WARMING UP – IT’S NOT JUST FOR YOUR CAR IN THE WINTER!

WHO NEEDS TO WARM UP?

Whether it’s your first time strength training or you are a seasoned “Veteran of Iron” all of us need to warm up thoroughly before starting to exercise no matter what your age is.  Athletes do it, actors & actresses do it, singers do it as well.  To perform at your best and to help prevent injury a warm up is absolutely necessary, especially before you throw down your initial set of Front Squats or you run your first mile.  When I speak of warming up I mean so much more than just popping on a treadmill and walking at a speed that would make a turtle look like Usain Bolt.  Warm ups should also simulate what you are about to do, whether that may be an athletic event like basketball, a strength training session or a few laps around the local High School track.

MOVEMENT PREP BREAKDOWN

  • Tissue work
  • Static Stretching (Can be added here)
  • Re & Prehab exercises
  • Activation exercises
  • Mobility exercises
  • Dynamic Stretching

WHY EACH ASPECT OF THE WARM UP IS IMPORTANT

To get right down to it, a good warm up is a great defense for the prevention of injury.  Think of it as “Prehabilitation.”  I like to include all of my rehabilitation and corrective exercises in my warm up as this forces me to think about proper form, how my injury or asymmetry occurred and it gives me some reassurance that I am on my way to correcting it.

Foam Roll

Tissue Work-Using a foam roller or a myofascial ball, medicine ball or a wonderful product called The Stick, among others I’m sure, is also a crucial element that needs to be incorporated at the beginning of your warm up.   These devices are called self myofascial release (SMR) and they all provide some degree of soft tissue relief from aggravated muscles and trigger points.


Static Stretching
– For the last few years static stretching before strength training was frowned upon.  It has been proven that static stretching before lifting caused a decrease in strength.  However, if you follow tissue work with static stretching but precede mobility work and dynamic movements  your strength will not be compromised.

Field Goal

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Pre & Rehab ExercisesAll the aspects of the warm up mentioned are a form of prehabilitation in some way.  Based on results from a movement screen (see below for Movement Screen description) and/or current injuries I will add corrective and rehabilitation exercises that are specific to the individual.

 

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Activation ExercisesThese are beneficial in that they allow specific muscles to fire during training. An example of this would be the muscles of the glute. Our glutes are often underdeveloped due to prolonged sitting and not warming them up properly. In exercises such as the Split Leg Squat, Elevated Squat and the many variations of the Lunge our glutes rarely fire effectively leaving other smaller muscles to overcompensate. In the example mentioned, this leads to hip imbalances which will eventually cause knee pain. Glute activation such as the Single Leg Hip Bridge and X Band Lateral Step will also help runners add more power to their stride while eliminating unnecessary strain on their hamstrings.

Mobility Exercises– Adding mobility exercises to your warm up will help to allow a full range of motion to your joints. A full range of motion in all directions goes hand in hand with maintaining stabilization and creating movement.  This includes stretching your feet, ankles, hips and thoracic spine by completing 10-15 repetitions of exercises such as leg swings, split squats, lateral squats, rotational squats, wall slides & X band lateral steps.

Dynamic MovementsIntegrating the increased motion of your joints into dynamic movements is the last aspect before we are ready for optimal performance.  These exercises will prepare your body as a whole for the linear, lateral and multi-directional movement that will take place in your workout.  At this point you will be entering the end of your warm up and choosing movements that simulate what you are about to do.  By increasing the speed of  your dynamic movements your body will be prepared to fire during that first set of Power Cleans or allow your body to reach top speed on the first lap around the track.

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This all looks and sounds like enough to be considered a workout in itself.  Taking 15 minutes to warm up properly will be the wisest decision that you could do for your body once at the gym or preparing your game face for competition.  You will help stay injury free and optimize maximal performance.

Below is a video that illustrates the base warm up that I use with myself and my clients after tissue work.


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What is a Movement Screen?

A movement screen is a series of tests that I will instruct you on how to perform, which consists of basic movements that the average person should be able to carry out with a full range of motion and without experiencing pain. The results of these tests indicate the areas of your body that need the most attention, by pointing out any asymmetries and faulty movement patterns you may have. Once these imbalances are located we will correct them quickly and efficiently to make sure you will be in a position to progress safely and stay injury free. Any personal trainer, whether online or in person, who provides fitness instruction without a movement screen is doing their clients a great disservice.

 

Train Mind, Body & Spirit

Nathane L. Jackson cscs & kbts
WBFF Pro & VEGA Ambassador
www.nathanejackson.com

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For more information about Nathane Jackson Fitness; #1 Source for Online Fitness Coaching, please visit www.nathanejackson.com

 

 

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