Five to ten minutes on crosstrainer, couple bodyweight squats and then weights to the bar? How many of you recognize this warm up pattern? Hopefully not many!
With proper warm up you can make a huge difference in your workout performance. Working out with cold and tight body is like driving a car and braking the same time – It just doesn’t move as great as it could.
What are the main functions of warm ups? Ahat should be included in the performance enhancing and effective warm up? Below there’s check list for both!
Performance boosting warm up…
1. challenges your cardiovascular system which means it raises heart beat and increases blood flow
2. makes your muscles, joints and tendons warm & moving
3. wakes up your nervous system
4. increases your mobility & makes sure that you can do full range of motion
5. includes activation of the muscles that you need in the upcoming workout
6. actives your core, especially deep stability muscles
7. sets your mind to upcoming workout and increases focus
So, good warm up could include…
-5-10minutes of moderate activity that raises your heart beat
-Increasing the range of motion in joints with circular movements, foam roller or using a gym stick
-Active dynamic stretches (coming up soon!), focusing on your unique side differences and tensioned parts
-Core activation, focusing on transversus abnominis (”the internal abdominals”)
-Activation of the muscles you need in your workout
My warm up usually last about 20 minutes. I’ll break a sweat about 5 to 7,5 minutes with walking, crosstrainer or biking. After that I’ll open my chest and shoulders with simple gym stick movements, followed by mobility work. For example, before dead lift workout I’ll pay extra attention to my hip mobility and my left ankle, which has a weakened mobility due to an accident. When doing a sumo deadlift also the hip adductors need a lot of mobility, so I might do side lunges for stretch and activation.
Activating the performing muscles has really amped up my workouts. If we keep the deadlift example: which muscles should be activated and well warmed up? That’s right, hole body needs attention! Main focus should be on the performing muscles like glutes, thighs, back and core. My absolutely favourite core activation is this one called dead bug, try it! For glute activation I like to use unilateral glute bridge or hip thrusting with a rubber band.
Performance boosting warm up prepares your body and mind for upcoming workout. After warm up you should literally be warm, plus have a good activation in your stability muscles&core and better mobility due to dynamic stretches. In addition that careful warm up makes your workouts more effective, it also protects you from sport injuries. With warm body and focused mind there’s far less risk to have different kinds of sprains or ruptures, like ligament injuries. Also the pressure that gravitates towards your back is a lot smaller due to flexible hamstrings and good activation of transversus abdominis.
Careful and diverse warm ups also add a tiny bit of aerobic exercise and mobility training to your days and weeks, without you even noticing it! Both of them have their own effects on recovery, so warming up better you’ll also recover better. Win-win!
Now go try and get your workouts to a whole new level!