Warm-up With Activation Exercises
Want to get more bang for your buck? Bounce for your ounce? How about more junk in your trunk?? (…I think you get my gist)
Activation exercises are a great way to supercharge and get more out of your routine.
They are designed to enhance the communication between your neurology and your muscles, which we call neuromuscular activation, or pre-activation.
Why are activation exercises important?
Imagine a person with weak glute muscles.
Every time they go to perform a squat, on the eccentric (upwards) movement, their quads activate, but they aren’t getting much activation or firing through the glutes.
They continue to squat, strengthening and building larger quads but their glutes don’t seem to change a whole lot.
That is a huge indicator that the quads are compensating for majority of the work that the glutes should (but aren’t) helping out with.
Muscle activation exercises are great training tools to increase the efficiency of neural firing and motor unit recruitment and the “aesthetic building” of specific muscles groups.
I believe it is critical to work on activation exercises in early training stages to develop strong neuromuscular activation, and essentially learn the “feeling”…referring to when a person knows they are fully activating the target muscles during training.
Back to the earlier example of having weak gluteus muscles – incorporating gluteus pre-activation exercises prior to performing an exercise program can turn on the right muscles so that they fire optimally when you want them to.
What is great about pre-activation exercises is that they rarely require equipment and they don’t need a whole lot of time.
Some tips to consider when performing activation exercises:
- Use a slow tempo – squeezing every little bit of the target muscle
- Per exercise: complete 1-3 sets of 12-20 reps.
- Make sure you really focus on the mind-body connection giving your full attention to the muscle your activating
- Aim to move through a full range of motion, focusing less on the completion of a goal number of reps and more time on actually getting your target muscles activated with lighter sets.
- When you perform your primary movements following these activation exercises, you should feel the targeted muscles engaging better than before.
Below are some examples of gluteus activation exercises. Want more help with this? Click on the $100 Free button at the bottom of this page!
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