If there is one thing you should know by now, it is that strongman Laurence Shahlaei has a ton of experience in the gym. Now Big Loz is sharing some of his best tips, to get a solid warm-up before your squat or deadlift sessions.
Shahlaei will be the first to tell you that a good warm-up is almost as important as the rest of your workout. If you do not take the time to prepare your muscles, then your risk of injuries and training mishaps significantly increase.
In particular, squats and deadlifts are two of the most important workouts to warm-up for in advance. We have seen countless brutal injuries go down, and at least some of them could have been prevented with the proper precautions.
So in an effort to help others avoid such injuries, Big Loz, alongside his trainer Coach H, has decided to share his tips for a solid warm-up, to get the blood pumping through every body part needed to squat and deadlift, uploading his tips to YouTube.
Step One: Activating The Glutes
When it comes to squatting and deadlift, Big Loz explains that it is crucial to active your glute and warm them up. After all, this muscle group is the most crucial part of these exercises.
For this portion of the warm-up, Loz mainly suggests doing glute bridges to activate these muscles. However he suggests three variations to properly get things moving in the right direction.
- Banded Glute Bridges:
– Mini-band around the legs, just above the knee
-Only raise hips to the point of glute being fully activated
-Activates all three glute muscles
- Knees Out Glute Bridges:
-Maintain glute bridge while rotating knees
-Rotate knees away from each other
-Activates hip abductors to prevent knees from collapsing
- Frog Feet Glute Bridges:
-Glute bridges performed with the soles of the feet pressed together
-Forces femur to stay majorly rotated
-Puts more stress on glutes
Some important things that Big Loz and Coach H say to keep in mind are to not overextend the back. It stabilizes the power in the glute and maintains flexibility.
Step Two: Activating The Core
Another majorly important part of both squatting and deadlift, is your core. This helps you to maintain the weight and keep the movements steady and consistent.
For activating the core, Shahlaei has three different warm-ups he performs. Each one will stretch the abdomen muscles and prepare you for the strenuous work ahead.
- Hollow Rock Variations
-Instead of keeping arms out, cross them over each other
-Keep one leg bent while the other is extended
-Rock back and forth for 10 reps, then switch legs for another 10
- Dead Bugs
-Bring both legs up to a 90-degree angle
-Controlled movements, extend each leg one at a time
-5 reps per leg
-Both standard and side planks
-Focus on tension in abs, not lower back
-Activates quads and obliques
Big Loz and Coach H note that it is important to make sure that the focus is on the core rather than the back. There is also a variation of the Dead Bug that they share, if you find your lower back engaging more than your core.
Step Three: Mobilizing The Hips
For the final step of the warm-up, Big Loz says that it is super important to mobilize the hips. This is obviously key to allow for smooth movements as you move the weight.
For this portion of the warm-up, Laurence has one major movement. He does it with the assistance of a squat rack, but any sort of bar or pole will work for support.
- Get into normal squat position
- Hold onto the bar for balance as you squat down to 90-degrees
- Open knees and bring knees in one at a time for 8 reps each leg
Big Loz explains that the key here is to keep the chest high and the back straight. If you are unable to bring yourself down very far, you can still do this warm-up from your own mobility limit.
To finalize this workout, Big Loz and Coach H say to go through the movements of squats and deadlifts, using light dumbbells. From there, you will be ready to go for the most intense of workouts.