Warm ups are meant to get us into training.
A good warm up is meant to maximize our training.
Most people make one of two mistakes with warm ups:
1. Skip out on their warm up and miss the benefits it can deliver
2. Waste their time doing too much/too random of stuff and tire themselves out and lose time from actually training.
Now it’s fine and dandy to say that, but what does that actually mean for people in practice?
Well there are a few key things we want to do in a warm up:
– Get our body temperature up (ie get warm)
– Get our body moving through ranges of motion we will need to use in training
– Get our nervous system ramped up to do what it needs to do that day
These are the three essentials that we want to do within our warm up.
How we get that done can differ heavily – but mostly by preference and belief.
If we look at research on warming up we can see a trend towards a lot of individual variation and that there isn’t one best way to warm up for everyone.
Some people can just go into their main exercise – such as deadlifts – and only do a bunch of reps with the bar and start racking on the weights.
Others would not feel sufficiently warm or prepped for their weights though. In fact, from our experience most people don’t feel ready for that and report benefitting from doing more.
As well, unless you’re a competitive powerlifter or weightlifter, you’d probably really benefit from doing more.
Our method of warming up is to rotate through a series of different movements – we could call them dynamic stretches, but we just like the term movement – that will take our body through those ranges of motions and similar demands needed for the training session.
This helps to hit those points we mentioned earlier, but it also does 2 additional things:
1. Introduces movement variability to help you have a more diverse kinesthetic library.
2. Makes it more fun
That second point is where the individual variation comes in a lot.
Some people don’t like doing new things or trying different stuff – same kind of people who eat the exact same breakfast every day for 7 years.
In contrast, most people like to try different things and do new movements – kind of like trying different foods for breakfast.
This doesn’t mean doing random things for the sake of randomness, but doing things that are related or have transfer to the activity of the day.
If you are training and going to be doing deadlifts, before you get into barbell warm up sets, you could bust out some single leg glute bridges, some band hamstring pulldowns, and some alternating single leg deadlifts.
This would help in getting your body temperature warm, get the muscles utilized for deadlifting more neurologically prepared, and giving some variability to the movements for the day.
After doing those then get into deadlifting for a few sets as you build up in weight!
If you’re interested in seeing how we program warm ups, you can check out our programs!
We program warm ups as we outlined for every training day and try to make it fun and enjoyable for people.
We also offer a free trial week, so test it out and see if it’s a good fit for you!
The Citizen Athletics Team,