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Warm Up, because you aren’t f**king stupid.

I write a lot of workouts for a lot of people. I’ve trained and lifted weights or done martial arts with a lot of people. I even advise a lot of people. One thing is common – the ones in better body ‘shape’ (e.g. effective mobility, flexibility, fewer chronic issues and old nagging injuries) are the ones that warm up properly, every time they go to train or lift.
I’m not sure if it’s the broscience, the macho attitude, or the ignorance, but I only meet people who shrug and say ‘sometimes, not really’ when asked about their warm up in a weights environment.

YOU. MUST. WARM. UP.

I can’t stress this enough.

NB: This is not a warm up ^


Why Warm Up?

Your lifestyle (read job) is probably killing you. When you warm up before you train, you are easing your body into activity and movement that is likely 100% away from sitting at your desk or holding your phone to ear with your shoulder.
Warming up lubricates your joints, sends blood flow pumping around your body and kicks up your heart rate. As you age this becomes even more important, as your likelihood of getting hurt increases and the suppleness of your body falls. The more blood flowing around your body, the better the delivery of nutrients required for energy production. Finally, it’s a great way to get focused on your workout. Sportsman often talk about being focused or ‘in the zone’. Warming up is an essential way to prime your mind for the task ahead.

Overall, warming up greatly reduces the chances of injury to muscles or connective tissues – you can warm up effectively in just a couple of minutes. If you have mobility or foam rolling to do now is a great time to do it! I saw something in the middle east that I hoped I’d never see in a gym again – people walk upto the dumbbells, pick up some light ones, wave them around like they want to be butterflies, and then go and lift their weights. Madness. (see video above if you have not).

A Simple, Effective Warm Up:

Taking just a few minutes, start by walking around and rotating your arms for about 20-30 seconds. Then break out into a light jog, switching between running forwards and lateral sidesteps. This is a primer if you like – now move onto more specific bodyparts, for example jumping jacks or star jumps are a fantastic, safe, whole body warm up. Next, some lunges or warrior pose stretches will get your hips and glutes firing. Finally, some easy, good depth bodyweight squats will help mobilise your lower body. You’re now probably pretty warm and can move to doing whatever it was you were training for.

As an example, my athletic warm up base is as follows, but changes depending on what exercises I am performing or where I have soreness:

Walking Hip Stretch
Walking Quad Stretch
Leg Swings
Thoracic extensions from warrior pose and over foam roller
McGill Tripod
Alternate Glute Bridge
External Rotations for shoulders
Foam roll adductors, piriformis and hamstrings

Squatting 110 kgs in Hollywood, LA

Squatting 110 kgs for reps in Hollywood, LA

Below are some warming up suggestions I use variations of myself from those at the very top of our industry, this is Train Heroic taking us through DeFranco’s Agile 8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B-3Khbht5s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSSDLDhbacc

Here’s Joe DeFranco presenting his Limber 11 flexibility routine, which has built on the Agile 8 and contains his upgrades and thoughts, so it’s worth a watch.

Make sure you warm up people, I hope this helps! If you have any questions please get at me or hit up the Facebook group!

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