Here are some of the mobility warm up exercises I do before training. They will all help with flexibility, performance and avoiding injury.
1. Shoulder Rolls
Take a broomstick or PVC pipe and hold with a wide grip. Keeping your arms straight, raise the bar upwards and above your head. If possible move the bar all the way down towards your lower back. This is best achieved with a shoulder shrug at the top of the movement. If you can do this easily then take a narrower grip on the bar and repeat. Perform 10-20 repetitions.
2. Lunge Stretch
Holding the broomstick or PVC pipe overhead, take a big lunge step forwards. Hold this position for 45-60 seconds. Repeat on the opposite leg.
3. Overhead Squat
With the broomstick or PVC pipe held overhead, perform a squat. Keep the chest high, feet flat and push your hips backwards into the squat. Perform 10-20 repetitions.
4. Squat Stretch
Sit down into a deep squat and, using your elbows, push your knees outwards until you feel a stretch in the groin. Hold for 60-120 seconds.
5. Shoulder Retraction
While hanging from a bar, practice 'activating' your shoulders by drawing your shoulder blades downwards. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds then relax and hold the stretch. Repeat this 5 times without coming off the bar.
Matt Palfrey is a strength and conditioning specialist, consultant to the healthcare and fitness industry and the author of the Sandbag Fitness Blog - a free resource for those wishing to incorporate sandbag lifting into their strength and conditioning programme. The Sandbag Fitness Blog contains information, tips and daily workouts for people to follow. Matt is based in the UK and his current clients include pro MMA athletes, individuals and a number of private sector health and fitness organisations.
Find out more at http://sandbagfitness.blogspot.com/