How to warm up properly
We all know weight lifting is the best way to gain muscle but there is something very important we must do before we start to lift weights or perform any strenuous exercise. Consistently neglected, always overlooked, the warm up. I’ll be honest, I rarely warmed up for my weight lifting workouts until a few months ago. I always regarded the warm up as unnecessary and just a nuisance. It was something that was inhibiting me to getting to the weights and lifting. I can guarantee that most people feel this way. Come on, who wants to walk on a tread mill for minutes on end and then do stretching, most people just want to go straight into the gym and lift. Not to mention, the amount of time that some prescribed warmups can take is ridiculous. Who really has time to stretch for 20 minutes before they lift?
Why should we warm up
So…whats the point of warming up? Well, its basically done to get blood moving through your body and prepare your body for bigger and better things, like going to lift some heavy weights! Warming up also serves as a way to help your body prevent injury. By being warmed up and having your blood moving, you’re less likely to suffer injury in training due to your muscles not being properly prepared to lift.
Benefits of warming up
Warming up also has other unspoken benefits. It can help you set new personal records! By warming up correctly, your body will be peaked and ready to start lifting some heavy weight, therefore allowing your body to be in the perfect condition to set pr’s. Warming up is also the perfect time to get some conditioning in and get stronger.
‘OH NO I HATE CONDITIONING AND RUNNING.’
Well, thank goodness for you we’ll be doing some GPP (General Physical Preparedness) that isn’t running and can be done in your weight room. GPP serves to increase your work capacity, which means its going to help you condition your body to be able to do more work before getting too tired! How do you do this? Well..you basically take some exercises and perform them and then slowly increase the volume of each exercise over time.
10 minute warmup workout
Well, lets take a look at a warmup that will require less than ten minutes of your time and get you into some type of shape!
- Walk! for 5 minutes, whether on a treadmill, elliptical…it doesn’t matter. Just walk!
- Deep Bodyweight Squats: 1 set of 10 reps
- Pushups: 1 set of 10 reps
- GHR/Back Raise: 1 set of 10 reps
- Chinups: 1 set of 5
Thats it? Yep, thats its. That’s your warmup. Perform all exercises (excluding the walking) with an urgent pace. That means you better complete all of them in under 3-5 minutes.
Perform that warmup before every training session.
How do you progress with your warmup? Well, once you feel comfortable, say after 2 weeks, increase the volume! Increase each exercise to 2 sets from the previous 1 set and then after another 2-3 weeks, increase each exercise to 3 sets!
But stop there! Only do three sets max for each exercise, you don’t want to get too tired for your workout. After a few months of this warmup, feel free to add in some more exercises such as -
- Bodyweight Dips
- Cassock Squats
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Inverted Rows
…essentially any compound bodyweight exercise you can think of. Progress with these as you do with the exercises above. Eg. start with 1 set and work up to 3 sets.
Make sure you keep your total number of exercises to 7 or less though…you don’t want your warmup turning into your workout!
By warming up in this fashion, you will significantly increase blood flow in your body prior to lifting, therefore allowing you to lift better and heavier! You will also increase your work capacity and get in extra reps allowing you to become stronger and more conditioned!
*A key aspect to remember though is this….make sure you perform your warmup with a medium-fast pace. The warmup isn’t to lazily go through, its to get you huffing and puffing, get you sweaty and get the blood flowing. Make it a goal to complete your workout in less than 10 total minutes.Big thanks to Matt DeStefano for the contribution