The Most Overlooked Aspect of Your Workouts?

Posted: February 10, 2014 by dannytwoguns in Articles

We have a plethora of options beating us over the head for what kind of workouts, what kind of burn, sweat, tone, makeyoutired, do nothing and lose fat etc. And make no mistake, you need a responsible workout (and by workout I mean program by a fitness professional 🙂 ) that makes you stronger and better to get to your goals, this is a no brainer. But there is more to it than that.

But one aspect often gets skipped over for the more sexy attention grabbing workout program.

What is it?

Your warm up. Boring I know, but keep reading because it may be the difference maker you are looking for to get to your goals instead of the next makeyoutired workout.

Gone are the days where taking a walk on the treadmill was enough to “warm you up” and get your ready for your workout. I’ve been guilty of doing that in the past as part of the warm up and most fitness professionals have been there. And some unfortunately still have their clients do this.

The problem with the treadmill walking warm up? It only addresses two aspects of actually warming up. It will increase your body temperature/get blood moving and ready, and it will warm up your lower body some, though not efficiently.

A high quality warmup gets us not only prepared completely for the workout but it also a key to injury prevention and longevity in your training. So what should a high quality warm up address?

– Increase in core temperature
– Range of motion (in all three planes – front/back, side/side and rotational)
– Mobility and stability
– Activation of muscles – especially those that don’t get enough during the day like the posture muscles, glutes and hip flexors aka sitting muscles
– Movement preparation (again in all three planes – why warm up only the front to back when your workout should be addressing all three as well?)
– Extra work for weaknesses, asymmetries and priority movement patterns

When I say this, the first question is “Well that seems like a lot?” But it literally takes about 8-12 minutes depending on the person and the people who say that think nothing of spending the 10 minutes on the treadmill and accomplishing essentially one of the above components. 10-12 or so exercises done for 30-60 seconds each isn’t a lot of time especially when you are going to be working out for triple or quadruple that time.

Obviously, the specifics of a individual warm up that is best for you is dependent on your goals, abilities and functional movement screen score but With that said here are three examples of popular and high priority movements for your warm up…

WU Hip Flexor Stretch

Name: Hip Flexor Stretch (in this picture a Band Resisted Hip Flexor Stretch)
Addresses: Unilateral lower body mobility and stretching the muscles that are shortened during sitting

WU Cook Hip Lift

Name: One Leg Glute Bridge aka Cook Hip Lift w/ Passive Lock
Addresses: Glute activation – you’ve been sitting on them all day or not using them all day, so “wake them up”

WU Rib Grab

Name: Side Lying Rib Grab
Addresses: Unilateral upper body mobility and the “posture muscles,” the anti-sitting and anti-slouching exercise

With those three exercises alone, you can undo a lot of the harm sitting does to us, move better in the upper and lower body and prepare the body for movement in all three planes.

Hope this helps and gives you some insight to the fact that your warmup should consist of more than a treadmill or some arm circles and jumping jacks. As always if you have any questions or feedback feel free to leave some either here or on Facebook.

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