Warm-Ups and Forward Lean on Squats

Just some random questions, but would appreciate some info

  1. What’s a good general warmup for lifting?

My usual warmup:
Wrist/elbow/arm circles, leg swings, ankle circles x 10-15 each
Glute/piriformis stretch (pigeon pose) x60 sec per side
Ground based mobility-each movement x10 DeFrancosTraining.com - sample mobility drills - YouTube
Lunging Hip flexor stretch (2x45 sec per leg)
Stand to squat x10
Broomstick Shoulder dislocations x30
Broomstick Overhead squats x20

This usually takes me close to 45 mins and I feel a little drained and im not sure if its all neccessary. Are there any improvements that could be made or is there a more simplified approach? Also what is a good method to improve thoracic mobility?

  1. Other than improved flexibility , what factors could result in being tipped forward during squats, specifically front squats? Is this a core problem? Are there any exercises that can improve this?

  2. I’ve heard some other lifters talk about this before, I’m having a strong burning/pulling sensation in the outside of my left quad, really flares up when i try to do a lunge-type hip flexor stretch or after i do any kind of sprinting. I also feel it sometimes when doing squats. Any clues as to what this might be and how to alleviate it?

So thats all the random crap for now, lol. Thanks in advance.


My 2 cents as a novice convert to weightlifting this year:

  1. 45 minutes is 35-40 minutes too long for a warm-up. I’m 32 and have had 2 surgeries on my right shoulder (pec tendon re-attachment after a bench pressing accident a few years ago) and do fine with some shoulder dislocates with a broom stick, about 10 free squats, and then moving into doing the snatch with an empty bar. I usually do 1-2 sets of 3 in the muscle snatch, 1-2 sets of power snatches, 1-2 sets of power snatch followed by overhead squats, and then move into my first set of full snatches with the bar.

Mike Robertson has a good article on thoracic mobility somewhere. Sitting at the bottom of an overhead squat day after day and pressing the bar into place while sitting in the split jerk position seems to help as well.

  1. Other than flexibility, it could be that your elbows aren’t staying high enough, your back is rounding, or your knees are caving followed by a lean at the hip to keep momentum going. I would look more deeply into flexibility though, specifically at the ankle. You are using weightlifting shoes right?

  2. I had the same thing on and off for the first 4 months or so but rarely get it now. Good technique, good food, and time should eventually fix it. Sometimes taking a few sessions to do only pulls or powers has helped me with symptoms (though theoretically powers should be harder on the knee than full cleans/snatches due to stopping high). I also didn’t go heavy on squats on any day that pain didn’t decrease throughout my workout. I’ve heard Glenn Pendlay’s lifters at Muscle Driver USA swear by large doses of fish oil for any nagging tendon and joint aches but I can’t recommend it. While they don’t seem to think there is any problem with it, I have some doubts about potential problems with blood not clotting well in wounds and contaminates in the fish oil sources but I have no available research to back up my suspicions.

just do the lifts with the bar man. nothing better for stretch and warm up then doing the lifts themselves. all those mobility shit is overated imo.

  1. Yeah, 45 minutes is a long time for a warmup, 10-15 should be plenty. I generally start by dropping into that rock bottom squat position and just moving things around, getting loose in that position and feeling good, move into about 10ish BW squats, some leg swings, some eagles/scorpions (lay on the ground with your arms straight out to your sides and try to touch your feet one at a time to the opposite hand, eagles=lay on the back, scorpions=lay on the front, least I think that’s what they’re called), play around with a broomstick for a little bit maybe a couple snatches, overhead squats, I don’t really do full shoulder dislocates because I’ve found pushing through those results in shoulder pain after a few weeks but I’ll go to the point where I start feeling the stretch. Then I move onto the bar and start with the empty bar and go from there. Sometimes I’ll do all that barefoot, most times in my oly shoes. Considering adding in some quick glute activation stuff to see if that would help. I also do static stretching after a tough workout, focusing on the legs/hips. This is what I’ve found to work well for me.

  2. Like nastrondaninja said, you’ve got to keep your elbows high and your upper back as tight as possible. Also, it’s easier to keep that tight back if your knees push forward and you keep your hips under you throughout the movement. You’re squatting down between your feet, if that makes sense. If your hips shoot back your torso will wind up angled forward.

  3. I don’t think I’ve experienced this before, can’t help you there, sorry.