Do you find yourself leaning forward too much during squats or unable to go heavier with deadlifts? Or do you suffer from ongoing neck and shoulder pain? These could all be signs that you lack good upper-back mobility, a common problem for anyone who works at a computer.
If your weightlifting warm up amounts to doing a few light sets before your working set, you could be missing out on improved performance, mobility, and injury prevention. But a quick, full body, dynamic warm up will provide all these benefits.
A great place to start? An exercise to increase your upper-back mobility. That’s why I’m including an exercise demo in today’s post: The Walking Lunge with Thoracic Rotation will improve your upper-back mobility while also increasing your balance:
You don’t hear about upper-back mobility as often as the lower back, but it’s just as important, if not more so. Located between the cervical spine (neck) and the lumbar spine (low back), the thoracic spine can become stiff and dysfunctional as we slump at our computers day after day. Your thoracic spine allows you to twist and bend, but you can have an immobile thoracic spine without even realizing it.
Dynamic warm ups consist of a series of bodyweight, sport-specific movements that prepare your muscles for training. Not only do these 5- to 10-minute pre-workout rituals improve performance and power, but they’re an opportunity to work on mobility, balance, and range of motion. And that translates into injury prevention.
So if you’re not doing dynamic warm ups, start now. And don’t forget to include at least one upper-body mobility exercise for two sets of 8-12 repetitions.
For more about thoracic spine mobility, check out this excellent article over at Mark’s Daily Apple.
This article originally appeared on www.workoutnirvana.com.