Your upper-body warm-up is one of the most important aspects of any strength training or weight lifting workout. A solid upper-body warm-up helps to loosen your muscles, open up your joints, and get your body temperature raised and your blood pumping!
A good warm-up is important for health and safety, for avoiding injuries, and for building bigger, stronger muscles. Before lifting weights or jumping on the weight machines at the gym, you can make effective use of a pull up assist band or other resistance bands, such as a hip circle band, to gently warm-up and prepare your muscles for the reps they'll soon be making!
Here are the best upper-body warm-up activities to help you to kick off your strength training workout!
Why is an upper-body warm-up important?
Warm-ups are an integral part of any workout, and it's important not to overlook just how much of a positive (if not essential) role that a warm-up plays in your training regime.
Warm-ups range from light stretching or cardio activities to a more varied upper-body dynamic warm-up using resistance bands. The purpose, however, is the same; to get the blood flowing, to raise your temperature, and to loosen up your muscles and joints.
If you're preparing for an upper-body workout, using weights, strong resistance bands, or weight machines, then you need to loosen up the muscles you'll be working before you start lifting. Failure to warm-up can quickly lead to injuries, which can easily set you back in your training plan. Warming up is important before exercising to help you to train better and more effectively in the long run!
Here's a quick rundown of the primary advantages that an effective upper-body warm-up will give you:
- Raise your body temperature and increase your heart rate safely
- Activate the muscles you will be targeting during the workout
- Increased mobility, particularly in joint rotation
- Increased flexibility
- Avoid injuries
Upper-body warm-up with resistance bands
Using resistance bands in your warm-ups will allow you to create a more dynamic routine that can better activate your target muscles. There are multiple upper body dynamic stretches and exercises that will loosen you up and get your blood pumping with the help of resistance bands!
Remember though, that this a warm-up and you don't want to overdo it before you've even started on your main workout. For that reason, always start out with a light resistance band, offering only light resistance. You don't want to be exhausted before the hard work has even begun!
Here are the best resistance band upper-body warm-up exercises to include in your workout. Spend at least 30 seconds on each exercise and repeat until you feel ready for your primary workout to begin!
#1 Banded pull apart
Open your chest muscles and enjoy a back warm-up with light and easy banded pull apart exercises.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold a resistance band at arm's length ahead of you, in both hands.
- Keep the band at chest height and pull both your hands apart.
- Keep stretching the band and pulling your arms away from your body.
- Keep stretching out until your arms have reached their widest extent.
- Slowly release back to the center and repeat.
#2 Chest press with resistance band
Ramp up the intensity with a chest warm-up and chest press with a resistance band. This dynamic chest stretch is perfect before a chest session!
- Tie a resistance band to a sturdy support, such as a pole or a door frame, ideally at knee level.
- Turn your back to the support and pick up your resistance band in either hand.
- Pull the band forward, so it's on either side of your body.
- Raise your arms, until they are at chest height.
- Push forward with your arms to open up your chest muscles.
- Hold the position and then loosen back to the start position.
#3 Standing side pulls with resistance band
A great shoulder warm-up and chest warm-up to precede your weight lifting workouts!
- Tie a long resistance band to a sturdy support, or hold it firmly beneath your feet.
- Take the other end of the resistance band in both hands.
- Raise both arms up and extend them out one side from the center, raising them to shoulder height.
- Lower and repeat.
- Change sides and repeat, leading with your alternate arm.
#4 Banded bicep curls
Warm-up your arms with some light banded bicep curls. Perform the exercise individually on each arm in turn. You can also perform the warm-up standing, rather than on one knee.
- Place your right foot forward and lower your left knee to the floor.
- Loop a resistance band underneath your forward, right foot.
- Take the other end of the band in your forward, right hand.
- Rest your elbow on your forward knee.
- Bend your arm at the elbow to curl the resistance band.
- Repeat, then switch sides and repeat the warm-up on your left arm.
#5 Banded tricep extensions
Stretch out your arm muscles to prepare for your weight lifting routine. A great warm-up for targeting the tricep muscles specifically.
- Stand up straight with one end of a resistance band in your right hand.
- Use your left hand to hold the other end of the band on your chest, on your right-hand side.
- Keep your left hand in place and bend your right arm at the elbow to raise and lower the band.
- Practice the exercise on your right-hand side for 30 seconds.
- Switch sides and switch arms, then continue the exercise on your left-hand side
#6 Banded push-ups
A great way to finish your warm-up, particularly if you're focusing on chest or arm warm-ups for strength training. You can perform the exercise on your knees to make it easier.
- Adopt the push-up position on the floor, with your arms directly beneath your shoulders.
- Loop a hip circle resistance band above both wrists, so it's stretched out between both arms.
- Lower your chest down towards the ground and then push back up.
The last word on upper-body warm-up exercises!
An effective warm-up before lifting is the best way to safely raise your core temperature and heart rate while avoiding any unpleasant injuries. No strength training workout can begin without an effective upper-body warm-up routine to get you going!
With resistance bands, you can create a more dynamic upper body warm-up, with stretching and light exercises that will activate your target muscles while also increasing your flexibility and mobility. Why not start using resistance bands in your next upper-body warm-up?