If you have been checking out the Functional Fitness workouts here at Kemme Fitness, you will notice that I do not always include warm-ups. I realize that folks could easily mistake the omission of a warm-up as my indication that I feel one is not necessary. This assumption is completely wrong.
The truth is I INSIST you do some type of warm-up prior to your workouts. I also believe in some stretching or cool down movements after the workout.
The only reason I leave out warm-ups is because I feel that they are greatly individual. Ok, ok, that and I’m too lazy to figure that all out for everybody. But really, I do feel strongly that a warm-up should be tailored for each person. Now if you have no idea what to do for a warm-up, here are a few tips for you.
#1 – try to mimic some of the movements in the workout you will be doing. An example would be to roll your shoulders and do some Lunges to prepare for Kettlebell Swings.
#2 – if you can’t figure out which body parts to warm-up, try doing them all. Just keep it easy, and don’t spend too much time at it. For example, think of going from head to toe, or vise versa, and move each joint. You can start by rotating your ankles, go up through your hips with Lower Russian Twists, and end with head rolls.
#3 – This one is my favorite: Use the warm-up time to “grease the groove.” I’ll write more about that later, but essentially Pavel Tsatsouline wrote about using specificity & frequency to gain strength. What this means is that I would do a few Pull-ups each day for a warm-up in order to increase my strength with that movement. Or I would work on my Elbow Lever and Back Lever each day for my warm-ups. This is a great way to achieve a side goal of being able to complete an exercise you are not strong enough for.
#4 – this tip is related to tip #3. You can do some movements for your warm-up that will prepare you for a separate, but related exercise. For example, for 4 months I did Pull-ups and Dips in order to prepare myself to do a Muscle-up.
In any case, a warm-up is designed for a few extremely important things. It will get your energy level up, increase your heart rate, and warm-up muscles and joints to allow you to perform dynamic exercises with less risk for injury. Sounds important to me!
Feel free to leave a comment on this post about your favorite ways to warm-up. Maybe you do some Yoga or Pilates to get you ready for an intense workout.