Ok, here is a quick post on warm-ups.
Not doing warm-ups can be the biggest mistake you’re making in your training. On the other hand, too much warm-up is a bad thing generally and specifically for some goals. So how you can learn how do you need to warm-up? Simple.
If you are an athlete or strength training enthusiast then your primary goal is performance. Your muscles are ‘cold’ before training so you need to warm them up. It can instantly protect you from an injury. Warm-up will make your blood flow all over your body transporting important nutrients into working muscles. It will prepare you and your CNS for training.
There are 2 kinds of warm-ups that I used: mobility work and lighter sets of exercise. Mobility work may include jump roping, neck work, arm circles etc. Lighter sets include sets of exercise with less weight than you work with. Either of them work well. You can mix both if you want.
Why Do You Need Those Stupid Warm-Ups?
Here’s the example from my training experience. There was a time when I haven’t 32 kg kettlebells and had only 24 kg and 16 kg. 24 kg wasn’t a challenge anymore. So I decided to stack them together to get 40 kg. And one day I tried to jerk those kettlebells with my right hand without a warm-up. I got that rep but the results were disastrous. Needless to say that I injured a shoulder and couldn’t press for 3 months. Even now that shoulder bothers me sometimes as a reminder that you need to think first and then do something. So don’t repeat my mistake. If performance is your goal and you work with heavy weights then warm up is mandatory.
How to Warm-Up?
There are several approaches to warming up. I find the most useful to do this:
5-10 minutes of mobility work. From head to toes. Neck work, trap work, shoulder work, elbow work, waist work, knee work and ankle work. You can add some jump roping and/or kettlebell swings or snatches if you want. But no high reps and no heavy weights. It’s a warm-up.
Then go to your first exercise. For example, your working weight is 300 lbs and you’re following 5×5 protocol. Start with 135 lbs x 5, then 185 lbs x 5, then 225 lbs x 5 and then begin your first working set.
That’s what worked for me.
Ok, So What’s the Problem With Warm-Ups?
It’s not actually a problem but your body will adapt to warm-ups with time. While it shouldn’t bother performance athletes it should bother military, firemen etc. Imagine such picture.
There’s incoming call that there is a house on fire. Firemen start to warm-up for 10-15 minutes. When they come to that place there will be just ashes. It’s ridiculous, right? So people with such professions should be able to use their force anytime anywhere fast. Long warm-ups are inappropriate in such case.
There is a compromise. Nowadays I’m practicing (in my training and with my clients that require such approach) only mobility warm-ups and then immediately go to work sets. It protects from injuries and helps to keep focused anytime. Simple trick but it works.
Stay tuned for more on rough training.