Do This Before EVERY Shoulder Workout (IMPORTANT!)

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It is important to warmup your shoulders before every shoulder workout. This 5 exercise sequence will help to hit every head of the delts while making sure to warm up the shoulder joint through all three planes of motion. Just 8 reps of each move will have your shoulders feeling loose and ready to roll in less than a minute.

The first thing we need to do is understand a little shoulder anatomy and function. The muscle group is comprised of three individual heads; the front delts, middle delts and rear delts. Each of these heads is capable of moving the shoulder through all three planes. These are the sagittal (front to back), frontal (side to side) and transverse (clockwise and counterclockwise).

To kick off this 5 exercise shoulder warmup sequence we have an exercise called the halo. Simply grab a plate that you can handle but make sure it’s not too light. It is important that the weight you use has enough weight to assist the joint in moving through the motions to achieve a better warm up.

Here you want to grip the plate with both hands opposite of each other, at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. Now, just circle the plate around your head trying to keep it as close as you can to your face. The arms will have to move quite a bit around your head in order to maintain this relationship throughout. This is a good thing. This will make the shoulder have to go through external rotation which is a fast and fluid way to warm up the rotator cuff muscles. Aim for 8 reps clockwise and 8 reps counterclockwise to start out this warmup.

From here, move immediately into the plate 8 exercise. With the same hand placement as you had from the last exercise, you are going to raise the plate out in front of you and imagine that there is a figure 8 laying on its side. The goal is to simply trace out that eight left to right and right to left. This will start to hit both the front delt and side delts to get them loosened up and ready for your shoulder workout. Perform 8 complete reps here before immediately moving onto the next exercise.

That next move is called the plate shovel. Imagine throwing a shovel full of dirt over your shoulder. Be sure to lean forward a bit here to ensure the focus is shifted to the rear delts and get that plate up and over the shoulder like you’re throwing dirt to get some added work for the rotator cuff. As with the rest, 8 to each side is the goal.

Next we move right into the plate press out. This starts transitioning us to the elevated arm position we’re going to ultimately need in our shoulder workout. Try to press the plate out and up at an angle to really warmup the shoulders. At this point again, we are going to start moving towards the overhead pressing motion that we are going to ultimately need in our shoulder workout. 8 quick reps is what you’re shooting for once again.

Finally, we wrap it all up with the rocking press up. Even though you’re starting to fatigue the rocking momentum of this one will help to get your arms fully overhead to prep you for that overhead pressing while at the same time having your entire shoulder joint feel much looser and ready to roll.

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