How are you warming up?

So, how are you warming up?

Do you just walk in the door, drop your bag and grab the 90 lb dumbbells and start repping them out?

Or do you walk for 15 minutes on the treadmill, do 5 minutes of core activation followed by 10 minutes of head to toe joint mobilization and 10 minutes of dynamic stretching?

Most of us (yes, me included) reading this either don't warm up at all, or fall somewhere between the two extremes listed above. This article is a quick guide to how you should warm up in an effort to maximize your training efficiency while ensuring that you are in fact warming up properly to avoid injury and maximize your adaptation AKA gainz.

The idea behind warming up before you workout is to increase your core temperature and increase blood flow to all areas of your body, and especially those that you intend to train and then follow that with general and specific exercises and movements to prepare you for the workload. How do you increase your core temperature? Generally, a moderate pace on any cardio machine, sitting in the sauna, or even taking a hot shower will do it. Personally, I prefer to get moving in order to get warm. But, if I'm really sore, I'll take a really hot shower and stretch immediately following that. Either way, as long as you are warm and sweating just a bit, you are probably good to go!

From there, I generally do some band-work. This involves a few general warm-up exercises for my shoulders, lower back, hips, glutes and ankles (I have bad ankles). In my gym bag, I always have a small loop style band for any lower body work and a larger super-band for upper body work. After that, I will generally move into some dynamic stretching more specific to what I am doing that day - for example, if I am training my squat, I will perform extra dynamic stretches for my lower body. Dynamic stretching is different from your traditional static stretching. It entails constant movement into stretching positions with flow and finesse, and effectively stretches your target muscles without decreasing your core temperature all that much.

So far, we are about 8-9 minutes in.

If I am feeling really stiff anywhere else, I will do some more specific self-mobilizations/stretches until I feel loose and ready to go!

The important thing is to make sure you don't overcomplicate things. Keep it simple, make sure what you are doing transfers to your workout, and you're good to go!

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