What are activation exercises?
Activation exercises are small, isolated exercises that target specific muscles or small groups of muscles. These often focus on one particular movement at a joint such as hip flexion, or internal, or external rotation. This type of exercise brings in blood flow to “wake up” and warm up small muscles that may not be highlighted during larger compound movements.
Why should I do activation exercises?
Activation exercises are a very effective warm-up technique which also play a part in decreasing the risk of injury during larger lifts. Activating smaller muscle groups help prevent imbalances that may interfere with proper form. For example, if your hip external rotators are weak or inactive, your knees may cave in during a squat. Activating the abdominal muscles before compound exercises may help with proper core bracing, therefore decreasing the risk of injury to the low back.
When should I do activation exercises?
As mentioned before, activation exercises are an excellent tool to add to a dynamic warm-up. Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise before a workout. Activation exercises should be done with light resistance such as body weight or a resistance band, depending on the exercise.
Examples of Activation Exercises
Where do Sidekick tools come in?
Sidekick mobility tools are perfect for activation exercises. The glute bands and resistance bands offer the right amount of resistance to warm up small muscle groups. The different levels of resistance allow you to adjust the difficulty based on the action or muscle group that you are working on.
Muscle scraping complements and can be done just before performing activation exercises. Scraping also induces blood flow to the area while reducing stiffness and increasing the extensibility of the muscles, allowing you to perform these movements without restriction.
Get your hands on some Sidekick tools to upgrade your warm-up today!