3 Exercises To Add To Your Chest Day Warm Up Routine
There are many benefits of warming up before exercise. Just like you, your muscles need some motivation before working out. And while a post-workout reward may be enough to prepare you mentally, your body requires a 10- to 20-minute warm-up to get ready for exercise.
Are you unsure of how to warm up for chest day? Set the tone with a routine that targets your arms, shoulders, back, and chest. This can increase your performance and reduce the risk of injury.1
#1 Arm Swings
Dynamic stretches can activate key upper body muscles and prepare them for their full range of movement.
Arm swings, in particular, increase your flexibility and get the blood flowing in your arms, shoulders, and upper back. This exercise can be done before an upper body workout to loosen the muscles.
To perform arm swings, start by standing up with your back straight, your arms lifted, and your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, swing your arms, so they cross in front of you before swinging them back around to the first position.
- Maintain a straight back
- Keep your core tight
- Stretch your arms to their fullest range capacity
- Repeat this 10 to 15 times (or for 30 seconds to a minute)
For bonus points, repeat another set of arm swings in the reverse direction (following the above tips).
Static vs. Dynamic Stretching
When we call arm swings a “dynamic” stretch, we don’t mean they have a charming personality.
Be aware that there are two types of stretching exercises: dynamic and static.2
- Dynamic stretches emphasize movement and are best before the upper body workout. They improve blood flow and performance.
- Static stretches entail holding the same position for a prolonged period. A more passive method, static stretching, can be relaxing. This makes it ideal for your cool-down.
While both kinds of stretches have potential benefits, static stretching at the wrong time raises the risk of injury and decreases your performance.
Make sure your warm up chest exercises set the stage for peak performance with stretches that get you up and moving.
Push-ups are a classic warm-up exercise. They train the same upper chest muscles that you use when you bench press, making them an ideal way to get your body prepared for some heavy lifting. As an added bonus, they’re easy to modify for wherever you're working out.
Follow these steps:
- In plank position, place your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground with your elbows slightly bent.
- Lower your body to the floor gradually while keeping your back straight.
- Before you touch the ground, raise yourself back up again to your original plank position.
- Do two sets of 5-10 reps.
Push-ups are one of those types of warm up exercises that become most effective when they're slowed down and your back is straight.3 That way, you can fully maximize and strengthen your back, shoulders, arms, and chest.
Are push-ups too standard? Then customize your warm-up to fit your chest day goals.
If you’re up for a challenge, try destabilizing your pushups with a medicine ball. Alternately, work at an incline using a chair. Try out your push-ups with one arm, or put one leg up.
Either way, remember that a warm-up isn't meant to be strenuous. The goal is to get the blood pumping and motivate your muscles for the main event.
#3 Dumbbell Chest Fly
Looking to add some weight to your warm-up on chest day? A dumbbell chest fly will add just enough pressure to help strengthen your chest and triceps, making it easier to bench more.
- Start either lying flat on a bench or at an incline—whichever is more comfortable.
- Place your feet firmly on the ground and your arms at chest level.
- With a weight in each hand, exhale and lift your arms above your chest.
- Inhale and lower your arms back to chest level but never below the shoulders.
- Do the sets of 10 to 15 reps with rest in between.
An exercise like dumbbell chest fly is simple enough to increase your body temperature but not so vigorous that you’ll tire yourself out before the chest workout. Just be sure to use appropriate rubber coated dumbbells!
Want to learn other types of exercises? We’ve got guides on how to warm up for leg day as well. Plus, we’ve got resources to answer “why is cooling down after exercise important?” and “what helps muscle recovery?”.
Stay Inspired with Tru Grit Fitness
When working out requires packing your gym bag, commuting, and waiting in line at your chosen machines, it can be difficult to maintain the motivation to achieve your goals. Quitting isn’t an option—but streamlining your workout routine can be.
Upgrade your home gym with Tru Grit Fitness and reinspire your passion for fitness.
The right equipment and workout routine will motivate you and your muscles from the warm-up to the cool-down. Our foldable squat rack is easy to install yourself, and our 45lb Olympic barbell is built to last through years of wear and tear. With quality equipment at an affordable price, we make it easier than ever to find your inner grit.
To see more of our wide selection, shop our website today.
Cleveland Clinic. Understanding the Difference Between Dynamic and Static Stretching. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/understanding-the-difference-between-dynamic-and-static-stretching/
Best Health Magazine. How to Do Push-Ups Properly. https://www.besthealthmag.ca/article/improve-push-ups/
Competitive Edge Physical Therapy. The Benefits of Warming Up Before Exercise (and How to Do It Right). https://compedgept.com/blog/benefits-warming-up/