Are you one of those who kickstart their chest day by hitting heavy weights? Well, it’s time that you understand that warm up for chest should be done by adding a variety of training.
Always stretch to start the warm up for chest
Stretching is underrated, many bodybuilders avoid the fact that stretching has massive benefits. Do understand that stretching increases the elasticity of your muscle and will reduce the chances of any kind of injury. Exercise can cause micro-tears in the muscles, especially when you work those pecs. Stretching will allow your chest muscle to resist those tears.
You can start with casual stretching and then make sure you stretch your pecs with the resistance band. Modify your training program, with new equipment. A proper stretch will decrease post-workout fatigue. It can strengthen your muscles, tendons, and shoulder joints.
Let’s talk about some chest muscle stretches. Let’s start talking about some exercises for which you need equipment or an object.
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1) Active open arm chest stretch
Open your arms wide and hold the movement so that your chest gets ready to work ahead. Always listen to your body when you’re working out, the same thing should be done when you warm for chest.
- So while doing the active open arm feel the stretch in your pecs.
- Stand straight, placing the palms together, and then form a ‘T’ shape opening your arms as wide as possible.
- Then bring them together again in the starting position, and do that 10-20 times.
- Make sure to hold the stretch for a few seconds, for each rep.
- The ending sets could also be done with a resistance band.
- Just grab the resistance bands from both ends and stretch them while you make the ‘T’ shape.
2) Kneeling pecs opener stretch
For this exercise, you will need a bench, block, chair, table, or yoga ball.
- Start this by bending down on your knees, with your toes on the ground.
- Open your arms, and place your hands on the bench with your head in between them.
- Then reach forward to feel that your chest fully stretches.
- Make sure you hold your posture when you actively lean inwards but do not strain your back.
- Always listen to your body.
3) Standing wall stretch
Warm up for chest should be started with a variety of stretches. For this exercise, you can use a wall bar as well which could be a great addition.
- Just make sure that you have a solid grip on the object, it could be a bar or the wall.
- A wall could be a little risky, there is a chance that your hand slips.
- That could lead to a lot of incidents and injuries.
- While standing up straight, make sure that the wall bars are at an arm’s length distance behind you.
- Puff your chest so it stretches till the end.
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Foam rolling exercises
The soreness, tightness, and tears could be fixed with the foam rolling exercises. The hardcore chest workout you had last week may have given you bruises inside which could be fixed. Make sure you foam roll to recover and warm up fully.
1) Foam rolling the ends of the pecs
Grab a foam roller and go into the pushup position.
- Get on top of the foam roller and place it under your armpit.
- Then extend the arm under which the foam roller is placed.
- Make sure that your chest is pressed and then just keep making the small movement back and forth.
- Do the same thing with the other arm.
- This may seem a very basic thing, but this allows you to be more free with the weights.
- There will be no roadblocks or pains in your chest workout, the movement will be free and the range of motion will be faster.
2) Foam rolling one pec at a time
Many athletes/bodybuilders are not aware that foam rolling is a sort of massage.
- This time you have to make sure that your pecs are being massaged fully.
- Foam rolling workouts are highly dependent on your type of foam.
- There are vibrating foam rollers too, making sure that your damaged tissues can recover.
- The technology in the fitness industry is growing, make sure that you understand the benefits of each piece of equipment and use it accordingly.
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Stable movement stretch exercises to warm up for chest day
Warm up for chest also requires you to put pressure on your muscle, while stretching. The stable movement exercises are the best, not only they will strengthen your core more than your expectations but also will create a natural balance in your movements.
Just make sure that whatever stable movement stretch exercise you do, hold it for a time and fully stretch it so you hit the maximum amount of elasticity. Let’s talk about some stable movement stretch exercises for chest day, which are done without any equipment.
1) 90-90 Arm Sweep exercise
This exercise overall helps the upper body, with back mobility, and chest muscles, and improves shoulders. One of the best benefits of this exercise is that it widens your chest and makes great changes in your posture.
This is an easy form of stretching, does not require a lot of skill, and shall be used by all people regardless of whatever fitness level they are on. 90-90 Arm sweep will also improve the overall muscle function.
- Start this exercise by lying down on one side, your bottom leg should be extended to the floor, and the upper leg must be bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Your shoulders should be wide open in the opposite directions, sweep them diagonally while rotating your torso.
- Sweep your arm backward over your head and repeat the whole exercise.
- The recommended reps to do for one set is 8-10 exercises for 2-3 sets.
- The focus must be on the movement though, make sure you deeply stretch your chest.
2) Reach and rotate the opener
This is a powerful exercise that enhances maximum performance during a chest workout. Balance is the ultimate goal of this exercise as it involves the dynamics, and fluid motion which will release your muscle tension. Just make sure that your reps are being done, your body is in your control.
- Start by positioning yourself on your hands and knees with the shoulder being closest to the ground.
- Your opposite hand should be outstretched and your palm facing the wall in front of you.
- Now rotate your body in the opposite direction, with the same hand.
- Pointing your thumb towards the ceiling, it is important to feel the stretch through your chest, shoulders, and traps.
- Just make sure, you’re holding it for a good 15-20 seconds, switch the arms, and repeat it 2-4 times for optimal stretching.
3) Front side stretch
Some athletes do this exercise on your floor, which can stress your bones and joints.
- Use a yoga mat for the floor slide stretch.
- This is a unique exercise that stretches three different muscles.
- Sit on the floor and extend your legs right in front of you.
- Place one hand on the floor for support, then lean on one side using your arm to reach your foot.
- While holding your stretch, breathe deeply so that your muscles feel the relaxation while they are being stretched.
- Lean over and do the same thing on the other side.
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4) Scapular pushups
Your warm up for chest session must include ‘Scapular pushups’ that is because out of all the exercises this is the one with the most benefits. Apart from helping your chest day warm ups, it will greatly improve your shoulder stability.
- These pushups are to be done, while you get yourself into a half pushup position.
- Your knees should be bent, soldiers are straight and then push the ground.
- Round your upper back and you will feel the pressure in the chest.
The Bottom Line
To reduce risk of the injuries, strengthening your muscles, improving your mobility, and increasing the elasticity of your body are essential. Warm up for chest is something that most people should’ve been ignoring in their workouts.
The warm up for the chest is essential, try this and you will be amazed by the results. Make sure that you follow a structure, plan, or sequence. The one which is preferred is where you can start the warm up of your chest using a foam roller, this makes sure that your muscle is comfortable enough to be used. Then add the stretching exercises, which could be later on be followed by a resistance band. After that cable could be used and then go ahead with your weights or rods exercises.
But even before all of this, always listen to your body. On days you might be feeling that you don’t need to do the resistance band or yoga exercises. Do not skip, but hit all types of exercises however you can skip the exercise type. For example, if you feel to skip one of the stability or yoga workouts, you can skip a 90-90 arm sweep. But do not skip the whole session and start every workout with warm ups. Never skip the warm-up session, good luck!