In any given class at CrossFit Jai, no matter the coach, you’ll begin your hour by “Lining up on the ramp,” “Running the scenic 8(oo meters),” “Hopping on a rower,” or even playing everyone’s favorite—the Abmat Pizza Game. Not everyone is a fan of the first quarter hour of each class. Sometimes you just want to grab a barbell and move some weight. But it’s crucial that we take time to warm-up before we “clang and bang.” Properly warming-up will improve your performance, help prevent injury, and prepare you for the work ahead.
Our warm-ups should meet four objectives: 1) Prime the central nervous system; 2) Lubricate the joints; 3) Activate the muscles used in the workout; and 4) Ready your body for what you’re about to ask it to do.
Not sure how to accomplish those four objectives? Try this one out next time you’re dropping in for Open Gym, stuck in a hotel gym, or unable to make it to CFJ:
Run/row/bike/jump rope/burpee: 3:00 easy, 2:00 medium, 1:00 hard effort
*Hard effort does not mean 100%!
5 “World’s Greatest Stretch” per side
10 Leg swings/kicks per side
10 Glute Bridges w/a 1-second hold
1:00 Hold at the bottom of a squat (even better with a light weight)
30 Arm circles each arm – 10 Small + 10 Medium + 10 Large – forwards and backwards
50 to 100ft Bear Crawl
1:00 Hold at the top of a plank
The total time for this warm-up should be 10 to 15 minutes. That’s all it takes to accomplish the four goals listed above. Try mixing and matching other movements depending on what you’ll be doing in the workout that day (e.g. banded shoulder distraction for pressing days, Russian KB swings for hinge-heavy days, running drills for 5K day, and so on).
Any good warm up should accelerate your heart rate, give you a light sweat, and awaken your system. If you aren’t sweating and breathing a little harder afterwards (that is, if you aren’t warm), then repeat and move with more purpose. Just make sure you don’t turn the warm up into its own workout. Remember: There is no “winning” the warm-up. (Unless by winning you mean hitting all four objectives.)
If you’re looking for new ways to warm yourself before a workout, email me at [email protected], or drop in to CrossFit Jai and get a great workout to accompany your purposeful warm-up.