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Upper Body Warm Up Routine

Upper Body Warm Up Routine

Written by Alex Phan - Osteopath | 7th March 2024

Are you unsure of how to warm up properly for an upper body work out? Or do you find that you are jumping into an upper body work out without a proper warm up and find your body is really stiff, and end up injuring yourself? Then you may want to look into a proper upper body warm up routine that will prepare your body for an intense work out and will also prevent the chances of an injury occurring.

General warm up

The main goal of this is to increase the body’s core temperature. Any form of aerobic exercise that you can perform before your workout that will get the heart rate up to 55-65% of your maximum heart rate. This can be from the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, any exercise that you can do to get the heart rate up. 5-10 minutes is usually the length it takes to get warmed up

Targeted warm up

This is aimed at targeting active muscles or primary muscles involved in your work out. Since its upper body focused, things such as foam rolling selected tight muscles to release them and get them ready for exercise is advised. E.g foam rolling your back, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids etc, self-release of your pecs etc.

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching has been shown to be more beneficial compared to static stretching. This usually involves targeting active joints involved in the workout to get more mobile so that they move within optimal ranges of motion during the exercise.

For an upper body work out:

Small arm circles 10-12 each arm

Big arm circles 10-12 each arm

Band pull apart 10-12

Face pulls 10-12

Wall slides 10-12

Side to side arm swings 10-12 each arm

Progressive pyramid

This is usually specific to an exercise that you are performing. The whole point is to progressively pyramid up to your selected working weight by tapering the amount of reps you perform of the exercise chosen whilst increase the weight at the same time. E.g for barbell bench if your working weight is 80kg:

  1. 10-12 reps with the bar by itself (20kg)
  2. 8-10 reps of the bar + 10kg each side = 40
  3. 8-6 reps of the bar + 20kg each side =60
  4. Then you start your working set with 80kg

If you are still unsure about how to warm up properly or need some more clarification on how to warm up properly in regard to exercises, sets and reps, please come down and see one of the osteopaths at Canterbury Health Hub. Here, the osteopaths can help provide a more tailored warm up routine as well as more insight on exercise selection and rep schemes.