Why do you warm up?
When I ask my friends and clients this question, the common responses I get are "to get loose" and "so I don't hurt myself."
Both of these are great reasons and intentions.
An effective warm-up:
• prevents injury and helps you get more out your workout
• increases blood flow to the muscles
• increases lubrication in the joints
• raises body temperature
• fires up your nervous system
It also "primes" your mind and muscles so they're activated for what you're about to do; your muscles will be working more effectively.
Except, this isn't what most people do when they warm-up.
They come in and do a warm-up routine similar to a Jane Fonda workout video, minus the neon outfits. A few arm circles, toe touches, shoulder stretches, and some fast bicep curls. If they're so inclined, they might do a few in-place hops.
That does a whole lot of nothing.
Start doing a better warm-up that gives your body what it needs and helps you get a better workout.
If you're generally a "tight" person who has limited range of motion in most of the exercises you do, you want to focus your warm-up on increasing mo-bility, flexibility, and range of motion.
If you're a "lax" or "loose-jointed"individual, you need to "tighten" up a bit and give joints more sta-bility.
Your New Warm-up
The video below gives you two warmups. The first one is if you think you're tight, and the second one if you feel you're more lax.
You might not fit into either category. And that's fine. Fitting in isn't as cool as it once was, anyway. You're special.
You, for example, might have lax shoulders but very tight hips. In this case you can switch out the Bench T-Spine Mobilization for the 3-Point Extension Rotation, and switch out the Bowler Squats for Hip Flexed Hip Rocking.
Or, you can go through all 16 exercises and pick and choose what works best for you.
What are these exercises and where did they come from?
Some (okay, almost all) of these exercises have been stolen from my time at Cressey Sports Performance (CSP). CSP is the off-season home to hundreds of professional baseball players. It's safe to say they know a few things about working out.
Both warm-ups incorporate dynamic stretching - the type of stretching that is most beneficial before working out.
Expect your warmup routine to take a little longer at first when you start adding in these exercises. But after you run through them a few times it will take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete. If 10 minutes is still too long for you to spend on a proper warm-up, think about this:
Getting injured and having to take a few days or weeks off from your workouts? Or doing a few extra moves that will only take you the length of three to four Justin Bieber songs to do?
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