How to Actually Warm-Up
Oh, the warm-up. From hopping cold right under the barbell to running on the treadmill for 10 minutes before arm day, the warm-up appears to be the most under-rated and most often poorly executed part of a workout. But it doesn't have to be. It's actually a lot more intuitive than we've been taught.
Just like you wouldn't study physics for a chemistry test, running on the treadmill isn't going to prepare you for a workout of upper body strength training. The most important thing to remember with the warm-up is that it should be workout specific.
Goals of a warm-up:
- elevate core temperate
- increase mobility
- activate major muscle groups
- prepare the central nervous system for movements of the workout
So what does this usually look like? Ideally, it's 4 to 15 minutes of dynamic stretching, movements of the workout performed with low weight, and some plyometric (power) moves. This might also include a burst of cardio as well. Many people also use a foam roller to activate major muscle groups and prevent injuries. It's important to remember that not only is the warm-up workout specific, but it should also be specific to you. What works best for you to achieve these goals.
Reasons to warm-up:
- injury prevention
- stronger, better, faster, stronger (read in the voice of Kanye West)
- mental focus
Having a strong warm-up routing can put you in the mental focus you need to perform safer and better. Some excuses are not having enough time or not seeing the impact. If that's the case, then let's mix up your warm-up routine.
Although your warm-up should be workout specific and you-specific, here is an example for you to tweak for your needs.
- minutes of foam rolling
- 5 minutes of dynamic stretching and mobility
- 25 jumping jacks
- 20 bodyweight squats
- 30 second front plank
- 20 push-ups
- 20 alternating lunges
Every body is unique and might require additional muscle activation or mobility movement in their warm-up. If you want help crafting a warm-up that works best for you, let me know.