Warmups: WHY and HOW to structure yours effectively!
Warm-ups are often the first thing neglected if you’re tight for time or eager to just get sweating. But this is a huge mistake, a warm-up, an effective one at that, is an essential part of any workout.
At 360 athletic, we ensure all of our coaching sessions begin with a comprehensive warmup to enable our clients to mentally and physically prepare for the rest of the session.
We believe every warm-up should hit a three part criteria. These three parts combined result in an effective warmup suitable for anybody, no matter your goals or fitness level.
1. Increasing your core body temperature:
The go-to method for this tends to be cardio focused. At 360, we get our members to perform 90-120 seconds on a piece of cardio equipment such as the rowing machine, an assault bike, or ski erg. If however you do not have equipment like this available to you, consider jogging, some low intensity body weight exercises or an alternative such as skipping. This is typically the first part of a warmup. We want to get the blood pumping, heart rate up and core body temperature increased.
2. Dynamic stretches and mobility drills:
Once your body temperature is increased, you’ll want to spend 5 minutes performing some dynamic stretches and a few mobility movements. This stage is to help loosen up any stiff joints and help increase range of motion for when we jump into the main part of our workout. An increased range of motion through preparing our joints for exercise will help us to not only maximise our training, but it will also substantially reduce our risk of injury.
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3. Engaging, activating and preparing the relevant muscles:
The third and final step in this workout prep is where we essentially switch the muscles on. If you’ve been relatively sedentary most of the day this part is vital. You’ll want to perform a few movements that will help activate and ‘switch on’ the primary muscles that will be used during the session that follows. Now of course the cardio and mobility drills will have activated your muscles to a certain degree, but our aim in this third step is to further activate the specific muscles and get them firing on all cylinders!
Have a look through the session you plan on performing and identify the primary muscles and movements involved within that session, then choose a handful of relevant exercises.
If the primary movements in your workout are a squat and a lunge, consider some form of glute activation exercise such as, a single leg hip thrust paired with some plank variations to activate your core properly.
If your primary exercise is a push such as a bench press, consider movements to activate your shoulders, upper back and chest muscles. Movements such as banded face pulls, push ups, banded pull-aparts, TRX/ring rows.
Perform 2/3 sets on each exercise with low to moderate resistance, focusing on feeling the muscle contraction.
There you have it! Our advice to effectively prepare your body for exercise. Take these 3 steps into consideration and adopt them for your own training.
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