check out his full article to read more about his stretching protocol and see his video demonstration.
5.) Standing Military Press+Overhead Shrug-Tim says this is a great way to wake up the shoulder girdle and it’s one of his tried and true warmup movements. Again, check out his full article to read more detail about the movement and see his video demonstration.
3 Rounds for Time:
12 Kettlebell Swings
Rest 1 min
Repeat for 3 total sets