Why Your Warmup Is So Important
I love a great workout.
But if I’m coming from a long day of work or traffic, I have to make sure I’m completely ready and able to do heavy exercises — squats, bench presses, etc.
That’s where a great warmup can help us reach our full potential on every workout: It opens our joints, turns on our nervous system, and gets us ready for awesome performance.
I’m not talking about a jog on the treadmill and a few stretches we learned in high school Phys. Ed.; I’m talking about a series of mobility and activation drills to fire up your body and fix any common weak areas (common ones include weak glutes, a tight thoracic spine, and weak shoulder stabilizers).
When I’m in a pinch, here’s a warmup I use to take care of all of that. It resets my breathing patterns, loosens my joints and muscles, and gets the blood flowing — by the time I’m finished, I can’t wait to hit the weight room.
1) Foam Roll
2) Child’s Pose Breathing x 5 breaths
Get into a child’s pose and round the entire length of your spine. When you inhale, breathe through your nose, expand your diaphragm, and focus on pushing your belly into your thighs. Exhale every last ounce of air from your lungs, hold for one second, and then inhale.
3) Glute Bridge x 6 reps
Lie on your back and bend your knees about 90-degrees with your feet flat on the floor. Push your heels through the ground to drive your hips up. Avoid using your hamstrings or lower back.
4) Bear Crawl x 15 seconds
Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips; keep your knees an inch above the ground. Crawl forward by taking a small step with your right arm and left leg at the same time and alternate. Keep your hips low and your head up.
5) Spiderman Lunge With Overhead Reach x 4 reps each side
With your left leg, lunge forward and left about 30 degrees. Place both hands on the ground while keeping your elbows locked. Extend your right arm to the sky while watching your hand with your eyes. Maintain a neutral arch in your lower back throughout. Switch sides.
6) Turkish Get Up x 2 reps on each side
Lie on the ground with your right knee bent, right foot flat on the floor, right arm holding a weight above you, and left arm and left leg at your side. Drive through your right foot and roll onto your left elbow. Then, straighten your left arm. Drive your hips straight up. Pull your left leg underneath and behind your body, resting on the knee and ball of the foot. Move your torso straight up, then lunge to a stand. Reverse the sequence to descend. Do all your reps on one side and repeat on the other side. Keep your chest up and watch the weight the entire time.
7) Lateral Bounds x 4 reps on each side
Now, it’s time to add explosive activation drills to get your body and nervous system ready for an awesome workout.
On your right leg, do a mini-deadlift and jump as far as you can to the left. Land on your left leg quietly. Alternate directions and repeat trying to jump as far away as possible.
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