Pre-training activation is one of those things that people love to hate, but its inclusion in training is paramount.
Through pre-training, we are essentially preparing the Central Nervous System for maximum performance, by choosing exercises that stimulate and innovate the areas that will be used in throughout the workout.
Here are my go-to pre-training activation exercises:
Mini-band Crab Walks:
Place the band around the legs just under the knees. Set your hips shoulder width apart, slightly hinge the hips while pushing the butt out, bend the knees and step laterally. Ensure to keep tension on the band with every step. Complete 20-25 reps each side.
Using a power-band, start by holding the band with arms shoulder width apart and slightly bent. With the band in line with your chest, pull your arms out towards your shoulder line and, with control, pull them back in. Complete 8-12 reps.
Pallof Press Iso Hold (Anti-Rotation Press):
Using a power-band, attach one end of the band to a fixed point. Pull the band out laterally in line with your chest to a tension of your choice. With feet hips width apart and knees soft, press the band away from your body, ensuring it doesn’t deviate from your midline. Hold for reps of 10-15 seconds.
You should allow 5-10 minutes for your pre-training activation, working through slow and controlled movements. Remember activation exercises are beneficial in more ways than one, assisting in correct muscle firing sequences, “turning on” targeted muscles and encouraging blood flow during your warm up. Prepare yourself properly to get the best out of your workout by giving these exercises a go!