I’ll be the first to admit I don’t do these upper body mobility exercises before every one of my workouts. I know that I probably should, though, especially since I have chronically tight shoulders and traps and crappy posture from sitting at a desk all day.
These two exercises are great for strengthening muscles that tend to become weakened and stretching muscles that become tightened when we sit all day with our heads forward and our shoulders rounded (this is also known as upper-crossed syndrome).
I’ve noticed that when I am diligent about doing these exercises prior to my workouts, I have better form and get more out of the workout than when I don’t. Read on to learn more about my two favorite upper body mobility exercises and why I think they’re must-dos before any workout.
Band pull-aparts are great for people who struggle with tight upper trap muscles and have a hard time with scapular (shoulder blade) depression and retraction. They help you improve your posture and have a lot of carry-over into all types of exercises.
You might assume that upper body mobility exercises are only important to do before upper body workouts. They have a lot of application to lower body exercises, too, though.
For example, if you have tight traps and a hard time retracting your shoulder blades, it’s going to be harder for you to stay upright and keep your chest lifted when you’re squatting. You might also round your upper back and put yourself at risk of injury when you’re doing deadlifts.
Remember, all of the muscles of the body work together. If you have tightness in one area of your body, it can carry over and cause problems in all sorts of areas and exercises.
Seated Wall Circles
I love wall circles for correcting forward head and reminding myself how it feels to actually sit up straight.
I’m so used to the way my body feels when I’m slouching over the computer that I often don’t realize my posture is less than ideal. When I do some seated wall circles, though, I remind myself what good posture feels like and I have an easier time carrying it over into my workout.
I’ve noticed that I have an easier time staying upright when I’m squatting or doing lunges after doing some seated wall circles as part of my warm-up.
I also have an easier time keeping my shoulders pressed down and my core engaged when I’m doing upper body exercises like overhead presses and lateral raises.
Upper Body Mobility Exercises Video Breakdown
Need help with either of these upper body mobility exercises? Want to make sure you’re doing them correctly?
Here’s a video breaking them down for you:
If you try these upper body mobility exercises before your next workout, please let me know! I’d love to hear how they help you get more out of your training session!