Having structure to your strength and/or endurance training is important for sustainable and long term improvements. However, it is equally important to have structure in your warm up. Warming up with a purpose is crucial to having an effective workout, whether it be for some running intervals, gymnastics, or weightlifting.
Warming up properly primes the body for exercise. A few things in specific are that it increases blood flow and heart rate so that we avoid the initial “shock” or “spike” in heart rate once a workout begins, wakes up our nervous system (brain to body connection) which allows us to perform the different movements in workouts, and decreases the chance of injury if we have tight hips, hamstrings, shoulders, etc. So here is a sample of a structured warm up so that you can get yourself ready to go!
Warm Up (4 – 6 minutes): Focus is to increase the body temperature, heart rate, and blood flow.
2 – 3 minutes of a moderate pace on the rower or assault bike
2 – 3 minutes of intervals alternating between a fast pace and moderate pace
Mobilization (5-7 minutes): Focus is to lengthen the muscle groups if you are abnormally tighter than usual and open up specific joints if needed.
:30 – 1:00 on any particular muscle group
Some examples: couch stretch, pigeon, distraction stretches, 3 – way shoulder stretch
Caution: Try not to over do the stretching! Save the longer stretch session for after your workout!
Activation/Transition (5 minutes): Focus is to awaken the connection between the brain and the body.
2 x 10 – 12 reps
Some example of muscle groups to activate: glutes, hamstrings, scapula, midline
Transition movements: inch worms, lunges, hip circles, high knees, butt kickers, lateral slides, etc…
I encourage you all to try and develop your own personalized warm up to accompany our group warm ups. Everyone’s needs are different, for example, I have to make sure I come in a little bit earlier to make sure my hips are opened up regardless of what is going on in the workout before class starts. All you need is at minimum 10 minutes before class to get what you need in before the group warm up!