By: Praneeth Ellanti
So you barely found time to workout. And now that you’re in the gym, you rush to the first free squat rack and start with a plate on each side. This is a common mistake I see every time I go to PAC or CIF.
What is wrong with not warming up?
Well first, you’re not preparing your body for an intense workout. Injuries occur that can otherwise be avoided. Here’s a three component warm up that is beneficial to your cause that I learned from back researcher and performance-expert, Stuart McGill.
Undo the damage caused by sitting
When you ‘re not in the gym, you’re sitting/sleeping/doing random shit that will cause your muscles to tighten up. This affects how you move and this is why you should always undo the damage caused by the other 23 hours not spent in the gym.
The simplest way to do this is to foam roll. Foam roll starting with your calves, working onto your thighs, and upper back. Spend time finding and destroying those muscle knots for best results. In this phase of the warm up, you can also stretch and do mobility exercises to loosen up any tight muscles that are
caused by sitting (*cough* hip flexors). Then move on to the next phase:
Getting the blood flowing
Getting pumped is important because it provides working muscles with oxygen rich blood. This is essential for creating energy and other metabolic processes. Getting your heart rate up helps pump more blood to muscles. At this phase, you should develop sweat; otherwise, it’s not a warm up. You can do things like skipping, jogging, biking, etc.
Activating nervous system
This part is done last and the idea is to recruit all the muscle fibres. How do you achieve this? If your workout is squats and bench press then you will load the bar slightly and work up to your working range.
You can also try doing explosive movements in order to recruit different types of muscle fibres:
– Jump squat to recruit explosive leg muscles.
– For benching, you can do push ups and clap push ups to recruit various types of muscles.
Remember, the goal of this is get ready for benching and not to tire yourself out, keep the reps to a minimum (less than 8, 3-5 if explosive).
These are the three components of a good warm up. Combine these three things in creative ways like dynamic stretching (lets you get loose and gets your heart rate up). Remember that when you go to a gym, don’t rush to the bench immediately! Get a good warm up in.
How do your ass get ready in the gym?
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My name is Praneeth Ellanti (Candidate for B.Sc. in Kinesiology) and I am completely fascinated by movement performance. I believe that mobility and strength is the key to moving, feeling and performing better! People can usually find me by the squat rack or prowler – the two things I believe everyone should do.
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