· weightlifting · 6 min read

Upper Body Warm Up: The #1 Secret To Unlocking Gains

Man, if you're anything like me, you don't want to waste time in the gym. You're there to break a sweat, build some serious muscle, and leave feeling like a champ. But here's the deal: you can't ignore the upper body warm up.

Man, if you're anything like me, you don't want to waste time in the gym. You're there to break a sweat, build some serious muscle, and leave feeling like a champ. But here's the deal: you can't ignore the upper body warm up.

Man, if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to waste time in the gym. You’re there to break a sweat, build some serious muscle, and leave feeling like a champ. But here’s the deal: you can’t ignore the upper body warm up.

Trust me, this isn’t some trivial step you can just skip over. Nah, it’s the unsung hero of any solid workout routine, especially if you’re into bodybuilding, weightlifting, or athletics.

Seriously, think about it, would you rev up a sports car without letting the engine warm up first? Nope, didn’t think so. So why would you do that to your own body? An effective upper body warm up sets the stage for a killer workout and keeps you from turning into an injury statistic.

Upper Body Warm Up

Man doing upper body warm up

Listen, man, I get it. You’re in the gym, hyped up on pre-workout, and you’re staring down that barbell like it owes you money. The last thing you want to do is waste time on an upper body warm up. But hold on a minute. Just like you wouldn’t rev a cold car engine to the max, you shouldn’t hammer away at those weights without priming the pump, you know what I’m saying?

Trust me on this one, I’ve been down that road. Ripped into the weights with the enthusiasm of a kid at a candy store and what did I get? Sore joints and a side serving of potential injuries. Yeah, no thanks.

You don’t want to be that guy who’s all swagger and no substance. It’s all about longevity, and a proper upper body warm up sets the stage for a workout that doesn’t just feel like a one-night stand with your muscles.

Sample Upper Body Warm Up:

  • Arm Circles: 10 circles forward, 10 backward
  • Shoulder Shrugs: 2 sets of 15 reps
  • Push-ups: 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Band Pull-Aparts: 2 sets of 15 reps

Upper Body Dynamic Warm Up

Man doing arm circles for upper body dynamic warm up

Alright, so you’re not new to this game. You’ve been around the block. You want something a bit more… let’s say, challenging? Enter the upper body dynamic warm up. This ain’t your run-of-the-mill stretching routine; it’s tailored for guys who want to push their limits without pushing their luck.

If you skip this, you’re just asking for it. Ever had a cramp right in the middle of a heavy set? I have, and let me tell you, it’s not pretty. It feels like your muscle is throwing a temper tantrum, right then and there. Avoid the drama and give this upper body dynamic warm up a shot.

Sample Upper Body Dynamic Warm Up:

  • Inchworms: 5 reps
  • Dynamic Chest Stretch: 2 sets of 10 reps
  • High Plank Shoulder Taps: 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Boxing Shadow Punches: 30 seconds

Look, I was skeptical at first, too. I felt like warming up was just a waste of time that I could spend lifting. But once I started treating it as a non-negotiable part of my routine, the difference was night and day.

If I can leave you with anything, let it be this: The path to peak performance is laid one brick at a time. Your upper body warm up is that first, crucial brick. Ignore it, and the whole structure’s bound to crumble. Yeah, it’s that serious. So go on, give it the attention it deserves. You won’t regret it.

Upper Body Warm Up Exercises

Man playing ping pong shirtless

So, you’re pumped and ready to kill it in the gym, huh? Trust me, I get it—the iron awaits and you’re chomping at the bit to dive into your workout. But hold your horses, big guy. Ever heard of an upper body warm up? Yeah, yeah, it might sound like a nuisance when all you want is to hit those PRs, but trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Why, you ask? Picture this: You jump straight into bench pressing or some Olympic lifting without warming up. Your muscles are cold, your joints are stiff, and BAM! You pull something. Not so cool now, eh?

Don’t be that guy. Take a few extra minutes for an upper body warm up, and you’ll not only prevent injuries but also perform better. The pros do it, and you should too.

10-15 Possible Warm-Up Exercises:

  1. Arm Circles
  2. Band Pull-Aparts
  3. Push-Ups
  4. Jumping Jacks
  5. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  6. Lateral Raises
  7. Tricep Pushdowns
  8. Lat Pulldowns
  9. Inchworms
  10. High Knees
  11. Medicine Ball Slams
  12. Battle Ropes
  13. Plank to Push-Up
  14. Foam Rolling
  15. Windmills

Warm Up for Upper Body Workout

Shirtless man

Alright, so now that you’ve got a laundry list of upper body warm up exercises, let’s talk strategy. Look, nobody becomes a Greek god just by waltzing into the gym. It’s all about planning, man. What you need is a methodical warm-up that activates those pecs, delts, and traps before you get to the real deal.

An effective upper body warm up doesn’t have to take an eternity. We’re talking 10-15 minutes, max. Start with some dynamic stretching—arm circles, windmills, and high knees are your go-to moves. Follow it up with some light resistance work.

Band pull-aparts or dumbbell shoulder presses can do wonders here. End with some targeted foam rolling to loosen up any tight spots. Yeah, it’s a few extra minutes, but your body will thank you. And your gains? Off the charts, my man.

Track Your Workout

Man skipping on a soccer field

We’ve gotten this far, and I can already feel your excitement bubbling up. But wait, how are you tracking all this progress? If you’re still scribbling stuff down on a piece of paper or worse, “remembering it,” you’re doing yourself a disservice. Check out My Lift Log. It’s a progressive overload tracking app, and believe me, you’ll wonder how you ever lifted without it.

Progressive overload? Yeah, it’s that principle that has you gradually increasing the weight or reps in your exercise routine, making sure you’re constantly pushing your limits. And you need to track this, guys. Otherwise, you’ll hit a plateau faster than you can say “bicep curl.”

Tracking your workout isn’t just some trendy fad; it’s a necessity. And if you’re as determined as I think you are, there’s no room for errors. Remember the late nights wondering how the hell you’d nail that perfect physique? Well, progressive overload and tracking your workout is how you turn that dream into rock-hard, chiseled reality.

So go ahead, visit My Lift Log. Your future ripped self will thank you.


Start your 30 day free trial now. No credit card required.


/ Month
42% OFF


/ Year
Back to Blog