Do This Warmup Before your Next Workout
Warming up makes a huge difference! Doing the right warm up exercises is going to directly affect how you perform in the gym or any workout that you do. It’s also going to help prevent injuries throughout your training sessions. No matter if you are focusing on full body, upper body, or just lower body, doing a full body warm up is essential before every training session.
There are a lot of lifts that use various parts of the body, known as compound lifts. If you don’t warm up the whole body before you start training, you might not be able to go as heavy, move as fast, or feel as comfortable. Warming up can often be overlooked, especially when you’re training on a time crunch. If you have a very limited window to train, your warm up may be the first thing that gets dropped or at least shortened to meet your time requirements.
With this guide you’ll learn about the full benefits of a proper warm up and how we prepare our athletes to perform at the highest possible level here at Garage Strength. We will also take a look at the differences between static and dynamic ways to wake up our body. Finally, you will get a comprehensive full body warm up that we use for all of our athletes before training sessions.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why You Need to Warm Up
There are a number of benefits that warming up is going to provide for us as an athlete or someone that is going to go through a taxing workout. That first key benefit is going to be increasing our heart rate and getting our blood flowing. By elevating our heart rate we are able to start flowing more oxygen through our muscles while increasing our overall body temperature. When our body temperature is increased, our body releases certain hormones like thyroxine to help our muscles move better.
When our muscles are able to move, or slide better, this reduces the amount of friction in our body. With reduced friction in our body comes more elasticity and better movement in our body. As the muscles wake up and become more comfortable moving around, our nervous system is going to start adapting and waking up as well. The snowball effect continues because as our central nervous system wakes up, we will be able to recruit more threshold motor units earlier in the workout which will maximize our training potential for that day.
The warm up is also essential for building communication between an athlete and the coach. As you warm up, you can talk to your coach about how your body feels from the previous day and they can make adjustments based on your feedback. Even if you are working out alone, by listening to your body and understanding the feedback on how you feel, you can determine if you need to adjust your warm up to focus on something extra that day.
Static vs Dynamic Warm Ups
There are two main types of exercises that you can do in a warm up: static and dynamic movements. Both have their benefits before a workout and should be used at different points before you train.
Static movements are going to mostly be stretches. This is going to be where you hold a position for an extended period of time to loosen or lengthen the muscles before your lift. Typically, you want to do static stretches and movements at the very beginning of your warm up. This is where you want to focus on a muscle group that is tight from previous days of training or maybe a part of the body that is injured. By loosening the muscle, you are lengthening the fibers and preparing your body to become more elastic for the dynamic parts of your workout. Some static stretches you can do include:
- 90/90 hip stretch
- Toe touches
- Flamingo stretch
- Pigeon pose
- Preacher stretch
- Cross chest shoulder stretch
On the other hand, dynamic warm up exercises are as the name suggests, exercises that require moving around rather than holding a pose. A dynamic warm up means using little to no weight to extend and prime the body specific to the workout for that day. This could be by using a combination of jumps, runs, or body weight exercises that focus on the same muscles that will be used that day. The most important part about using a dynamic warm up is making sure to get a full range of motion and waking up the fast twitch muscle fibers. This is also the part of a warm up that will raise the heart rate and help literally warm the body up. In the next section we will go through a full body dynamic warm up routine.
Full Body Warm Up Routine
When we do warm ups here at Garage Strength, we want to do them in a specific order. Each exercise has an intention and a direct implication on the progression of priming our body. The first two exercises are what we consider the “wake up” exercises to get our body in motion and start honing in on our mental focus. Then we will get into movements that are more challenging to test our range of motion and start sweating a little more. Let’s take a look at what that routine looks like.
Exercise #1: PVC Pipe Roller Walks
That first exercise in our “wake up” portion of the warm up is going to be the pvc pipe roller walk. This is simply where you slowly walk on a pvc pipe for 4-5 lengths of 10 yards. The reason we include this as the first exercise is because this is the part of the warm up that takes the least effort to get started, but actually takes the most focus.
Since this is where we start, this is when we are the coldest. When you hop on the pvc roller, you might find that you are a little shaky and unstable. By walking on the roller, this is going to force us to focus and prepare our mind for the rest of the warm up. It is also going to start engaging our core muscles to balance on the roller as we walk on it. By walking on the roller, it will stimulate our feet, warm up our knees, and ultimately increase our heart rate for the next exercise.
Exercise #2: Dive Bomber Push Up
Now that we’ve woken up our lower body, it’s time to wake up our upper body with the dive bomber push up. The dive bomber push up is actually a combination of two commonly used static stretches turned into a dynamic movement.
The starting position for the dive bomber is actually going to be downward facing dog. By starting in this position, you’ll immediately start warming up the shoulders and the triceps just by holding yourself in downward facing dog.
To make it dynamic, you will slowly lower yourself into the bottom of a pushup position and then push yourself into an upward facing dog position. Once in upward facing down, reverse the movement by pushing yourself back into downward facing dog with your shoulders and triceps. By lowering yourself down, you’ll continue to use your core and start focusing on that dynamic trunk control. Start by doing 5 sets of 7 reps with a slow eccentric before moving on to the next stage of our warm up.
Exercise #3: Band Pull Apart
That third exercise is going to be the preface for number four. Before we hop into another leg warm up, we want to complete the upper body warm up because we still need to warm up the back a little. The way we can do that is with band pull aparts.
By using one of our powerlastic bands, we can hold it out in front of us and just stretch it out by pulling our scaps together. Band pull aparts are going to be a great way to warm up the rear delts and upper back. One you do 10-15 reps in front of you, move the band overhead and and do another 10-15 pull aparts to mark up the lats.
Exercise #4: Banded Overhead Squats
As you finish the overhead banded pull aparts, this will lead right into our next warm up exercise being the banded overhead squat. Make sure to keep your feet hip width apart or a little wider with the band stretched overhead.
Slowly descend into a deep squat position while keeping the chest and head up. This will help work on range of position while opening up the hips for any leg exercises you might do in the workout. Try to keep your arms straight overhead like you are doing a snatch. By keeping your arms straight, you are continuing to build that stability in the shoulders and upper back. THen once you are in the hole of the squat, drive up through the heels to get that back into the standing position.
Banded overhead squats are a great way to prime the central nervous system and help athletes that are very tall to improve their range of motion. Banded overhead squats are another way to tell if someone needs mobility work and reinforce good squat technique for athletes that are still growing into their bodies.
Exercise #5: PVC Split Squats
Now that we have started to warm up the body and the mind, it’s time to get into another pretty difficult movement that will test your balance. The next warm up exercise is going to be pvc split squats.
This is going to be a single leg split squat, except your front foot will be balancing on a pvc pipe roller. Make sure to bend your front knee slightly so that when you descend with the back leg, you are maintaining tension and activation in the glutes. This is one of the best warm up exercises because it warms up the legs, gore, hips, and stimulates a lot of neural drive.
Exercise #6: Single Leg Mini Hurdle Hops
The second to last warm up exercise that you want to start doing are single leg mini hurdle hops. This is going to be one of the elastic exercises that we use for increased blood flow and improve coordination. These will be super setted with our last exercise.
Exercise #7: Lateral Single Leg Jumps
That last exercise is going to be the lateral single leg jump. This is another elastic dynamic warm up exercise that will work on coordination and waking up the entire body. The starting position for this will be similar to a squat, with your feet about shoulder width or a little higher. Then you will lunge laterally to the side and land on one leg.
When doing the lateral single leg jumps, try to really plant with that landing leg. If you notice a stutter step or a lack of balance, maybe that’s something that needs to be addressed in future programming. Using lateral single leg jumps is a great way for both a coach and athlete to identify any imbalances or weaknesses while doing dynamic movements which can lead to issues in other lifts.
More Warm Up Exercises
As you continue to train, you might notice that you need to take some things out or incorporate new movements to meet your goals. Even if you are feeling tight or fatigued in certain places, there’s nothing wrong with an extended warm up.
A proper warm up is essential to getting the most out of your workouts and even overall health Workouts aren’t the only thing you might need to warm up for. As you get older, you might need to warm up or prepare your body just for day to day actions. Moving forward, you should incorporate a combination of static and dynamic exercises into preparing your whole body for any strain that it might be put under. If you want more warm up tips and exercises for your specific goals, sign up for the Peak Strength app for specific warm ups every day for every workout.
Individualized Training App
Get elite level strength programming with
Yo, It's Dane
Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!
Start Training With Me
Join for free educational videos EVERY WEEK on strength coaching and athletic performance