A warm up for the warm up

Warming up for WODs

Though we understand not everyone has an extra 30 min before class to warm up we do strongly encourage people to show up at the minimum 5-10 minutes before class starts to settle in and maybe do some warming up.

Fortunately for those that sneak in just before the buzzer our warm ups are thorough enough to get everyone loosened up and ready for activity.

Still… there is more we would like to see our members doing when it comes to warming up BEFORE class starts. 

Below is a progression i typically use to get my specific needs taken care of before i jump into class. If you are unsure on how to warm up before class this format works well for just about anybody and can be adjusted to fit your needs!

My pre- warm up-warm up has 4 parts to it:

  1. Get warm!
  2. Smash!
  3. Dynamic mobility
  4. Activation
  1. Getting warm

This is so simple i’m surprised I don’t see more people doing this. I start by literally increasing the temperature of my entire body. I do this by getting on a bike, rower, jump rope or if it’s a warm day i’ll go for a jog. I usually spend 3-5 minutes total here and at a light to moderate pace. 

  1. Hulk Says SMASH!!!

This one I don’t always need but after I get warm I spend a very short amount of time foam rolling my upper back, lats, hips, quads, hamstrings and calves. Then I use a lacrosse ball to smash my shoulders. I don’t always hit all of these, but I do focus on the extra tight areas. 

If this is something you like doing you don’t need to spend much time on each spot, 15-30 seconds is fine. The purpose of smashing is to simply break up some tight tissue from the previous days activities. Don’t think of this as a long process, grab the roller and spend a total of 2 minutes on the whole body then move on. Don’t fall into the trap of laying on the floor and using the foam roller as a head rest.

  1. Dynamic mobility 

The two major types of mobility work are static and dynamic. Static is holding a stretched position for an extended amount of time. Dynamic means you are stretching through movement by focusing on increasing your range of motion each time you pass through that position. For example when we do lunging spider stretch for 10 alternating reps. We don’t hold the bottom position. We reach our full range and immediately move to the next rep. In addition each rep we try to get deeper into the range. Before a workout we want to focus mostly on dynamic stretching.

The two major joints I focus on for dynamic mobility are my shoulders and hips. Below are some dynamic stretches I use. Keep in mind these are just some examples that i use, there are many more movements out there. Also I don’t do ALL of these, I pick one, maybe two, for each body part and do 1-2 sets of 10-15 reps of each. If i am in a rush ill just do one movement for the area(s) that need the most work that day.

Shoulders

  • Arm swings (side to side, up down, criss cross applesauce…)
  • PVC pass throughs
  • Kip swings
  • Elbow punches 

Hips

  • Spider lunges 
  • Walking samson stretch
  • Cossack squats
  • Boot strappers
  • Windmills
  • Scorpions
  • Leg swings (forward and back, side to side)
  1. Wake up those muscles

The final step is activation. I typically use body weight, light weighted or banded movements for this part. The muscles I focus on are the shoulders/ upper back, hips, glutes, hamstrings , quads and the midline.

Again, you don’t need to do ALL of these, figure out what needs the most work and pick one of the movements in that category and do 1-2 sets of 10-15 reps of each and move slowly while focusing on flexing the muscles being used.  

Shoulders/ upper back

  • Ring rows
  • Band pull aparts
  • Push ups

Hips, glutes, hamstrings and quads 

  • Floor bridges
  • Single leg RDLs (with light weight or no weight)
  • Stiff legged DLs
  • Lunges 
  • Squats
  • Banded monster walks
  • Clam shells
  • Good mornings

Midline

  • Situps
  • Leg lifts
  • Hollow rocks
  • Planks
  • Superman holds
  • Side planks

All together (if I’m focused, have no distractions and don’t feel too beat up) it takes me 8-12  minutes to get through this. 

There are many ways to get your body ready for activity but the main concept here is to prep YOUR body for the day. What we do for the class warm up is a general warm up and will most likely not be specific to your needs. Come in a few minutes early and work out your kinks before jumping into class. 

Lastly the 4 phases i use aren’t always linear. Some days I get to the activation phase and realize my hips are still feeling off so i have to go back to some dynamic stretches. Other days I mix it all up and do a circuit of dynamic and activation movements together. Find what works for you and have fun with it.

Stay warm my friends!

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