Top Tips to Warming Up

After my last blog about my top training tips I have had a few emails asking about top tips for other areas, so I thought I would start a series of blogs with this in mind. Here goes….top tips on warming up

1. Have a plan, just like your training, your warm ups need to be planned out. A good warm up can take anywhere between 10-30 mins, however if you are second guessing what to warm up next then this can soon start to take away time from your main session.

2. A sample format to follow could be:

  • Pre Warm – this can be anything just to promote a bit of blood flow
  • Soft Tissue Work
  • Stretching
  • Hip/T-Spine Mobility
  • Activation
  • Movement Drills
  • CNS Activation

Who said foam rolling was not fun!!

3. Everyone should foam roll, but this doesnt mean you have to do it everytime you train. Soft tissue work is just like training itself, some days go hard and as deep as you can and then some days make it quick and light. Plan it into your training just like you would with any exercises.

Stretching is good!

4. Bottom line, a tight muscle is a bad muscle. Tightness in muscles can cause many issues and not just in the muscle itself but pain in the surrounding joints will usually be the first sign of any issues. So if you know you are tight in a particular area then stretch it before training for approx 2x60secs. When stretching try to move slightly in all planes of motion to hit more muscle fibres. Stretching in one plane of motion is old school!!

5. It is all about activating at the moment and I agree, sometimes you have to wake muscles up that are lazy or are just not used  in our society as much. This may include your core (planks), glutes (bridges), psoas (leg lift), serratus anterior (scap push up), lower traps (wall slides) to name a few. In addition to this walk around barefoot for your warm ups and your training session if it is indoors. Training in barefoot is where its at, get on it!

Glute bridge in action!!

6. On the same note as activating muscles which are lazy, I feel the same is needed to wake up your CNS. Your central nervous system is your power house, so to get the most out of your training session you have to get this fired up. The best way for this is to start your session with some form of jumps/mb throws/plyos/sprints, give it a go and see how you feel. On another note, you could also scream out loud and turn the music up, that sometimes works as well!!

7. Stop reading the internet about what you should and shouldn’t do, just do it and if it works use it again and if it doesn’t then scrap it for next time. The internet is good but it has also stopped the natural learning process that we all have.

Dont just read, sometimes experimenting is best!

8. If you are lifting then make sure you warm up properly with the exercise, especially if it is your key/main exercise:

  • Dont skip warm up reps.
  • Dont treat warm up reps like they are nothing.
  • Warm up reps are just as important as the main sets.
  • Warm up reps are where you perfect your technique.
  • Aim for at least 20-30 reps below 50% of your max
  • If your form is good, keep your warm up reps nice and fast.

You dont squat this type of weight without warming up properly

Check out Chad Smith’s warm up for his bench session, this guy is strong so take note.

9. Its ok to talk and catch up on the wknd with your training partners while you warm up, although this chit chat needs to stop when you start training.

10. If after your warm up you dont feel upto training then dont, simple!

11. Last but most important – Remember to make YOUR warm up specific to YOUR session!

Let me hear your top tips to warming up

Until next time

Lift Big Get Strong

Sean

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