Our workouts at IFAST always begin with a quality warm-up, which is often skipped over by many trainees. I mean if you are already short on time then why would you want to waste precious minutes on a warm-up?
Because the warm-up is extremely important! It will prepare you for the workout to come, keep you healthy in the long-term, and it should not take as long as you think .
Our warm-ups at IFAST are very effective because they are created specifically for you. After your assessment we determine your limitations, and along with those and your goals, we are able to create a very specific warm-up. This warm-up will address any mobility limitations you may have, help activate particular muscles that you may rarely use during day-to-day activity, and get your heart elevated and promote blood flow to the working muscles so that you can workout safer and stronger.
So let’s take a look at the components of a good warm-up and after I will provide you with a sample warm-up you can perform.
Breakdown of the Warm-Up
1. Soft tissue work
We like to start every warm-up with what is called soft tissue work. Soft tissue work is similar to giving yourself a massage. It will help loosen up any stiff areas and allow your muscles and tissues to move and contract more effectively.
All you need is a foam roller, which you can purchase HERE.
Some other additional goodies that will make your soft tissue work even more effective are a lacrosse ball or tennis ball (to get into smaller areas) and The Stick.
2. Mobility Exercises
These are meant to take your body and joints through their available range of motion. This will promote blood flow and further get your muscles and tissues prepared.
3. Activation Exercises
These are meant to “awaken” any muscle groups that you use very little during everyday activity. Usually these will be aimed at your glutes and muscles surrounding your shoulder blades. Most people have trouble feeling these muscles working and that is the purpose of these drills – to help you feel them when they are being worked.
So now that we know the components of a good warm-up let’s take a look at a sample warm-up you can perform before a workout or throughout the day if you are feeling still or sore. If you do not have access to soft-tissue work then you can still benefit from performing the mobility and activation exercises.
Sample Warm-Up Routine
Upper Back, Lats, Pecs, Quads, Hips
If you are not sure how to perform soft-tissue work then check out this video by Mike Robertson: SMR Series.
Mobility and Activation Exercises:
Full Rock Back w/ Breathing x 5 with 3 breaths in bottom position
Helps you relax so you your joints can achieve more range of motion.
Straight Leg Raise x 8/leg
Loosens up several lower body muscles, which can stiffen up from sitting too much.
Bretzel x 8/leg
Loosens up your upper back and thigh which often get stiff from being slouched over and sitting.
Seated Shoulder Press x 10 (You do not have to use a PVC pipe if you do not have one)
How many times during the day do you reach your arms overhead? That’s what I thought.
Groiner x 6-8/side
Do it and I think you will see why it is good.
Glute Bridge x 8-12
Strengthens glute muscles. Too many people are walking around with flat butts these days. This needs to change!
Jumping Jacks/Jogging In Place x 30-60seconds
This will help elevate your heart rate even further.
So there you go – a quick and simple warm-up. You can perform this as often as you like – before a workout or even at home after you have been sitting for a while.
You may be surprised at how much better you feel after.
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