Minimize your risk of injury by loosening up before your workout
By Naomi Nazario

Pushing through killer workouts is challenging and exciting. Stretching and mobility? Not so much. But if you want to perform at a high level and minimize the risk of injury, mobility and flexibility are a must, says Andy Speer, Men’s Health fitness expert.

These 6 moves aim to mobilize and strengthen areas that are often overused and overlooked. Prepping your scapula, wrists, ankles, and shoulders will make your workout more effective and more enjoyable, Speer adds.

Both the spider lunge and pigeon stretch will open up your hips. The complimenting rotational movements loosen the ankles and thoracic spine—both are usually tight on the average modern-day adult.

Related: Think Stretching Sucks? Here’s How to Warm Up Better

The shoulder extension and scapular pushup allow you to keep and enhance stability and range of motion in your shoulders. The overhead shrug is a position where many people are restricted from rounding of the shoulders that develops from spending much of our days in the seated position. Doing this movement will help you regain scapular control.

The wrist stretch will increase wrist and forearm flexibility. This is key for those who experience wrist pain when doing pushups or tenderness in the elbow when working out.

Directions: Use these movements as a warmup, or when you have some downtime outside of your workout to stay limber.

1. Spider lunge with ankle rotation

2. Pigeon stretch with thoracic rotation

3. Shoulder extension

4. Scapular pushup

5. Wrist stretch

6. Overhead shrug

Related: These 6 Warm-Up Moves Will Make You A Faster Runner

Originally published on menshealth.com