Squat PR eluding you? Your warm up may be at fault. If you want to perform your best, you have to BE your best. And that means sucking it up and devoting 10 minutes of your workout to a thorough, effective warm up. Optimize your warm up and you'll optimize your performance. It's pretty linear. Like your squats. Luckily for you, we've written up the PERFECT squat day warm up. Here's everything you need to include to perform your best, and WHY.
Elements of the perfect warm up:
As we discussed in our blog on why you need to warm up (find that here for more in depth info), there are three essential elements you need to incorporate in your warm up:
DENSITY: think foam rolling, mobility balls, and other forms of myofascial release. You need to address muscle density to improve your mobility and quality of movement in your squats!
LENGTH: stretch those muscles! This will help combat corrective needs or postural issues in your squat.
READINESS: prep your nervous system and muscles to PR your squat! Dynamic stretches and movements will prime your body. Your squat warm up should absolutely include squats, and this is the place you’ll find them. It’s the rehearsal for the main event. In this stage, you want to include something EXPLOSIVE, something manipulating TEMPO, and something(s) to ACTIVATE your glutes.
As far as which areas you address in the DENSITY and LENGTH sections of your warm up, that’s for you to decide. This article will focus on the READINESS portion of your warm up. Your body is unique and we can’t tell you where you specifically need to mobilize and stretch. That said, if you’re not sure, focus on your hip, lower back, glute and quad/hamstring regions.
In your perfect squat day warm up, you want to make sure you’ve reeeeally greased the groove. You want your body to perform perfect squats at body weight AND at heavy weight. Perform every squat like it matters, and every squat will matter more.
Now, the moment you really came here for: YOUR PERFECT SQUAT DAY WARM UP.
Step 1: drink a cup of that PR Blend to get yourself really hyped!!! CAFFEINE!
Step 2: address the DENSITY and LENGTH portions of your warm up.
Step 3: we’re ready! Time to get to work.
Spend 5-10 easy minutes on the rower FIRST. Then:
Equipment required: glute band
-10x banded monster walks each way (keep weight in heels and feel it in your glutes, NOT your quads. Keep your chest up, feet pointing straight, and constantly press your knees outward against the band.)
-10x standing banded hip abduction each side (stand in same position as you were for your monster walks. Keep your feet flat on the ground and pointing straight. Press your toes into the floor like a cat splaying its toes. Active feet! You should also feel this in your glutes.)
-10x banded tempo squats with 3 second pause at halfway and bottom of squat (Constantly pressing out against the band, you should also feel this in your glutes primarily.)
Equipment required: wall, kettlebell
-20x jump goblet squats with kettlebell (Goblet squat stance, start with kettlebell on floor. You will NEVER jump while you’re holding the kettlebell. Stand up with kettlebell, set it down at the bottom of your goblet squat, let it go and JUMP out of the bottom of the squat. Land right back into the bottom of the squat, grab the kettlebell to stand up with again immediately.)
-:30 sec or longer wall sit (Hold it longer than you want to. You don’t have to shake, but you do have to go longer than you’ll want to!)
There you go: your PERFECT squat day warm up routine. Two circuits is all you’ll need to hit every element for the perfect warm up: you’ve got your tempo work, explosivity and activation work. BOOM. Grooves, greased.
Give this a try on your next squat day. The heavy weight will move easier. Let us know how it goes!