Never Lift Weights Without Doing This First
Never Lift Weights Without Doing This First

Bodybuilders are muscle-bound and lack the ability to move. For the most part, this statement is true.

Is it due to their insane amount of lean mass? Sure, muscle can “get in the way” and impede some range of motion. But with that said, there is no need to walk around like we have a stick up our butts with stiff upper bodies and invisible lat syndrome.

Related - The Complete History of Bodybuilding

We also tend to injure things… Torn pecs, strained muscles and more. While a lot of this cannot be prevented and is a side effect of intensity, we can help minimize the risk of injury through a simple practice I learned at EXOS® called "Movement Prep."

Movement prep is the practice of literally preparing your body for the movements ahead by doing movements that prep the body for the upcoming activity. For example, if running linearly, I would want to make sure I prep my hips and legs for the upcoming activity.

For weight training, we can use movement prep to help minimize the risk of injury to the areas being trained.

I recommend full-body movement prep before each workout while focusing on more prep for the targeted areas. If I am training pecs that day, I would do more movement prep for the shoulder complex as well as the tendons surrounding the area.

If training legs, I will focus on mini band work and even "7-way hips" (see video later in article). In this article I will give you a base warm up you do everyday then also add in additional movement prep for each body part to be trained. This will take about 20 minutes to complete but will minimize your working set warm-up time and also prevent injury and make you more limber and functional in everyday life.

The Base

Hips

The body is one big chain. A machine.

The hips are the center, the midpoint. They control lateral movements and dictate a lot of things, including squat depth. I want these loosened up daily.

For the hips we have an option: Mini-bands or 7-way hips. Alternate between these as you please to keep it fresh.

Mini-Band Work

Slip a mini band right above your knee and another above your ankles.

Lateral.

  • Start with your feet at shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knees.
  • Spread your legs out as far as you can by side-stepping with one leg while keeping toes pointing straight and move laterally, or to the side.
  • Bring other foot forward back to shoulder width.
  • Be sure to use proper form, opposite arm swing with opposite leg step.
  • Do NOT bring feet together, always go shoulder width to full extension.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 reps for both legs.

See this video for example: Lateral Mini-Band Work For Hip Health and Mobility

Linear aka monster walk.

  • Face forward with feet at shoulder width.
  • Walk forward alternating feet while keeping feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keep feet same distance throughout.
  • Be sure to use proper form, opposite arm swing with opposite leg step.
  • After 8 reps repeat but move backwards.
  • Do 3 sets forward and backward.

Video: Linear Mini-Band Work For Hip Health and Mobility

Stationary hip warm-up.

  • Face forward with feet at shoulder width.
  • Rotate one knee out while keeping the other stationary.
  • Complete 8 reps per side for 3 sets.

Video: "John Travolta's" Stationary Hip Warm-Up

7-Way Hip

Perform 15 reps for each leg of the following for each side:
  • Straight up
  • Front
  • Back
  • Front and back
  • Front circle
  • Back circle
  • Bicycle

Full video here: Best Warm-Up for Hips and Lower Back

World’s Greatest Stretch

The only way to explain this is with a video, and I got you covered!

Inch Worm

  • Stand straight and touch your toes like a “normal” hamstring stretch.
  • Walkout with your hands, at least 6 “steps”.
  • Walk back in with your feet.
  • Touch toes again, slowly raise to standing position.
  • Repeat for 1 set of 6 full rotations.

See Video demonstration here: Inch Worm Dynamic Hamstring Warm-up

The Additions

In addition to what you will be doing as the base, we will also be doing these add-ons based on the body part or body parts being trained.

Chest

Warm up with simple stretches - movement prep for the area. For this we will want to activate our delts and get our tendons and joints warmed up.

  1. Push Ups: A simple 2 sets of 10 reps. Focus on tucking your elbows in and going slow down and slow up.
  2. Pec Dec Flys or any fly movement: Use a weight you can get 20 reps on and get 2 sets of 10.
  3. Triceps Pressdowns: Triceps are a huge component to chest training. Use a weight you can get 20 reps on and get 2 sets of 10.

Back

  1. Scapular retraction: Sit on a lat pull down and while keep arms straight, squeeze your scapula together. Use a weight you can get 20 reps on and get 2 sets of 10. See a demonstration of a scapular retraction here: Diamond Back Annihilation | Rhomboid Exercises Finisher for ANY Back Workout!
  2. Light dumbbell curls: Any curl, just warm the joints up. Use a weight you can get 20 reps on and get 2 sets of 10.

Shoulders

  1. Pec dec flys or any fly movement: Use a weight you can get 20 reps on and get 2 sets of 10.
  2. Triceps pressdowns: Triceps are a huge component to shoulder training. Use a weight you can get 20 reps on and get 2 sets of 10.

Arms

It’s an arm workout, it is basically a warm-up in and of itself!

Legs

The standard warmup is mostly leg-based, so some simple exercise ball leg curls will suffice if desired.

See an exercise ball leg curl here! Exercise Ball Leg Curl

Try this and you will be getting more weights and feeling better all over immediately! It is a time commitment and worth every second and will lead to a lifetime of healthy hips, joint and mobility! Start today and comment below with YOUR pre-workout warm-up ritual!