By: Mike Aguirre
If you’re new to fitness or you’re a seasoned veteran it is no secret that a warm up is essential before you do any sort of physical activity at all. Just to cover some of the basics a good proper warm up can help prevent injury, get your heart rate up and prime your body and get it ready to move some heavy weights. I’m here to tell you 4 components to the perfect warm up that you should do before every training session.
First, general movement.
Get your body moving by walking, jogging, jumping jacks skipping anything light for about 2-3 minutes to increase your core body temperature and get the blood flowing.
Number two, activation.
There are endless amounts of activation exercises you can do for upper and lower body so you can just tailor it to your training split that day but some great activation exercises can include mini bands, isometric holds and body weight exercises just to name a few but the purpose of this is to prime your body and introduce and groove some of the movement patterns it may see in the upcoming session. Pick a couple of movements and go through 2-3 sets.
Third, dynamic stretching.
Again this is another step where you can tailor is to your training split upper or lower body but some dynamic stretches include a walking quad stretch, knee hugs, worlds greatest stretch and perhaps even some mobility movements. The purpose of this phase of the warm up is in the name itself. Dynamic stretching, so you are on the move while you are holding these stretches for about 3-5 seconds, again doing 2-3 sets.
Lastly, the final phase of the warm up before you are off to start training is the neural activation.
Although it sounds like a big fancy word all it basically means to finally get your CNS (Central Nervous System) to fire up now that you’ve got your body all ready to rock and roll. In this phase anything explosive and short can get your CNS ready such as a 10-yard sprint, a box jump or a medicine ball slam. The movements are endless that you can do but the point in this final step is to do something very explosive for a very short amount no more than 10 seconds of time for max effort. Maybe one or two sets maximum and then you will feeling loose, less stiff and your body down the road will thank you.
Next time you are heading into the gym to train mix up your warm up routine. Try these four phases and notice how much of a different it makes compared to jumping right into your first set within the first minute of walking through the door. Do your body a favor and warm up properly!