Warm Up Properly
Nobody really likes to “warm up.” However, a good warm-up will keep you healthy and prepare you for intense activity. There's a number of important factors in developing a sound warm-up. Focusing on the following three areas will have the greatest impact in improving your health and performance.
4. Work on your soft tissue restrictions
In order for you to improve movement quality it's crucial that you take the time to perform self-massage (myofascial release) before your training session. In doing so, the mobility drills and weight-bearing exercises have a better chance of changing the orientation of your tissue which will improve your posture and movement quality. You can work with a foam roller, PVC pipe, lacrosse/tennis ball, and/or massage stick for 5-10 minutes throughout the entire body.
5. Work on the mobility in the ankles, hips and upper back/shoulders
A solid warm-up should do more than just raise your core temperature, it's the opportune time to work on any movement issues you have. Most common issues seen by trainers are at the ankle, hip, upper back and shoulder joints, and without proper mobility in these areas you'll not be able to move in the desired range of motion. Make sure your warm-up includes mobility drills for each of these areas. Adequate mobility not only keeps you healthy but helps you to move more efficiently. When you move efficiently, you will create more power and move more weight. Not to mention stay pain free.
6. Incorporate jumps, throws and sprints into your training
The central nervous system is responsible for sending the message to skeletal muscle to produce a desired movement. Jumps, throws and sprints will help to improve your neuromuscular coordination. Improved neuromuscular coordination means that you'll be better able to produce a coordinated firing of the muscles involved in the lift. Depending on the focus for that day’s training session, include an explosive movement to prime the nervous system. Below is an example of appropriate programming: Squatting → Warm up with Squat Jump, Box Jump Variations Bench/Overhead Pressing → Warm up with Medicine Ball Chest-Pass Variations Deadlifting → Warm up with Broad Jump, Sprint Variations Doing Chin-ups → Warm up with Overhead Medicine Ball Slam NEXT: Get your s&*# together! >>