How does The Rock tackle leg day? He does a lot of the stuff you probably do—only heavier and for more reps—if his Rock Hard Hercules Workout is any guide.
But here’s something he does that you probably don’t. According to his Instagram feed, he gets a big-time glute pump to ward off what he calls his “sexy lower-body injuries” from years of being, well, The Rock. This kind of badass, superhuman warmup may be just what you need to launch your leg game to the next level.
No stranger to the knee and back injuries common for athletes of his caliber, The Rock understands the importance of a good warmup. Before he shreds his legs, he does what he calls a “fun warmup, activating glutes and hips.” His version of fun: banded 225-pound barbell hip thrusts on a bench, with a 5 second hold at the top.
“Gotta warm up properly due to all my sexy lower body injuries from years of wrestling and football (two L4 and L5 low-back disc ruptures, five knee surgeries, torn Achilles, tore both my quad and adductor from my pelvis and repaired three hernias, all in one lovely, emergency surgery). Lots of fun pain, but we fight thru it and come back stronger and better,” he wrote. “Plus, this exercise showcases the relentless power in my thrust game, which is my jam when we practice making babies.”
Thrust practice aside, why take the time to warm up your glutes? Serious lifters know that these muscles are your powerhouses, enabling you to move more weight and to ward off back pain. Failing to take care of them is just asking for injury.
So how can you incorporate the same back-saving methods he uses into your routine and get the same results? Adding a herculean warmup may be easier than you think. Bodybuilding.com contributor John Rusin includes banded hip thrusts in his daily routine to protect your back and build strength and resiliency.
If you’re well acquainted with the basic thrust, you don’t have to stop there. Strength coach Meghan Callaway has a butt-load (so to speak) of ideas of how to hit your glutes, both with hip thrust variations and even meaner creations.
The bottom line on bottoms is this: If you’re going to lift like The Rock, you need to warm up like he does. Take the extra time to activate those all-important leg and back muscles with a few choice exercises before you chase that pump. Chances are you’ll spare yourself a trip to the chiro, and you’ll get a better workout in the end.