No one likes warm ups. They are often boring and slow, and don’t get your mind focussed on the task ahead. However, they are really important and people fail to get their bodies properly prepared for a session. Here I am going to give you a warm up that will not only get your heart pumping, but it will give you a large range of motion, work you dynamically and get you ready in under 3 minutes.Grab a barbell. Start with a lighter one, 10kg or less and see how you go. As you get stronger you can move up to an Olympic one, but you will find its an adequate warm up with a lighter bar. You are going to hold onto the bar for the whole time and will do these 5 exercises one after another, with no rest in between.
1. OH Squat 8 Reps
3. Good Mornings 8 Reps
3. Bent Over Row 10 Reps
4. OH Reverse Lunge 5 Reps Each Leg
5. Push Press 8 Reps
OH (Overhead) Squat
I will include this in many programs I write. It is simply one of the best strength and mobility exercises going around. Holding the weight up high stretches out your fascia, getting low increases range and mobility in all facets of your hip. By holding the weight above your head you are getting a pretty decent stimulus through your shoulders as well.
Hamstrings are often neglected, getting them warmed up isn’t such a bad idea either!
Bent Over Row
It’s important to get the upper back active early. A little extra work on it is needed in most people. We sit down all day, hunched forward, and we love to do bench press exercises at the gym. This exercise opposes both, and will give you a good upper body warm up.
OH Reverse Lunge
This is good to get your glutes firing. By stepping backwards you are activating them more. You are also giving your hip flexors more of a stretch. Two things most people need work on!
This is a good one to finish off as it is more of a full body movement. It will get your butt, quads, shoulders and arms going. For the purpose of the warm up you don’t have to explode into it. Keep it nice and controlled.
Why this method?
Well, warm ups are tough. Nobody really likes doing them, and most of the time don’t spend enough time on it. This kind of complex will leave you with enhanced mobility, warm muscles, and firing in the right areas. It also helps your body learn a few of the more important strength movements, and gets the patterns into place for the program. You don’t need heaps of space, or time, but you will be ready to go after it.
By all means, you can do a longer warm up, many people feel they need to. In the near future I will do a post on some of my favorite mobility exercises that you can include in your warm up. This complex just gives you a very good alternative to get mobile, flexible and warmed up in a limited amount of time. It is more than sufficient for a healthy person, but people with other conditions may need to take specific attention to certain body parts in the warm up.
NB: This warm up concept came from one of my favourite sites t-nation, and I have adapted it.