The squats can be the most rewarding, but also one of the most dangerous muscle building exercise you can do. The reason for this is because during the squat you use various muscles groups to perform the exercise. Therefore, a good warm up is extremely important and necessary before you start training. Not only will a good and efficient warm up prevent the risk of injuring yourself, but it can also help you lift more while improving your training results.
Without the proper warm up you may suffer injuries to your lower back, hips and knees so any warm up you do must be intensive. Do not try and spare yourself for your workout. By the end of your warm up you should have already started to break a sweat. So for your next squatting session perform this short warm-up shown below (should last no longer than 10 minutes).
4 Stretches To Improve Mobility And Prevent Injuries:
1. Floor Slides
Lay on your backside on a floor mat and press your elbows, hands and wrists into the floor. Then as your pressing against the floor slide your shoulders up and down. This will open up the chest and stretch your back. As your mobility improves take away the floor mats. Repeat this 15 times.
2. Standing Toe Touches
Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and keep your knees straight throughout, this stretches your hamstrings and hips. When your in position bend to your right leg and touch your toes (if you cant touch your toes get as far down as possible) then bend to your left leg and do the same. Repeat this 20 times, 10 for each leg.
3. Torso Turns
Stand with your legs straight and feet shoulder width apart. Start by bending forward so that your torso is parallel to the ground and straighten your arms out to each side parallel to your shoulder. Now turn your torso (chest) as far to the right/left as possible when doing this stretch and turn your head to look at the hand in the air. This mobilizes your torso and helps prepare your abs for heavier squat loads. Repeat this 20 times, 10 for each leg.
4. Prayer Squat
Get into the squatting position then put your elbows inbetween your legs and hold your palms against each other like in a prayer. Remember to put your chest out, this will improve your hip mobility and also force your knees out during the squat. Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
Foam rollers can also help with mobility and unstiffening of your hips, thighs, calves and upper back. Which is why most serious lifters use them to warm up their muscles before even doing any of these stretches.
You should now be warmed up and ready to squat with proper form and increased mobility. Always remember before getting into your actual/working sets of squats you must build up to them, if not it will also cause an injury. A common mistake most people make is that after the warm up they just go straight into their working weight. For example if your aiming to work up to a weight of 3oo pounds for 3 sets and 10 reps you must first start with the bar and do a few reps, then 100 pounds and a few reps, then 200 pounds and a few reps. Get it ?
Here is a leg routine you can do after this warm up: Click Here For The Routine
If you have anymore questions about squat mobility and warm ups leave a comment below.