Heavy Squat / Hinge Day Prep

Hey, what’s up, guys, Coach Little here. And I just wanted to go over a heavy squat like if we have a Heavy Squat Day coming up or a Heavy Hinge Day coming up with just a more joint-specific approach to warming up that we can do five to 10 minutes before we start. So when we’re thinking about this warmup, we want to think about the joints that might be involved in a squat from the bottom up. The first joint involved will be our ankles, and then we’re going to come up to our knees and then the hips.

So starting with a kind of ankle warmup, we’re going to look at the muscles in the back of our leg and the muscles in the front of our leg that are close to that ankle joint. So the first thing that we’re going to do is a calf raise. Okay, so nice and easy. We’ll find a nice post here, which we have plenty of them in the gym. I’m just going to put one hand on it just so you can lean on it a little bit. 

So I’m going to lean on that post, bring my torso right out in front of my feet here, and then I’m just going to go up on my toes. Okay, I want to hold at the top for a second, come down nice and slow, explode up, focus on squeezing that calf muscle; come down nice and slow. Okay, and we’re going to do this anywhere from 10 to 15 to 20 reps, depending on how many times we’ve done this warm-up. 

The next thing that we’re going to do is a wrist raise. So we did our calf; now we’re going to look at the front, use that same post. And now I’m going to undergo a couple of inches, maybe a foot in front of the post, I’m going to lean back on the post, I want to keep my hips forward, and then what we’re going to do is I’m just going to pull my toes up to my nose. Okay, and just like that catchphrase, I want to hold at the top for a minute and make sure I’m really feeling this muscle. And then again, I’m just going to do 10 to 15 to 20 reps. So I’m going to pull those toes right up to my nose and then come all the way down, toes up to the nose, come all the way down. Okay, so those are our first two exercises that kind of took care of our ankle, getting our ankle nice and prepped for a heavy squat or a heavy hinge. 

Next, let’s look at our knees. So for this exercise, we’re going to grab a light band. As you can see, I’m using our lightest band here, which usually gets the job done. I want to set that band up on the rig about knee height, and when I’m going to do one leg at a time, I’m going to step in this band and then in a backup so it’s nice and stretched outright; we have tension through that full range. The toe is forward, and I want to think about having my big toe point right at that post that the band is attached to; I want to keep my hips and my chest; everything is nice and square. 

So I’m not opening up at my hips, and I’m simply letting this band pull my knee right over that toe-up onto the toe. And then, when I feel like I can’t go forward anymore without falling over or losing my balance, I’m just going to come back and focus on fully extending and locking out that knee pain. Let me show you what that looks like with the other leg to see it from a different angle, right behind the knee. 

Going to back up, the toe is pointed right to that post. My shoulder stays square, my hips stay square, and going to let that band pull my knee forward and then right back. Okay, I’m focusing on fully extending that knee, squeezing my quad just like that, and then coming back in.

Okay, so last but not least, we will go up to the hips. We started our ankles to knees; now we’re going up to the hips. So we’re going to find a bar that isn’t appropriate height when we’re hanging from it; I’m not touching the ground. And then once I jump up and hang from this bar again, we want to have our thumbs wrapped nice and active shoulders for this active hang. So I’m going to jump up, grab, and then I’m just going to bring my knees up to about 90, and I’m just gonna hold it here for 30 to 45 seconds to a minute, depending on where I’m at with this warmup. So that’s going to hit those hip flexors. 

Okay, so that will be our warmup for exercises starting at the ankles, to the knees to the hips. Throw this in maybe two to three rounds, 10 to 20 reps each exercise. Try it out before doing heavy squats or heavy hinging, and let us know how it goes.

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