Do you warm-up before your workout? Do you stretch or hop on the elliptical before hitting the weights? The warm-up has definitely changed over the years, but what really surprises me is the fact that most still don’t have one.
Here’s how I structure a warm-up.
I have my clients foam roll as soon as they come in through the door to help ‘get them going’. Now, there are many who argue that foam rolling doesn’t work and that the evidence is weak, but that’s simply not true. Since most of my clients spend the majority of their time sitting, I find that a little foam rolling at the start of the session helps them feel better (which is always going to benefit any session), but there are benefits too.
A 2015 review of 14 studies in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy concluded that - “foam roll or roller massager appears to have short‐term effects on increasing joint ROM without negatively affecting muscle performance and may help attenuate decrements in muscle performance and DOMS after intense exercise.” Meaning that if you’re stiff from sitting all day, or sore from your previous workout – then a few minutes of foam rolling can help decrease the tension and tightness you’ll naturally be experiencing.
Mobility and Movement
I like to throw a few mobility movements into a little circuit and have my clients complete a few rounds without resting. This way they’re increasing their heart rate as they ‘loosen up’ a little more. Plus, popping them into a circuit is a great time management tool which is key with my clients are they’re extremely busy.
One of the greatest gifts we have is our ability to move – so shouldn’t we be able to make freely?
Activations and more movement
If you’re not activating the muscles you’re going to be using in your primary lifts you’re missing more than a beat – you’re missing a whole damn chorus. Activating your glutes and core before leg day for instance will see you decrease the likelihood of injury (i.e. lower back) whilst maximising your ability to lift more efficiently (i.e. stronger in the bottom of the squat position).
Here’s how I warm-up my 63-year male client before a cardio dominant day. Note – every session is a total body session with a dominant key factor i.e. upper body, lower body, cardio:
We’ve kept this format for his warm-up for the past 3 years, but changed up the individual movements/exercises/workouts depending on his needs.
Start focusing on what essential in your workouts and you’ll easily start reaping more rewards.
I’d love to know what you think, please leave a comment below.
Speak soon, JC.
JC and The Nutri-Team