Repost: How to warm-up effectively (troublesome)

  • This is by Nick Tumminello. By far one of my favorite warm-ups. Upper body and lower body.
  • DeFranco’s warm-up. I love his lower body warm-up (even though some of it is too strenuous for my knees) but his upper body warm-up is kinda lacking.
  • Mike Boyle’s old warm-up. It’s pretty effective; I used to use it before I found Tumminello’s. His latest DVD has a better warm-up however, one that he currently uses. It consists of a circuit of static stretching followed by a circuit of dynamic stretching and activation. He’s also one of the only coaches who uses static stretching in his warm-ups.
  • The mobility complex. Love it, use it on days as a warm-up, and sometimes as a finisher. It looks easy, but is incredibly hard, even with just a bar.
  • Dan John’s warm-up. He lives by his quote “If it’s important, do it every day” and this warm-up is very indicative of that. The 7 primal movements of the human body are the squat, lunge, push, pull, bend, twist and gait – Dan John’s warm-up covers all of them pretty effectively.

Other notable ones include Pavel’s “Super Joints”, Eric Cressey’s “Inside Out”, “Magnificent Mobility” and “Show and go”, and the Parisi Method warm-up DVD. I would include DeFranco’s latest “Amped” warm-up, but I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet.

Edit: « Inside Out » is by Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman, not Cressey

If you are going to make your own warm-up, makes sure to include these key points:

1) Foam roll – quality of tissue is very important.

2) Raise your temperature in some way, I like skipping or jumping jacks.

3) Dynamic lengthening of commonly tight muscles – these include the hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, pecs and lats. You can find this all in my previous articles.

4) Thoracic mobility and hip flexor flexibility. Again, look at my previous articles.

5) Single leg work – the world would be a better place if people did their single leg work. While squats and deadlifts may be the king and queen in the weight room, single leg work is like the military-in-chief who does all the work but never gets any recognition. Some good ones to include are single leg RDL’s and the ½ squat ½ deadlift.

6) Activation of dormant muscles like the glutes, psoasserratus anterior and lower traps.

7) Try and get all 7 primal movements in there.

8) Performing some sort of torso control exercise for activation and to amp the lats, abs and glutes. If you’ve read any of Stuart Mcgill’s work, you’ll know that he refers to super stiffness. Every other muscle works off the lats, abs and glutes, and this exercise does a great job of activating them all. My go-to is this by Chad Waterbury. I perform it before upper body and lower body workouts.

Some other good mobility stuff are:

  • Daily dozen by Steve Maxwell – great stuff and if you can, get his mobility DVD. It’s the only thing you’ll need on that subject.
  • Z-Health – I wouldn’t necessarily perform this for a warm-up however.
  • The stronglifts hip mobility warmup – very close to the Mike Boyle warm-up

This is not a warm-up to be done before an athletic endeavor. It can be done, but in my opinion it’s not optimal. I like the basic track drills like high knees and butt kicks and the rest for sports. I’ve seen the best results on the sports field by doing exercises from “Magnificent Mobility”.

Let me know if I’ve forgotten anything or if you’d like to add your favorite warm-up to this list. As usual, I’ll be happy to answer any questions, and thanks for reading this.

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