Not something I’ve ever been really good at.
So what right have I to write a post about it?
Simple. Just because I hate doing the warm ups, I force myself to. I wasn’t always this way and I’ve had the injuries to prove it. My philosophy was always to start doing whatever I was going to do but at a nice easy pace and slowly ramp it up.
What this meant was I’d jump onto my mountain bike and be in top gear standing on the pedals within 100 meters. I’d tie my shoes on for a run and as soon as I was out the front gate I’d be at full tilt.
I wasn’t much different when it came to lifting.
As I got a little older, I started to wonder why the knees, hamstrings and back were always at me. And then one day BANG!
There goes the back. One misaligned Sacroilliac joint and one herniated disk. 6 months of having to warm up to merely get my sock on.
Now, I warm up for everything.
But how do you warm up? there are so many conflicting stories and evidence that it’s difficult to make heads nor tails of exactly what to do.
Over the years I’ve reached the conclusion that a warm up should be quick and simple. It should tell you how your body is performing today, does it need special attention in any particular areas and is it rested enough to go hard in the days training. In other words a warm up is not merely a thing you have to do before the meat of the program, it is more like a systems check.
Are the shoulders tweaking? Warm them up more, or maybe leave out pressing today. Is the hip stiff? Spend longer mobilising, perhaps even stretch.
Learning to listen to the body is a vital skill.
So how do we warm up? Simple, take a 10-15 minute time slot and break it down. Start by elevating the body tepmerature, skiping or jogging is good here. Then mobilise each and every joint, start with the major joints, the hips and shoulders. Move to smaller and smaller. Then get active. The following video is one of my most effective warm up routines. It’s5 minutes of kettlebell work.
I’d already spent a few minutes skipping. This was followed by:
Hand to Hand Swings – warm the hips and hamstrings, elevate temperature Kettlebell juggling – Wake up the nervous system and boost hand eye coordination Over head Squat/Windmill – Open the chest and shoulders, stretch the hips Circular Cleans – Great for the shoulders, gets them nice and warm, also loosend the waist. Halo’s – For shoulder mobility and core activation
That just about hits all the bases, but the proof is in the pudding. The day I filmed this I hit 2 new PR’s in my strength program. Now thats a good warm up!
Here’s the vid: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muU21UpjejI&hl=en_US&fs=1&] Let me know how you get on
And Don’t forget, on the 7th Feb I’m running a Kettlebell Basics Workshop in aid of the Breaking for Lia fundraiser. You’ll get a full joint mobility session at the beginning as your warm up!