Ask any CFFB cert alum and they will tell you about the time and attention that we focus on our warm up series. So much time that we always ask that you get your own warm up before we dive into ours, a pre-warm-up warm up if you will. So, why invest so much time in introducing and educating athletes and coaches on this often overlooked part of training? It’s simple, performance.
Everyone is familiar with many of the why’s of warming up; arouse the CNS, increase HR and blood flow to muscles, etc. All good stuff, all pretty general, and all part of our pre-warm-up warm up. But how often does this type of warm up really prepare you for lifting heavy, be ready for a competition or make you a better athlete? Not very often for the Power Athlete. Your warm ups shouldn’t ever be general. They should be specific to your training day, include positions and movements that strengthen and reinforce posture, increase mobility and challenge stability. Not to mention be progressively challenging your motor control as an athlete.
You get what you emphasize, and Power Athlete emphasizes strong posture and position in everything. This has been repeated constantly on the blog, workout demos and the seminar. Strength training and sport are constant battle to maintain posture and position, so your warm ups must include this emphasis as well. Posture should also be maintained during parts of your warm ups that focus on mobility and stabilization.
Mobility and Stability are two of the most common limiting factors when it comes to progressing in lifts and preventing injury on the field. Mobility is the freedom of movement for everything around the joint. Including static stretching or holding a position in the warm up won’t increase this joint mobility, but implementing movements that challenge this range of motion while maintaining proper position will. Stability is the bodies ability to resist unwanted movement, in other words, control. Include movements in your warm up that focus on proper stabilization of your joints and trunk. You certainly see a lot of stabilization challenges in the DWOD some days, but don’t only rely on doing them when asked. You know you better than us, so if your shoulder gurdle is weak, put some stabilization work in during the warm up. If you can only get to proper squat depth with weight on the bar, that should tell you all you need to know about your hip mobility and stability.
The warm up is also an opportune time to reinforce certain movement patterns and your motor control as an athlete. I challenge you to pay greater attention to the relationship between movements from our warm up series, the squat and every other movement you’re asked to perform. Taking a closer look at these movements when you’re warming up and the carry over between them all will give you a greater picture/feel for the Power Athlete program. Go back to the last Barbell Step Up demo we had. Guidelines listed for the Barbell Step Up were: feet shoulder width apart, feet pointed forward, dorsiflexion, control through movement, and focusing on posture. Reading the guidelines alone you may think squat, lunge, sprinting or coming off the line in football. Focusing on the proper execution of movements in your warm up that reinforce proper movement patterns goes a long way, and will carry over not only to other lifts, but to the field as well.
We at PAHQ find there to be a huge gap in most athletes approach to warming up for there training, and people need guidance. Through the month we are going to be pushing out our PAHQ warm up series in a number of video blog posts. So tell us about your warm ups and approach to getting ready for your training, we want to know! If you don’t feel warm or ready until half way through your strength or met con, it’s time to take a new approach to warming up. Like the saying goes, ‘A boxer who goes in the ring cold, comes out cold.’
Former collegiate lacrosse defensive midfielder, 4-year letter winner and 3-year team captain. Coached strength and conditioning collegiately with Georgetown University Men's and Women's lacrosse and Women's Crew, as well with the University of Texas at Austin's football program. Head coached CrossFit Dupont's program for two years in Washington D.C. Received a Master's in Health Promotion Management from Marymount University in 2010, and has been a coach for Power Athlete since October, 2012.