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Simplify your Warm Ups for a Better Workout

By Stuart Turner, Apr 19 2017 05:02PM

The aim of this part of your workout is to get warmed up. It’s really that simple but it’s often overlooked or overdone. I generally see two categories of people here, those who see warm ups as a waste of valuable bench press or curling time, and those who spend so much time stretching and warming up that half their workout time has been eaten up. As is often the case the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Here’s a quick guide and example of a good warm up for a whole body gym session. First up get on some form of cardio machine for 3-5 minutes, rowing machines and cross trainers are great as they’re low impact and low risk for injuries. Then you want to do some stretching right? Well it’s a good idea to prepare your body for what’s coming, this will probably need to involve some activation work as well as mobilization work. Best to keep it short and sweet. 4 or 5 dynamic movements should be enough. Here are a few that I find work really well.

a. Easy Kettle bell Swings – don’t go heavy – a great exercise to get the stretch in your posterior chain and activate your glutes and abs.

b. Hip Mobility – groiners/spiderman lunges/side lunges – open up those hip flexors and adductors. Keep moving all the time aim for 10 -15 reps depending on how it feels.

c. Band dislocates/pulls/pull-aparts – bands are a great way of activating your muscles and freeing up movement at your joints. 8-10 reps should be enough.

d. Band walks – either a crab walk, monster walk or x band walk. All of these fire up the glutes nicely.

e. Squats – Just doing 20 air squats before each session will massively help your mobility and loosen up your aching joints.

This should all take a maximum of 10 minutes including your 3-5 minute cardio time. If you’re really tight and aching on some days you may want to take a minute or two longer but it doesn’t want to encroach on your workout time or drag on.

The same goes for foam rolling – you may benefit from a bit of rolling on a couple of key areas before you start your main workout but don’t get sucked in to spending ages rolling around the floor moaning and groaning, save that for later. Pick 2 areas (maximum) and get some quality work in.

Like I said it should only take 10 minutes or so and get you ready to workout. Most of us only have around an hour to train, so wasting too much of that time warming up can lead to a wasted workout and is often demotivating. Short and sweet and then get to work.

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