Updated: Mar 12, 2021
Hello everyone! If you enjoyed last week’s pressing warm-up blog, then you’re in luck! This week we are continuing the theme with a squat warm-up routine! There is a running joke in the internet gym meme world that “upper body/chest day is better than leg day,” and while many people might find upper body routines more exciting, lower body strength is SO important. Neglecting to strengthen up your legs can lead to strength imbalances, stability issues, and can become a limiting factor in heavy total-body exercises (heavy carries, power cleans, thrusters, etc.). Don’t skip leg day!
Squats of any kind, whether it be front, back, Zercher, or split, strengthen your quads, glutes, entire core, hamstrings, and even the mid and upper back! Most squats move your body in the sagittal plane(up and down), but some variations move in the frontal plane (side to side). The squat in its simplest form is one of the cornerstone exercises in the entire fitness world and has a huge carryover to many sports and activities. While you may already have a solid routine that works for you, try these out (or ask your coach) before your next squat day and see if you like it!
Dynamic Lower Body Warmup
This is a full range, high variety warmup that focuses on taking your lower body through wide ranges of motion and gets the primed for moving weight. I would recommend doing one round of each exercise as shown in the video!
KB/DB Ankle Mobilization
Improving your ankle mobility creates a stable base and upright posture as you squat. Often times athlete’s feet and ankles are an afterthought to hips, but definitely don’t ignore them! Use a fairly heavy weight to really push your ankle into a greater range of motion. Do 1-2 sets each side at about a minute per side
Hip Rotations (floor)
This is a great, simple hip warmup that works both internal rotation and external rotation. Being able to rotate your hips in both directions is super important for joint health and correct alignment during a full range squat. Make sure your feet and butt stay as glued to the floor as possible. Do 1-2 sets at 10-12 reps total
Band Lateral Walk
Side steps warm-up and strengthen your glutes, particularly your gluteus medius. Why is that important? Your glute med is responsible for hip external rotation and abduction (swinging your femur away from your midline). Many individuals struggle with their knees caving in during a squat, which is often attributed in part to weak glute muscles and can lead to injury. Strengthening that area fixes posture and knee imbalances over time and can make your squat safer and stronger! Do between 1-2 sets at 10 steps each way
T Spine Rotation Squat
Last but not least, this exercise is a fantastic way to prime your body before squatting. Sitting in as deep of a squat as possible gets your hips, knee, and ankles “comfortable” in that position, while the t spine rotations open up your upper back. Good thoracic mobility keeps your chest up and upper back rigid during a squat, particularly a front squat. You don’t want to look like the top of a question mark when squatting! Do between 1-2 sets of 8-10 reps each side.
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.