This is probably way more information than you asked for, but I wanted to err on the side of more detail than less. Plus, you’ve given me a bunch of advice haha
Honestly, I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my ability to perform a full squat. My hip mobility was always a limiting factor for my depth (especially on my left side), but now, my left side is very close to my right side. The only thing that changed in the timeframe during which my flexibility increased is the yoga and mobility work.
With respect to my hamstrings, I haven’t noticed a difference. However, I didn’t take any before measurements, and my hamstrings are already quite flexible (I can easily put my palms on the ground with straight legs). By contrast, my brother has very tight hamstrings, and it visibly improved his range of motion.
This warm-up routine makes my back feel better as well. I fucked my back doing a 335 squat (lost tension in the bottom) a couple of years ago, and it has gotten back to normal during the last 6 months or so (time to get strong!). I largely credit my ability to perform squats and deadlifts without pain to yoga and general core work (read: McGill curl-ups, ab wheel, back extension, superman, hanging leg raise, etc.). Before, core work was an afterthought. Now, it’s a staple (and it doesn’t take much time either).
Justifications for the exercises
(note: this is geared specifically to combat my issues; you could take out or add exercises if you wanted to)
makes my body feel good & more ready for the workout; studies on the foam roller have been mixed (some studies say it improves mobility, but dynamic warm-ups seem to dampen this effect; however, if it makes you body feel good like it does mine, might as well do it)
Fire hydrant circles
recommended by Joe DeFranco & Jim Wendler, this exercise helps “activate” my glutes (fancy way of saying it gets some blood into them and makes my back feel good)
Plank with 5 push-ups and downward dog
wakes up the abs, shoulders, chest, and triceps; downward dog helps improve both hamstring and shoulder flexibility while providing a bit of isometric work for the delts and traps
Forward fold and halfway lift
forward fold gives the hamstrings a nice stretch, and halfway lifting essentially brings you from spinal flexion into a neutral spinal position, which wakes up the spinal erectors
Runner’s lunge, warrior 2, wide-leg forward fold
this combo gives you a hip stretch while waking up the quads, an abductor stretch, and a hamstring stretch rolled into one
Knees to chest and hands on knees, stretching outward
gives a bit of a stretch on the glutes and really helps improve my hip mobility
Hip thrust and McGill curl-up
this is a nice one-two punch. Hip thrust (with long holds at lockout and constant tension) hits your posterior chain, and McGill curl-up is an awesome (and very low-risk) isometric ab exercise
these just make my shoulders feel great. I would guess it’s because of the combination of internal and external rotation along with waking up all three heads of the delt
band pull-aparts are fucking great for the shoulders, but who the hell wants to do them after a hard workout? Why not do them before to warm up your rear delts and get some blood into your upper back?
Band bicep curl
if I don’t warm up my biceps before benching, my elbows tend to feel a bit off. This makes my bench press feel much more locked in
Parallel squat hold and ballistic hamstring stretch
wake up the quads and hamstrings. I have rubbing knees in there because if I rub my knees and warm them up, it makes them feel much better for a lower-body workout. It looks pretty fucking stupid, but I do this at home so I don’t give a shit. Plus, since it makes me feel good, I don’t give a shit anyway
Total time: 11 minutes (if you really roll around on the foam roller and take a lot of time on the other stuff, then it could take longer; maybe 14-15 minutes if you’re taking your time)
Edit: this video is a great one to try