We now know that there are much more effective ways to warm up; a ‘dynamic warm-up’ or ‘movement prep session’ are among the best ways to get yourself ready for a workout.
1. Pick 2 to 4 bodyweight exercises that hit all the main areas of the body
You would ideally want to choose a lower body movement, a core focused movement, an upper body push, and an upper body pull. Here’s a short list of exercises to choose from:
Upper body push
Upper body pull
(Questions about how to perform any of these exercises? Craig Ballentyne of TurbulenceTraining.com covers how to do most of them in a video you can find in a previous post I did on this blog right here)
2. Put these exercises together into circuit and perform eight to 10 repetitions and two sets of each
Keep the circuit at a low to medium intensity – we’re just trying to get warmed up and get ourselves ready for the workout to come, not trying wear to ourselves out.
The only reason you would include static stretching in your warm-up is if you have specific problem areas that you need to address; for example, if you have very tight hip flexors, foam rolling and/or static stretching them for the workout would be helpful to improve quality of movement. That being said, you want to save the majority of static stretching for after you’re done with your work out.
An analogy I’ve heard that I really like is this: If you went to the doctor 20 years ago and you were prescribed a medication, it would’ve worked fine – but, today, you could likely get a medication or remedy that was more effective. In the same way, workout methods people used 20 years ago do still work; we just have better and smarter ways to do things today. And a dynamic warm-up/movement prep session is a better and smarter way to structure your warm up exercises before your workout than light cardio and static stretching.
Incorporate the concepts we discussed in this article into your routine today for a more efficient and more effective warm up before your next workout!
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