Training the muscles in your back is key to building a balanced, strong body, but there are too many guys who just jump into heavy duty workouts without prepping for the pulling exercises the right way.
So we got physical therapist Cameron Yuen to walk us through a four-part protocol to ensure your body is ready to hit the weight room floor and help you maximise your back workouts.
Yuen is a proponent of the RAMP method, which is an acronym for: raise our body temperature, activate key muscles and movement patterns, mobilise our joints, potentiate our nervous system.
Keep reading for a summary of the warm-up below, and watch the video to see how each move is properly done.
The Back Day Warm-up
“So we're starting off by raising our body temperature. I love the air bike for this, especially on back days because we have the upper body pushing-and-pulling dynamic,” says Yuen. If you don’t have an air bike use an elliptical, a treadmill, jog in place, or do jumping jacks. Do this for five to 10 minutes.
Resistance Band Face Pull
Now, it’s onto activating key muscles in your back. “This is great for the rotator cuff, the thoracic extensors and the upper back,” says Yuen. Be sure to employ a slightly athletic stance for this move while you externally move your shoulders to get your upper back muscles firing. Do two to three sets of five to 10 reps.
Active Hang with Lateral Rock
Get on a bar to traction out your shoulders, shoulder blades, and spine and mobilise your joints. “As when we're doing our back workouts, we always have that bar or our body weight pulling away from us, [so] we need to make sure that we can get that length through the muscles, through the joints.” The side-to-side rocking motion will let your shoulder blades move freely and give you traction and extension through your upper back. Do two to three sets of five reps.
Overhead Medicine Ball Slam
You’re going to do this one with as much power as possible to potentiate your nervous system. Slam that med ball with a big downward motion, fellas. Do two to three sets of three to five reps.
“Remember we want to raise our body temperature, activate those key muscles and movements, [and] mobilise those joints. And then finally potentiate that nervous system with really hard dynamic efforts,” says Yuen. “Do this four-part warm-up before all of your back workouts to get the most out of your training section.”
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