The importance of a good warm-up was undervalued by me for over a year!
I used to do a warm-up set and then jump straight into everything – I now warm-up my whole body regardless of what I’m training, I prime the muscle I will use for that session and I stretch them and mobilise them and then I do a warm-up set or two, I will talk you through 2 different types of warm-up and I will upload a video to accompany this with some warm-up ideas for you to follow so you can maximize your time and results!
Before we get into the techniques I want to explain and educate on why this is important, without the why and with-out the understanding you can fully apply yourself to the warm-up, if you don’t actually know why you are doing something then it won’t last – this is a concept I teach to all my clients – why we do the exercises we do and why we do them the way we do!
Warm-ups can massively help with peak force output in a study of different type of warm-ups the technique I will show improved Drop jump height and impact time by 7.1%! This is a huge increase!
In a study of military personal just static stretching showed a massive difference in Patellofemoral injury (knee pain) reduction but not much else which is disappointing however when we do dynamic stretching the performance aspect gets a massive kick, another study of footballers produced great results for both a 10m sprint and 20m flying start sprint (running start),
If you came here thinking Warm-ups where to stop you getting injured that’s just not the case, or at least I could find at the time of writing this.
So why should you warm-up you aren’t a footballer and you aren’t military personal? Because the effects are the same for you, it doesn’t matter that you don’t have to run to shelter under gun fire or have a champion’s league final goal to score in the next 10 seconds – you come to the gym to perform, you want to get better, fitter, healthier and leaner! Why wouldn’t you want to maximize the time you spend in the gym when you miss days because your kids are ill, you miss days because work was so hectic or shit that you just wanted to go home and chill out with a glass of wine?
I completely understand you aren’t an elite level athlete but if you can maximise your limited time in the gym doing this very basic thing then that is worth it.
Back to the point – so the warm-up you build yourself must tick these boxes in individual sections – It must raise your heart rate – this can be done on a rower, treadmill, cross training, running, skipping and whatever you want – something you and can for 3-5 minutes non-stop at a decent intensity so you start to breathe heavily.
You must ‘activate’ I hate that term if your muscles weren’t activated you would be a gooey blog on the floor but it describes what we’re trying to do and Mobilise – so you do this by using bands to stretch, dynamic stretching into holds, light body weight exercises for example, lying leg raises, scapula pulls/sets, scapula press ups – this should stretch you, test your motor skills, make you feel unstable all these things, but this is where you test your agility etc. so when you come to do your actual exercises your body has everything stable, everything is ‘switched on’ and ready for action and at the same time free to move and get into new positions like a squat, lunge or overhead press etc.
Prime/Potentiate – this is where all that instability and motor skills become a solid foundation, this is where you use your newly found looseness and range of movement to squat deeper than you have before hold for a few seconds and then burst out into a squat jump, this is where you realise you’re a lot more flexible than you thought, so use it! Get into positions you haven’t hold them and then do them again with a bit of weight, hold them and then do them again!
This is how and where good movement patterns are made, this is how I make someone with a double hip and knee operation able to walk, squat and lunge again pain free and with relative ease. This is the basics of movement, the only difference is this isn’t their warm-up this is their session.
I used to get annoyed when I saw someone squat the same weight as I’m doing with absolutely perfection and make it look easy – I started to watch them, study how Olympians warm-up, study how people with great movement patterns go about things and every single one of them, whether they knew it or not, had a fucking good warm-up!
And it’s so easy to make one, so follow these instructions and watch the videos I will be making to go with this and you will be just dandy!
Enjoy your training!
The Main Author is Dan Grimes, Guest authors will be posting too.