Getting ready for your workout deserves as much thought and consideration as your training program itself. Your movement quality should be THE most important area of concentration prior to each and every workout.
Trainees need to unhinge themselves off of the idea that doing a 5-10 minute “warm-up” on the treadmill or bike will prepare them for the demands of their workout. Unfortunately, “Warm-Ups” such as these do little or nothing to adequately prepare trainees for their workouts unless your workout consists of walking to and from your car in the parking lot while tapping away at your smart phone and calling it a day.
However, I trust that you have set the bar a little higher for yourself as it relates to your training program and your fitness and health goals. Now, by all means, if you really enjoy walking the treadmill, using the stationary bike or melding with some other over-engineered device then have at it, but don’t assign a lot of training value to these machines and convince yourself these are ideal for preparing you for your workout.
I am not totally bashing the use of these devices, but I merely want to point out that what you like to do for a warmup and what is ideal and needed to properly warmup may be at odds with each other.
I used to follow this flawed protocol to warm up before a workout myself until I learned from coach Steve Maxwell that your body responds way better when you put it through mobility drills instead of the widely practiced routine of hitting the treadmill followed by static stretching. Not only did I notice a marked improvement in my training performance, but I was now able to move my body in a full range of movement without tension and discomfort the way it was designed to operate.
Once I was able to achieve these tension-free movements, I was amazed at how my quality of life, mental well-being and disposition were instantly upgraded. It was truly as if I had started sipping from the fountain of youth.
An ideal Warm-Up program needs to incorporate mobility and a peppering of strength drills in order to address movement quality which is necessary for avoiding injury and putting the trainee in a position of success as they pursue their training goals. You will essentially be preparing your body for the more dynamic training to follow enabling you to engage in a highly productive workout which will in turn accelerate your training results if you follow a safe, sustainable and challenging program.
So, how do we achieve this ideal warm-up?
First off, learn why you should consider training barefoot or with minimalist footwear for maximum benefit.
Check out a starter sampling of movements below and feel free to include them into your warmup – your body just may thank you!
Please note I kept the demonstrations short in these videos since my intent is to show you how the movements are performed and not bore you to death watching me do rep after rep!
So who should be performing these types of warmups and mobility drills?
The short answer is anybody & everybody who trains or would like to improve or maintain their movement quality. This applies to Fitness Newbies, Athletes, Seasoned Fitness Enthusiasts, Weekend Warriors, and any other participant in the moving population covering all age groups. This is especially true as we get older.
How many repetitions should I do?
A good rule of thumb is to do as many as needed to relieve any tension in the movement as I learned from mobility expert coach Steve Maxwell. This will be different for everybody, but you don’t need to turn your warmup into a marathon session of joint mobility.
How often and how long should I do these mobility drills?
You should be able to do a pre-training warmup with mobility drills in 10 minutes, but this is not a rigid rule. On my non-training days I may spend 15-20 minutes solely performing mobility drills as I consider them that important to practice and stay connected to. Do strive to do some mobility work every day for maximum benefit and transference to your quality of life and every day activities.
Goals of the warm-up Include:
1. Loosen tight, over-active muscles
2. Strengthen weak, under-active muscles
3. Improve functional joint range of motion
4. Develop a functional dynamic warm-up that will prepare the trainee for more intense
5. Improve overall movement quality & motor control ( meaning our muscles fire
Correctly without you having to think about it!)
6. To literally increase your body temperature or “warm up!” You should feel as if you did a
mini workout when performing the warm-up – so choose some challenging
movements and put some effort into it!
If you don’t move well during your training, there is a good chance that you will reinforce bad patterns into your movement system which can trigger a wide range of unwanted issues and problems including injury.
Some other benefits & points to consider:
Warm-ups are critical for optimum performance and becomes even more important as we age
Essential for reducing the risk of injury
Perform some mobility drills every day and don’t just utilize them prior to a training session.
For those who have been around the block or have been rough on their bodies – the good news is that performing proper warm-ups, mobility drills, & paying attention to your movement detail will go a long way in rehabbing old injuries and preventing new ones.
Don’t hold your breath while performing these mobility drills – maintain controlled, rhythmic breathing throughout the movements
Perform movements in a smooth, comfortable fashion – avoid jerky movements
Include some mobility exercises as part of the “cool down” portion at the end of your workout
Think of these movements as “oiling” the joints for smooth and pain-free movement. We don’t want to end up with the movement quality of a rusty and creaky Tin Woodsman which seems to be the new norm that everybody seems disturbingly resigned to.
Proper warm-ups utilizing full ranges of motion increases blood flow to muscles, breaks up calcium deposits that makes us stiff & allows Synovial Fluid to reach the joints to flush out waste and bring in nutrients. Synovial Fluid only enters the joints via the performance of high repetition mobility exercises and also acts as a lubricant on the joint surfaces to help us move in an unrestricted, pain-free manner. Now you know where the term “Move it or Lose it “ comes from!
So take the time to incorporate some thoughtful mobility drills into your training program in order to properly reinforce good movement quality, avoid injury, prepare for your workout & to put you in a position of success while pursuing your training goals!
Stay Well! Take Action! Be Consistent! Train and Eat Smart! Get Rid of the Drains and Pains in Your Life! Value your loved ones and friends and get out and have some active, safe fun!
Your pal in fitness along for the journey,
Mark Mellohusky(Mellow Husky) mellow as in laid back and husky like the dog
“There’s a Sparkle in my Eyes and Iron in my Thighs!”
I eat T-Bone Steaks, Lift Kettlebell Weights And Value Mobility
Seven Stars Fitness