Welcome to the revived Strong Strong Friends blog! We’ve been busy over the last year producing tons of helpful video (peep Meg’s YouTube if you haven’t already) and social content! But, we know that some topics are better digested in long-form, so we’re pumped to be bringing you this additional format to help aid you in your journey to getting stronger!
One of the most common things that lifters ask us about is warming up, especially for a big lower body day. So, today, we’ll be sharing a great mobility routine and warm-up that you can use before a squat or deadlift session.
Every Body is Different
Before we dive in, we just want to remind you that every person is different, so just because we suggest a movement that works for Meg (or some of our lifters), that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the most ideal warm-up movement for you. Take what we’re sharing as a starting point, and then, adjust or add in exercises/movements to help yourself with any pain points that you may specifically have.
What’s the Goal of a Warming Up?
One of the ways to develop a warm-up sequence is by using the principles found in the RAMP method:
Raise – First, you want to focus on raising your heart rate, elevating your body temperature and getting the blood flowing through low intensity activities.
Activate and Mobilize – Next, you’ll start focusing on activating key muscle groups and mobilizing joints and ranges of motion that will be used to lift that day.
Potentiate – Last, you’ll begin to take on the actual movement for the day, starting light and then increasing in intensity, with the goal of improving effectiveness for the specific lift you’re performing that day.
For this particular warm-up, we’ll focus on activating the glutes (squatting) and opening up the hips and engaging the upper back (sumo deadlifts).
Active Mobility Routine
Here are a few ideas to help get you moving at the very beginning of any workout – upper or lower body. We like to do this before just about every lift as a way to raise the heart rate and just get our bodies moving.
- Yoga Flow – Move through some stretching to help strengthen your back, hamstrings, quads and hips.
- Shoulder Pass Throughs – You can use a PVC pipe or bands for this movement.
- Foam Roll/Mobility Ball – If your back is tight or a specific knot needs a little love, spend a few minutes using these tools to open those areas up.
- Toddler Squats – Spend a little time in this position (3-5 sets x 20 seconds), especially if you’re a sumo squatter wanting to open up your hips.
If you struggle doing this movement because of mobility, here’s how you can do it with some assistance.
Now that the creaks and cracks are gone – and you’re feeling a little warm and primed – it’s time to move into the more specific warm-ups for the movement you’re performing.
Pre-Squat & Deadlift Warm-up
- Bar-Only Movement/Hip Openers – We’re still just utilizing body and bar-only weight here to warm-up the lower back and open up the hips.
- Leg Swings/Glute Band Walk – Again, these movements help with opening up the hips, and the band abducted lateral walk really starts to activate your hips and glutes (and helps to strengthen hips which will prevent knee valgus or knee caving). Be sure to really keep the tension on the band in the glute band walks.
- Deadlift Warm-up – At this point, you can start getting some weight on the bar! Start light with higher reps and increase weight as you go. Meg also likes to do a few pull-ups in between sets to get her lats warmed up and ready to engage.
- Squat Warm-up – Same as the above note, but with squats. Get moving with light weight, and increase weight each set until you’re ready to tackle your first real set.
Sometimes warm-ups can feel a little daunting, but we promise the time is worth it! If you prepare for movements properly, you’re setting yourself up to succeed once weight is actually on the bar. Have any other moves you love to use in your lower body warm-up day? Drop them below in the comments!
We broke up the movements into individual videos above, but if you want to watch the full warm-up, check it out below!
P.S. If you don’t want to worry about putting your own warm-up routine together, we create them every week for our Stronger by the Day lifters (for just $8/month)!