Don't Make This Exercise Mistake
What if I told you there was one grave mistake most people are making when it comes to exercise?
This not only increases your risk of injury, but it also decreases your ability to get the most out of your workout.
This mistake is simply not warming-up. Luckily, we have the solution.
Most people find they either do not have the time to dedicate to a warm-up or aren't really sure how to properly conduct one. Many people try to save themselves time by either getting right into their training or try to get themselves "loose" by walking or jogging on a treadmill. Both cases leave you underprepared and greatly increase your risk of getting hurt. In reality, by not warming up, you end up using a good portion of your workout time to get loose. If you have gone out for a run and got right into it, you know how this feels during that first mile. Now imagine how much more you would get out of your training going into that first mile or bench press set feeling like it was mile or set 4.
At Dynamic, we take our warm-ups very seriously -- and for good reason. Every session conducted at DSC starts with a warm-up or what we call our "movement prep" to get our members ready to train at their highest ability and get the most out of every minute of their training.
These warm-ups allow our members to:
- Relax stiff and painful muscles/joints
- Increase joint range-of-motion
- Improve posture and alignment
- Strengthen common weak points (i.e - glutes and abs)
- Increase core temperature, energy production and overall movement
- Activate nervous system
- Reduce the risk for injury
Let's get into how to get your 9-minute warm-up started!
Our warm-ups are broken into 3 stages -- 1) Stretch 2) Mobilize 3) Activate
1) Stretch (3 minutes)
The beginning of your warm-up should aim to open, relax and lengthen stiff muscles that restrict range-of-motion at your joints. This will go a long way to improving inflexibility, posture and injury prevention. Be sure to hit target areas that tend to be overly stiff like your low-back, calves, quads, glutes and lats.
Low-Back (Child's Pose)
- With knees close together, sit as far back on heels as possible
- Relax arms overhead
- Your back should be slightly round
- Inhale through your nose, filling belly and low-back with air
- Make exhale as long as possible, out through mouth
- Repeat for 3 breaths
- Start with hands under shoulders in push-up position
- Push hips as high as possible, while pushing heels flat
- Feel stretch through calves and hamstrings
- Walk hands in to intensify stretch
- Hold for 3 breaths
Glutes (Pigeon Stretch)
- Bring one knee and foot in front of body, keep back leg straight
- Try to get front shin parallel to shoulders
- Should feel stretch in hip of lead leg
- Hold for 3 long breaths/side
Quad Stretch (90/90 Quad Stretch)
- Start on one knee, legs at 90 degree angles
- Contract glute of down leg and keep stomach braced
- Push into ground with front foot
- Keep a slight lean forward
- Feel stretch through front of down leg thigh
- Hold for 3 breaths/side
Lat Stretch (Rack Lat Stretch)
- Grab post with one hand at chest level
- Lean back and drop into quarter squat position
- Feel stretch through side and shoulder
- Hold each stretch for 3 breaths/side
2) Mobilize (3 minutes)
Once you've increased range-of-motion in the right areas, it's time to put that new motion to use. We now need to use that motion against gravity to solidify in place and build joint stability. This is also a great time to groove the technique of the exercises your about to do in your training.
Here is a video demonstrating the spiderman stretch:
Lateral Squat: (hip mobility/strength)
- Start feet wider than shoulder width, toes straight
- Keeping one leg straight, shift weight and sit into opposite hip
- Lean and reach forward
- Start with 5 reps/side
Sumo Squat Stretch (hip mobility/strength)
- Start feet shoulder width, toes pointed out slightly
- Keeping heels down, sit back into squat
- Use elbows to push knees out
- Hold each squat for 1 deep breath
- Start with 5 reps
Inchworm (hamstring mobility and shoulder strength)
- Start in push-up position
- Leaving feet in place, walk hands in as far as possible
- Keep legs straight
- Return to starting position by walking hands out to push-up position
- Make this harder by adding a push-up at the end of each rep
- Start with 5 reps
3) Activate (3 minutes)
This is the part of your warm-up to really charge things up, increase core temperature and excite the body to train. You have increased range-of-motion and developed proper alignment, movement patterns and stability.
The activate portion of your warm-up is dependent on your fitness level as well as current and previous injury history. If you are going to hit the treadmill or bike as part of your warm-up this would be the time. Start slow and build up to a good pace. We like to keep things fun and challenging. Here our Adult Groups will transition into exercises like skipping, shuffling, high-knees and sprints for 10-20 yards each. It is important this part of your warm-up meets your current level and goals.