WSBB Blog: Westside Warmups - Minibands
When you enter the gym, the goal is always to have the highest quality training session possible. In order for this to happen, an athlete must do the things necessary before and after a workout to ensure they remain injury free. One of the most important things an athlete can do is execute a proper warmup routine prior to performing the main exercise of the day.
We have trained athletes for nearly forty years, and our injury rates have always been very low. This is attributed to high levels of GPP and sound warm up routines performed regularly. For years, many people have thought that Westside Barbell is 100% high intensity all of the time while disregarding injury risk and prevention, which is an unfortunate misconception.
There are many different warmups, all of them effective to some degree. Ultimately, the goal of any useful warmup routine is to perform basic, non-specific exercises that will properly prepare you to perform at a high level in training while remaining injury free.
Miniband Pull Aparts
This is one of most commonly performed miniband only exercises at Westside Barbell. Miniband pull aparts are a great way to warm up the upper back and posterior shoulder, making this exercise useful on both lower and upper body training days. No matter if you need to get your shoulders mobilized to get underneath a squat bar, or your upper back ready to handle a heavy bench press, pull aparts will get the job done.
To perform this exercise, you will first need to get one Westside Barbell Miniband. You will take the miniband, grabbing each end to allow for tension to be maintained throughout the movement. Standing shoulder width apart, get into the best upright posture possible, and begin pulling the band across your chest to complete the reps called for.
This exercise is programmed at high volume, using the band to complete as many reps as possible each set.
Miniband Knee Pull Aparts
If you want to have a successful squat day, you must make sure you warm up properly. With miniband knee pull aparts, you are preparing the abductors and adductors, hips, glutes, and lower back for squatting or deadlifting. Miniband knee pull aparts will prepare these muscle groups, allowing you to squat as pain free as possible.
To set this exercise up, you will first need one Westside Barbell miniband. From there, you will halve or quad the miniband depending on your strength level. Then, you will wrap each side of the minibands around your knees, forcing your knees outward focusing on pulling the band as far open as possible.
To properly execute a rep, you will want to pull the band as far apart as possible using only your knees while seated. This exercise is programmed for moderate to high reps, focusing on getting properly warmed up without taking energy away from the main exercise.
Miniband Tricep Pressdowns / Bicep Curls
Important to the proper execution of a bench press, the triceps and biceps must be warmed up properly before attempting to press max effort weights. At Westside, we keep it simple by utilizing our minibands to get our arms warmed up and ready to go. When combined with Miniband Pull Aparts, this exercise will properly prepare you for the most rigorous of training sessions.
To hang the miniband to execute the tricep pressdowns, we recommend using the corner of a door. Typically if you halve, or hang the band, there will be enough tension to make for meaningful warm up work. Bicep curls are simple, you will stand on a miniband and use it to do bicep curls with one hand holding each end of the miniband while standing on the middle of the miniband.
These exercises are extremely easy to execute, featuring two of the most basic strength training movements. Both exercises should be high repetition, using AMRAP sets and other high rep schemes to get the arms as ready as possible to press pain free.
Supertraining; by Dr. Mel Siff
Science and Practice of Strength Training; by Dr. Vladimir Zatsiorsky and Dr. William Kraemer
Westside Barbell Book of Methods; by Louie Simmons
Special Strengths Development for All Sports; by Louie Simmons