How to : Powerlifting Warm Up

How to : Powerlifting Warm Up

par Overload Process Training juillet 17, 2019

INTRODUCTION

First, why should we warm up before training?

In the gym we can see all kind of people, those who do not even know what warming up means, and those who do 1h warm ups and are exhausted before even starting the workout.

The warm up is an essential part of training routine; it allows performing and staying healthy at once. However, why is it so important for powerlifters?

 

3 WHY’S TO WARM UP PROPERLY

 

Stimulate Joint Lubrication

In order to reduce friction in the joint space we need synovial fluid. When we move determined tissues and joints synovial fluid will bathe those joints and articular cartilage. This will lubricate the interested areas, and the best those areas will be lubricated, the best the chance of not being injured while training.

Increase Core Temperature and Local Tissue Blood Flow

When we move or make an effort, involved muscles will produce heat and the body will regulate this increase in heat by thermoregulation.

The more active the muscle/zone, the greater the blood flow to this area in order to maintain metabolic balance. This is the reason for specific movement preparation. General warm up are good, but not the best.

Activate Neuromuscular Coordination and Stabilization

Finally, through movement preparation, we focus not only on "increasing body temperature" but also on starting to work on our motor patterns, our movements. This will work coordination and stabilization, which means an activation of many important muscles (not just the main motor ones).

In short, instead of warming up your quadriceps, back or other, you will warm up your squat pattern, your hip hinge pattern, external/internal rotation, abduction/adduction and start working on good posture, inter-muscular coordination and efficiency.

 

Now you are maybe considering adding a warm up routine to your training…But where should you start? Cardio, foam rolling, dynamic stretching…what should you do?

As we said in the third point of "why is it so important to warm up", the preparation movement is the best thing for me. It has grown more and more in recent years, especially in America, and more and more practitioners now have a movement-oriented routine as a warm-up.

 

Here you have a list of my favourite moves for warming up for a squat, bench press and or deadlift.

 

SQUAT MOUVEMENT PREPARATION

 

 Bulgarian split squat with band : 3x10 per side

The Bulgarian split squat is already a challenging exercise when done correctly. It demands a good control on foot placement and you need to stabilize the ankle, knee and hip through all the movement.

Adding a band forces a bigger recruitment of the hip’s external rotators.

Keep attention to your upper body posture and to keep your core braced (to avoid being in an over-extended or over-flexed position).

Do not let your foot collapse (foot arch must be maintained).

Goblet squat : 3x10

On this one, the focus will be on upper body positioning. You must keep your core braced (big inspiration, ribs down and abs contracted) but do not lean forward or round your upper back.
The second thing you must think about is knees/hips travel. Knees move forward and outward progressively, hips sits back simultaneously as knees move forward. This will activate glutes, core and adductors through the stabilization of the hip joint. Lats are activated for stabilizing the shoulders.

Do not let your foot collapse (foot arch must be maintained).

Side plank clamshell : 3x10 per side

The side plank clamshell is another one that activates the external rotators of the hip and the hip extension muscles. Nothing too complicated in here, just lay on the ground on your side, put your elbow on the floor right below your shoulder and put your legs at a 90° angle (you can change the angle if you prefer).

Once you are in place, just push on the ground with your lower knee and use your glutes to push your hips forward and spread as mush as possible your knees.

Copenhaguen plank : 3x10 per side

Finally, an adductor focused movement. Take a step or other object (like a bench) on which you can put your foot. Lie on your side, put your foot on the bench/step, and then force toward the ground with it, in order to make your hip lift off the floor. At the same time, try to tighten your legs by forcing in the opposite way with the other leg.

Adductors are essentials for pelvis stability and work together with the glutes and core muscles to maintain hips in a good and healthy position through movements.

90/90 hemibridge : 3x5/6 full expiration and inspirations

The 90/90 hemibridge is an excellent tool to activate hamstrings, adductors and core muscles. Here the focus will be on pushing with the feet toward the step in order to make the hip joint lift off the ground. Simultaneously contract your core in order to round a little your upper body (think about trying to get your ribs closer to your pelvis) and reach far out with your hands to help this and stretch lats a little (which is important for shoulder mobility). Keep an object between your knees (like a foam roller) on which you will apply pressure; this will activate the adductors isometrically. 

BENCH MOUVEMENT PREPARATION

 

Band pull apart : 3/4x10

n the band pull apart, the focus must be on scapula retraction and depression. This means that during the movement you must keep your shoulders back and down as much as possible. Keep lats, middle and lower traps engaged. Do not activate the upper traps (this would make shoulders rise and we do not want this happening during a bench press). Do not release your back muscles when you come back to the starting position.

Unilateral pull with full rom thoracic rotation : 3x12 per side

Nothing hard in these, just let your shoulder move forward by rotating your thoracic spine (do not let your hips rotate thought) and then pull back, and go as far as you can while maintaining hips as neutral as possible.

This will stretch your lats and activate them at the same time. It will give your shoulder more range of motion and more stability. This can help feeling good under a bar during a squat too.

Shoulder dislocation with active back muscles : 3x6/8

This one is well known. The only detail that people are missing out is the activation of back muscles. As in the band pull apart, try to keep your scapula retracted and depressed all the time and you will feel the difference. In our sport shoulders move while being under a load/while muscles are working, so it’s helpful to move them in this kind of range of motion while back muscles are maintaining joint in place before loading them.

Chaos push-ups : 3x6/8 with controlled tempo

The chaos push-ups are one of the hardest pus-ups variation that I know. If you know how to do push-ups, then here you just have to focus on stabilizing the shoulders, elbows and wrists during the movement. Tempo must be slow on the eccentric (focus on every single inch you move through) and a bit faster on the concentric (if you maintain good positioning).

It could be a little bit...shaky !

 

DEADLIFT MOVEMENT PREPARATION

 

Every squat warm up will greatly help deadlift too, no matter if sumo or conventional.

However, especially if you pull conventional, some more hip hinge movement preparation would be great.

Single leg rdl with rear foot on wall : 3x10/12 per side

This one can look easy but it is a tricky one. Find the distance from the wall that allows you to have knees side by side and neutral hip position (no rotation). From there, hinge at the hip and focus on engaging the hip only (do not bend your knee or spine). Push actively on the wall with the rear foot and keep your core braced for good rib positioning. If you want to make this harder, grab the weight with the hand of the same side of the leg on the floor, and pay attention to keep your hips in a neutral position.

Do not let your foot collapse (foot arch must be maintained).

Hip thrust with band : 3x10 with a pause at the top

This one is a very well-known exercise. It will activate your hip extension muscles and the external rotators stabilizers through the band. Just put a band around your knees and during the movement pay attention to not let them cave in.

CONCLUSION

 

So here we are, these are some of the exercises that are used by Overload Process Training coaches. Of course, in a program, they need to be customized to everyone’s need, but since I do not know who will read this, I am just going to give you those that are more frequently used.

Hope you enjoyed it and that this will give you a base to start warming up properly!

Of course if needed, some light cardio (3/5 minutes on the bike) and some light foam rolling may be helpful at times, but don’t stick with these for your main warm up routine!

 

- This article is courtesy of Overload Process Training. If you are looking for a coach who can really improve your performances, look no further -




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