Performing upper body stretches before exercise is absolutely essential. It doesn’t matter if you are just hopping on the treadmill for a few minutes or you are going to do a few twenty-pound curls.

Maybe you stretched for just a few seconds, maybe you didn’t even warm up at all. But your shoulders and upper body are going to be involved in the process, so performing a couple of upper body stretches is a must.

The sad truth of the matter is that you just aren’t doing enough to get your upper body ready for the workout it is about to endure.

In fact, one of the most important parts of any workout is performing a couple of good upper body stretches. This will not only prepare the muscles for what is about to come, but it will strength them and prevent injuries in the process.


Performing upper body stretches before intense exercises is absolutely essential. This is a great way to warm up the body and prepare it for the exercises ahead. You should also take the time to stretch after the workout as a good cool down.

This combination will keep you safe and greatly reduce the risk of injury. Just make sure that you’re performing the appropriate exercises for the upper body.

1. The Overhead Squat

You have probably seen someone take a weight bar loaded down with weights and perform a squat. This is one of the most basic and effective workouts that there is. However, the overhead squat is a bit different, as it involves lifting the weight bar over your head and pushing it into the air, almost like a standing bench press.

Well, the overhead squat complies with a range of different moves that will really get the upper body flowing and pumping with blood. In fact, it can test the strength and mobility in your entire body.

Performing one of these routines without any weights is an excellent way to get the upper body ready for an intense workout.

You don’t even have to utilize a weight bar for the warm-up. You can use a dowel, and empty training bar, a resistance band, or even a towel.

Performing this routine for anywhere from five to ten minutes will mobilize the joints, active the muscles, and get the heart pumping.

2. The Inchworm Warm Up

However, before you do anything in the gym you want to warm up with the inchworm. This warm-up exercise not only gets you moving, but it will test your stability in the process.

Along with working the upper body and shoulders, this warm-up routine will do a number on the hamstrings. You basically want to start in the push-up position and slowly walk your legs towards your hands. The heels of the feet can be off the ground, but you want to make sure to keep your palms as flat as possible.

Continue walking forward until you feel uncomfortable and then walk back to the push-up position. Repeating this anywhere from five to ten times will raise the core temperature and prepare the upper body.

3. Spiderman Push Up

The Spiderman push is more of an intense warm-up routine, as it will really test the core, shoulders, hips, and arms. To perform this exercise you will begin in a regular push-up position.

When lowering your body towards the floor, you want to try to lift your right foot, swing it out, bring it up to your elbow, and return it to the starting position. You can also repeat the same motion with the left foot and leg as well.

4. The Shoulder Stretch

You’ll also want to perform the shoulder stretch. Stand in an upright position with your arms placed behind your back. Clasp your hands into your palms. Now, lift the elbows upward while also pushing the shoulders back.

This should extend the chest upward. Be sure to hold the stretch for a good 20 the 30 seconds.

5. Forearm Stretch

You’ll also want to stretch those forearms. To do that, you just need to sit upright in a chair. Then, place one of your hands in front of you. Grab it with the fingers of the opposite hand.

Straighten out the arm until the palm is facing outward. Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds.

What other upper body stretches do you perform to warm up your muscles before a workout? Share them with us in the comments below.

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