Your shoulders are made up of complicated and intricate joints that can easily be damaged while you are working out. Because shoulder injuries are so difficult to heal and certainly painful, you will want to warm up your shoulder joints before working out so you can avoid injuring them.
Shoulder injuries are very common due to the fact that there is so much opportunity for your shoulders to get hurt. However, many of these injuries can be prevented with a short warmup that helps to make the health of your shoulders a priority. Because they are both versatile and delicate, it is important to take the time to take care of your shoulders.
If you can take five to ten minutes of time before working out to concentrate on your shoulders, the payoff will be worth it. This will set you up to be able to lift heavier weights, lift with proper form, and lift without experiencing pain.
All you need for a quick warm up is a light resistance band. This can help you to strengthen and prepare your rotator cuff muscles, which are vital to your workouts. These muscles help to properly stabilize your shoulders while you are lifting weights and also help to maintain proper positioning.
However, it is important to remember that you are warming up during this process, not working out. So do not reach for the biggest resistance bands, thinking that you can warm up and add in some workout at the same time. This will now allow you the time that you need to activate your rotator cuff muscles because your muscles will end up doing all of the work for you.
To warm up your shoulder, set up your resistance band around a pole and tuck your outside elbow in at your hip. Position your forearm parallel to the ground and turn your forearm and shoulder away from the pole. Do this stretch as far as you are able to so you are training your rotator cuff muscles to rotate externally.
If you do not train properly, your rotator cuff muscles will not rotate externally, especially if you are one of the many people who spend a lot of time at a computer with your shoulders leaning in, your stabilizing back muscles stretched out, and your chest muscles shortened. Living in this position can actually cause the tendons in your shoulder joints to become pinched. It is very important for the health of your shoulders to restore and maintain the external rotation position when you are training.
After doing this exercise, turn around and pin your elbow into your hip. Rotate your forearm in toward your abdomen.
Then, tighten and activate your lower lats and rhomboids that are often being overstretched throughout the day. These muscles are very important to maintaining proper posture and form when you train. They also help keep your shoulders in a proper position during your workout by opening the joints so your ligaments and tendons are not left to grind against the bones near your front shoulder area.
To warm up these muscles, do 30 lower lat pulls followed by 30 band pull-aparts. This will help to strengthen your rhomboids and create some depth in your middle back, which will make your back appear to be larger.
Archer rows are another effective warm up for your shoulders. You can do these by grasping one end of your resistance band and extending it out like you are shooting a bow and arrow. Keep your free hand bent, using your shoulders to do the rowing motion. This will help get your external rotators activated, and create a strong mind-muscle connection.
Do at least one of these warmups before you engage in any upper body workout to help protect the health of your shoulders. These warm ups can also be done on off days as a standalone workout to keep your shoulders limber.
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