Preparing your body and mind by warming up is essential for any kind of workout. A good warm-up promotes blood flow, raises your core body temperature, improves your performance, and reduces your risk of injury (1, 2). Warming up before a lower chest workout is vital because the pectorals are somewhat prone to injuries. Plus, we also need to warm up the mobile and injury-prone shoulder joint.
Aside from dynamic stretches and warm-up sets, your chest workouts will benefit quite well from static stretches. Doing stretching exercises before training is a great way to keep your pectorals flexible, strong, and injury-free.
Cardio is a fantastic way to warm up before training. Aerobic exercise raises your core body temperature, gets your blood flowing, and puts you in the mindset for training. Plus, cardio before weight training is good for the joints because it warms up the synovial fluid, which keeps our joints healthy.
The best part is, you don’t have to do much cardio to reap the benefits. As little as five to ten minutes of a low-impact activity will be more than enough. Light jogging on a treadmill, incline walking, cycling, and using an elliptical are all good options.
5 Stretches that Target the Lower Chest
Bent Arm Chest Stretch
The bent arm chest stretch is quite simple. All you have to do is bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle and place the inner side of your arm against a squat rack, pole, or doorway. From this position, press your torso in to stretch the pec. Once finished on one side, do the same for your other pec.
Behind Head Chest Stretch
To do behind the head chest stretches, bring your hands on your neck with elbows flared out. From there, get your elbows as far back as you can without losing contact between your hands and neck.
Hands Behind Back Stretch
Stand tall and bring your hands together at the base of your back. Bring your arms as far back as your shoulder mobility allows. Once you feel a stretch in your chest, hold the position.
Foam Roller Chest Stretch
Place a foam roller on the floor and lie along its length. Straighten your arms and bring them to your sides. Hold the stretched position. Depending on pectoral flexibility and how tall the foam roller is, you might be able to rest your hands on the floor.
Towel Chest Stretch
Bring a towel behind your back and grab it with both hands. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart. Bring the towel back and up as much as you can and hold the chest stretch position.
Warming up well before training is one of the best things you can do. Preparing your body for training is beneficial for your performance, mood, and motivation (1). Warming up also protects you from injuries and aches (2). As little as ten minutes of light cardio and stretching can go a long way in keeping you flexible and able to perform at your best.