Hello Straight Shotters! Happy March! I hope everyone is enjoying the longer days and warmer weather! I personally am loving the promise of spring, more sunshine, warm weather, and cold brew coffee season! (PSA, Dunkin released a new cold brew that tastes amazing; highly recommended.)
Along with the turn of the season, many individuals tend to find higher levels of motivation during the warmer months, especially when it comes to their physical activity. If you are one of those individuals, make sure to take advantage of this by focusing on high-quality, progressive workouts with a variety of movements. If you have ever trained with us at Straight Shot, you know how much we value our clients’ ability to move well in all directions and have a good balance of strength on all sides of their joints. You get a mix of upper body pushing and pulling, lower body pushing and pulling, lateral movements, twisting movements, and everything in between!
Upper body pushing, or upper body pressing, can be done horizontally (in front of you like a pushup, or behind you like a dip) or vertically (overhead like a shoulder press). There are certain muscles and joints that are going to do a lot of work in any pressing motion. So, I have created a short and sweet warm-up routine for you all to try out on your next pressing day! This is a generic routine that does not take personal needs and goals into account, so if you already have a certain routine that works for you try swapping a few of your own exercises in. As always, let me know if you try these out and what you think!
Dynamic Upper Body Warm Up
This is an all-encompassing, active warmup to take your joints through a full range of motion before adding any load. I would recommend doing one round of each exercise as shown in the video!
Quadruped Band Lat Pulldown
Learning how to engage your lats may sound weird for pressing, but properly setting your lats before your next heavy bench press is huge for the stability of your back and core, and will take your pressing to the next level. Use a light band for these, and really focus on engaging your lats as you pull the band and your shoulder blade back towards your hips. Make sure the band is tied to a rack or very stable post! Do between 1-2 sets of 10 reps each side depending on time
Side-Lying T Spine Rotations
This is a great warmup exercise to open up your thoracic spine (mid/upper back) which will give you some added range of motion overhead. The better your T spine mobility is, the less likely you are to arch at your lower back while pressing. Do between 1-2 sets of 5 reps each side
Plate Scapula Pushups
Before completing any type of pressing motion, its important to warm up and strengthen your serratus anterior. Your serratus is a small muscle that starts underneath your shoulder blade and wraps around to the side of your ribs. It is often overlooked, but learning how to properly engage your serratus plays a huge role in the coordination of your shoulder blades during upper body movements. Also, this movement is great for getting your core stabilizers warmed up so you can hold a tight midline while pressing! Do between 1-2 sets of 10 each side.
Banded Wall Slides
Much like the plate scap pushups, banded wall slides are a great exercise for engaging your serratus. This exercise is particularly good before any pressing motion overhead. Use a light or medium mini band and pull that band apart as you slide. Do between 1-2 sets of 10-12 reps total
Warming up properly is so important for injury prevention, building proper mechanics, and will even allow you to move more weight during your working sets! If you are interested in taking your pressing game to the next level, reach out to us to get custom-designed workouts geared towards you as an individual. Happy Pressing!