Tag: Stretches

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises

Dynamic Warm-Up Routine

First, the Mathias Method Strength System begins by emphasizing the importance of a proper warm-up before you begin any strength training routine or workout program. This is to help decrease pain, prevent injury, and fully prepare your body for the workout ahead. This page will go over our basic dynamic warm-up exercises for weight training workouts.

Get our complete How To Warm-Up Properly for Strength Training Guide today! And learn why you should NOT do cardio to warm-up before a weight training workout!


Dynamic Warm-Up Exercise Routine for Weight Training

A Dynamic Bodyweight Warm-Up

Before every workout, always start with this short and simple dynamic bodyweight warm-up to see how your body is feeling for the day. Begin by simply going through a few full-range of motion bodyweight exercises to lubricate your joints and check for any minor muscle pain that you may need to work on.

If you do feel some muscle or joint pain during any part of your warm-up, you can start by trying to massage your tight tissues and see if that fixes the issue.

After you get some movement going and feel out your body for the day, do a few basic mobility exercises to stretch out any tight tissues that may be preventing you from getting into better, stronger lifting positions. For example, if you have tight hamstrings or ankles that prevent you from reaching full depth during the squat, do some mobility work to help correct it.

It would also be a good idea to have a basic stretching routine that you do before every workout. You can customize the routine to you and what you need to mobilize based on your workout for that day.

For all of our specific workout based warm-up routines, you can check out our How To Warm-Up Properly Guide.

More Warm-Up Routines

See all of our Mobility Stretches or Strength Training Exercises.


Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises

Note: None of these Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises are static. They are all controlled, moving, active stretches.


Toe Touch & Reach

Reps: 10 total

Purpose: Improve Hip Flexion, Hamstring Complex Function, Hip, and Knee Joint Mobility.

 

  • With your feet shoulder width apart, keep a neutral spine and bend from the hips until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
  • From this static position hold for 5-10 seconds and then actively extend your knees and reach both hands towards the floor just in front of your toes.
  • Hold this position for at least 2 seconds before reversing the motion by engaging your hamstrings to raise your torso slightly, and repeat.
  • Do a total of ten 2 second holds.

Note: If you have enough hamstring flexibility to keep a neutral spine with your knees extended and you can touch the floor then this mobility exercise is not necessary for you.


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The Bow Exercise

Reps: 10-30 seconds

Purpose: Open breathing pathways, Increase Thoracic Extension, and Release Tension.

  • While standing erect, interlock your fingers together behind your head, and pull your elbows as far behind you as you can.
  • Begin by pressing your hips forward, with your knees slightly bent, and lean as far back as you can while maintaining balance.
  • Keep your glutes activated to support the connection to the ground and increase hip extension.

Torso Twist & Reach

Reps: 10 total

Purpose: Improve Spinal Rotation, Scapular Protraction, and Retraction Function.

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  • While standing erect with a vertical spinal alignment and feet shoulder-width apart, twist your torso to each side while reaching your opposite hand towards the opposing side horizontally.
  • Allow your scapula (shoulder blade) to protract and retract during these motions.
  • As you twist to the left, your right hand will reach past your body to the left as if to touch the side wall and visa versa.

Side Bend & Reach

Reps: 10 total

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Purpose: Improve Shoulder Abduction and Spine Lateral Flexion Function.

  • With your feet shoulder-width apart, bend laterally while reaching your opposite hand, palm away, overhead.
  • Do not rotate your torso forward or back.
  • Hold for 1 second before returning to the start position.
  • Do a total of 10 repetitions.

Chest Open-Close

Reps: 3 total

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Purpose: Improve Scapular Protraction and Retraction Function, Thoracic Spine Mobility.

  • Set-up standing erect with your arms spread out laterally.
  • Begin by protracting your scapula (shoulder blades) forward, rounding your thoracic spine and wrapping your arms around an imaginary ball in front of you until you feel a slight stretch in your back.
  • Then reverse this motion by retracting your shoulder blades, extending your thoracic spine, and opening your arms until you feel a slight stretch in your chest.
  • Hold each position for 1-2 seconds.
  • Do 3 repetitions.

Hip Circles

Reps: 10 total

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Purpose: Improve Hip Joint Function and Synovial Fluid Lubrication.

  • With feet shoulder width apart, create a large circle with your hips in both directions.
  • Do a total of 10 repetitions.

Hip Open-Close

Reps: 1-3

Purpose: Check Hip Function.

 

  • Set-up standing erect with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Begin by bringing one knee across to the opposite side of your body and slowly create a large circle going in front of your body, up and over to the outside of your body.
  • Then slowly reverse this motion by raising your knee from the lateral side of your body, up and inward creating another circular motion back to feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Paleo Chair

Reps: 30+ seconds

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Purpose: Improve Spinal Decompression, Ankle Dorsi-flexion, and Hip Flexion Mobility.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes straight or turned out slightly.
  • Brace your core and externally rotate (twist) your knees out during the entire movement while clenching your toes into the ground.
  • Begin the motion by opening your hips and descending into a full depth squat while keeping your feet flat. (Note: Only go as deep as you can while keeping your heels down.)
  • Pause in the bottom position for time to gain and maintain the necessary flexibility.

Calisthenics Bodyweight Warm-Up

Calisthenics Warm-Up Exercises

After completing these basic Dynamic Warm-Up Exercise Routine you will know how your body feels for that day. If you need too, take a few minutes to stretch any of your tight muscle groups before you do your Daily 30 Bodyweight Warm-Up Exercises:

Reps: Do 1-3 rounds.

Purpose: Teach Proper Movement Patterns, Increase Muscular Temperature, Increase Heart Rate and Peripheral Blood Flow.

After your Dynamic Warm-Up and Calisthenics Warm-Up Exercises, move onto your Training Specific Warm-Up Routines. Read more…


All Warm-Up Routines

See all of our Mobility Stretches or Strength Training Exercises.

For all of our specific workout based warm-up routines, you can check out our How To Warm-Up Properly Guide.

how to warm-up properly for strength training book

Rotator Cuff Stretches

Rotator Cuff Stretches

How to do the best rotator cuff stretches to decrease shoulder pain, fast! Simple at-home mobility stretching exercises to improve flexibility and increase your bench press!

Your shoulder is the most moveable joint in the body and without proper Rotator Cuff Strength and Mobility, you will likely feel pain almost every time you work your shoulders; such as during the Bench Press and Military Press.

To fix your shoulder pain forever simply learn how to move properly and keep your rotator cuff healthy with these exercises.

How To Strengthen Your Rotator Cuff Muscles!


Shoulder Flexion Stretch

Purpose:

  • Improve Shoulder and Elbow Flexion

Focus:

  1. Shoulder Flexion (Latimus Dorsi, Triceps Brachii)
  • While standing erect, grasp a stable structure or band anchored at shoulder height or higher.
  • Turn away and fully extend your arm holding the object with no tension on it.
  • Begin to walk away while allowing your shoulder and elbow to flex.
  • Move away while maintaining a vertical torso until your shoulder is fully flexed.
  • Maintain this tension and move into different positions, finding tight areas.
  • To increase the stretch, move farther away, lean forward, rotate inward or extend your elbow.

Shoulder Girdle Extension Stretch

Purpose:

  • Improve Shoulder Integrity
  • Improve Shoulder Extension and External Rotation

Focus:

  1. Shoulder Extension (Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Coracobrachialis)
  • Externally rotate your arms so that your shoulders are pulled back together and your palms face forward.
  • Extend both arms behind you, grabbing a stable object to stretch on; this could be a bar, handles on a rope or even a countertop.
  • While standing upright and keeping your shoulders pulled back, step forward until you feel a stretch in your shoulder.
  • Make sure that your shoulders are pulled back into the socket and do not roll forward as you stretch.
  • Breathe deep and relax into the stretch as you try to extend your arms further while standing upright. 

Triple Bully Rotator Cuff Stretch

Purpose:

  • Improve Shoulder Extension
  • Improve Shoulder Internal Rotation
  • Improve Shoulder Integrity

Focus:

  1. Shoulder Internal Rotation (Infraspinatus, Teres Minor)
  2. Shoulder Extension (Anterior Deltoid)
  • To start the Triple Bully Rotator Cuff Stretch, place your hand in the middle of your lower back with your palm facing away.
  • Keep your shoulder pulled back throughout the stretch.
  • In this position, grab a stable object or wrap a band around your wrist.
  • Step away from your hand until you feel a stretch in your shoulder.
  • From here you can rotate away, step farther from your hand, drop your hips lower or raise the band attachment to increase the stretch.
  • Move around in this stretched position to find the most effective position for your needs.
  • Be sure to keep your shoulder pulled back so that it does not rotate forward in the socket and improve bad positioning.

strength training warm up routine

Get our Mobility Warm-Up Guide for more!

Learn how to decrease pain, improve performance and prevent injury with mobility exercises specific to your workout!

Be ready for any workout in 15 minutes or less!

Learn more!


Learn How To Use A Foam Roller!

All Mobility Exercises >>

Hip Adductor Stretches

Hip Adductor Stretches

How to do the best hip adductor stretches to decrease knee and hip pain, fast! Simple at-home mobility stretching exercises to improve flexibility! Open your tight hips to prevent knee caving during wide stance Squats and Sumo Deadlifts!


Wall Splits

Purpose:

  • Improve Hip Abduction
  • Improve Hip External Rotation

Focus:

  1. Hip Abduction (Adductors/ Inner Thigh Muscles)

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  • Lay on one side with your hips flexed 90 degrees and legs extended, close to a wall.
  • Scoot yourself up towards the wall so that you are sitting against it sideways.
  • Raising your legs, rotate so that you are sitting against the wall with your legs directly over your hips and back pressed into the floor.
  • While keeping your back pressed into the ground and legs fully extended, allow them to slide down the wall in opposing directions until you feel a stretch in your inner thighs.
  • Relax into this position, allowing your legs to fall as far as they can.
  • To increase the stretch, flex your glutes to abduct your legs further or use contract and relax techniques.

Wall Squat Hip Stretch

Purpose:

  • Improve Squat Mobility
  • Improve Hip Flexion
  • Improve Leg Abduction

Focus:

  1. Hip Flexion (Upper Hamstrings)

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  • Lay on your back about 6 inches from a solid wall (avoid drywall).
  • Place your feet flat against the wall in your squat stance while still staying relaxed with no stretch.
  • Before you begin, brace your core and press your spine into the ground so that you lay completely flat with your hips down throughout the stretch.
  • To begin, start walking your feet down the wall slowly until you no longer can without assistance from your hands.
  • In this position, you can press into the wall to increase the stretch or use your arms to press your knees out farther.
  • Next, use your hands to assist in pulling your feet down lower on the wall or reset closer to the wall.
  • Your feet should always be flat against the wall.

strength training warm up routine

Get our Mobility Warm-Up Guide for more!

Learn how to decrease pain, improve performance and prevent injury with mobility exercises specific to your workout!

Be ready for any workout in 15 minutes or less!

Learn more!


Learn How To Use A Foam Roller!

All Mobility Exercises >>

Lat Stretches

Lat Stretches

How to do the best lat stretches to decrease back and shoulder pain, fast! Simple at-home mobility stretching exercises to improve flexibility and increase your pulling strength!


Overhand Lat Stretch

Purpose:

  • Improve Shoulder Flexion

Focus:

  1. Shoulder Flexion (Latimus Dorsi)
  • Grasp a stable object, near your head height, with an overhand grip (palms down).
  • While maintaining a neutral spine and hips square, extend the same side leg behind you as you lean forward until you feel a stretch in your armpit or lat.
  • With your arm and leg fully extended keep a forward torso lean as you attempt to push your head through, in front of your arm.
  • Work through the tension in this position by internally and externally rotating your torso.
  • Try to press your armpit towards your front hip.
  • If you can flex your arm beyond your ear then this movement is not necessary.

Underhand Lat Stretch

Purpose:

  • Improve Shoulder Flexion

Focus:

  1. Shoulder Flexion (Latimus Dorsi)
  • Grasp a stable object, near your head height, with an underhand grip (palms up).
  • While maintaining a neutral spine and hips square, extend the same side leg behind you as you lean forward until you feel a stretch in your lat.
  • With your arm and leg fully extended keep a forward torso lean as you attempt to push your head through, in front of your arm.
  • Work through the tension in this position by internally and externally rotating your torso.
  • Try to press your armpit towards your front hip.
  • If you can flex your arm beyond your ear then this movement is not necessary.

strength training warm up routine

Get Our Mobility Warm-Up Guide for more!

Learn how to decrease pain, improve performance and prevent injury with mobility exercises specific to your workout!

Be ready for any workout in 15 minutes or less!

Learn more!


Learn How To Use A Foam Roller!

All Mobility Exercises >>

Weightlifting Hip Flexor Warm-Up Exercise

Hip Flexor Warm-Up Exercise

How to do the exaggerated lunge hip flexor warm-up exercise to decrease knee and hip pain before Olympic Weightlifting!

Purpose:

  • Improve Hip Extension
  • Strengthen Hip Extended Positioning

Focus:

  1. Hip Extension (Hip Flexors)

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How To Do The Exaggerated Lunge Stretch

  • While keeping your hips square, place one foot on a raised surface (12-20 inches high) in front of you and the other behind you.
  • Keep your front foot pointed forward and slightly internally rotate your back foot as you extend your leg behind you.
  • Keep your torso vertical, core braced and tension on your rear glute as you bend your front knee to initiate the stretch.
  • When you feel the tension in your hip flexor, hold that position.
  • To increase the stretch you can flex your glute to further press your hips forward or flex and extend your posterior knee slightly to find other tense positions to hold.

strength training warm up routine

View our Complete Warm-Up Guide for more!

Learn how to decrease pain, improve performance and prevent injury with mobility exercises specific to your workout!

Be ready for any workout in 15 minutes or less!

Learn more!


Learn How To Use A Foam Roller!

All Mobility Exercises >>