JOE's pre-workout tips: Warmups are the key to reaching your goals in the gym
If you're not warming up properly, you're at greater risk of injury as well as taking a big step back in your training.
If you're struggling to find the time to get your workout in, one thing that you should never leave out is a good warm-up. It will make sure that the blood is flowing, you're ready to exercise and that you're not making any existing areas of tightness or pain any worse.
Here are three simple exercises to target your back, one of the most important areas to get firing before starting a workout . Working on your back will make sure that you're not imbalanced, leading to injury. In particular, a lot of us tend to focus more on our chests and arms than our back, leading to a lot of tightness and pain around the shoulder and in the upper back. These stretches can make sure that you don't keep making that same mistake.
This is pretty simple, but all you need to do is get a wide grip on a pull up bar (as wide as you think you can manage), hop up, and hold yourself there for as long as you can.
This will stretch your shoulders and back, but if you feel severe discomfort in the shoulder joint, don't do this exercise, and ask a trainer about getting the proper form.
While this will mainly target the abs and the glutes, it's also great for loosening up the lower back and getting the hip flexors moving.
Lying on your back, with your hands out in a T-shape and your knees bent, place your feet on the floor and raise your backside up off the ground, until you form a shape like the first image in the picture below.
As you can see from the picture, you then literally "march" one leg, bringing your knee towards your chest. Try and keep the movement as controlled and slow as you can, not letting your leg drop back down after you bring it up. Do three sets of ten on each leg, and make sure your form stays solid throughout.
Kneeling extension rotation
Starting on your hands and knees, bring one arm up to behind your head, to a similar position that you would use if you were supporting your neck in a push up.
Rotate your shoulders so that your elbow points inwards, towards your other arm, and then rotate out and extend up as high as you can. Your finishing position should look like this:
Repeat these for three sets of ten on both sides.
Nutrition is always key to any workout, and for something great with a high protein content that’s also delicious, try Mooju chocolate milk. With over 10g of protein in a 250ml container, as well as carbohydrate. Mooju is a great choice for your workout.
Enjoy Mooju as part of a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle.
Hat-tip to Men's Health for the picture.