Updated: Oct 25, 2019
Are you someone who warms up by running a mile on the treadmill or doing 10 burpees? Here are 3 reasons your warm-up sucks and how to make it better.
1. Get Your Flexibility/Mobility Routine Right
Too many people go into their workouts without a proper flexibility or mobility protocol. Aside from a lack of proper flexibility/mobility leading to improper movement patterns and injuries, what if I told you that becoming more flexible could also lead to making more gains? It's true.
Instead of thinking of flexibility as whether or not you can touch your toes, start thinking about it as "how much access to my muscle do I have?". If you're more flexible, it means you have access to greater ranges of motion, which means you'll be using more of that muscle group. Using more muscle can lead to building more muscle, building more strength, and burning more calories.
2. Get Your Brain Right
Imagine getting up from your uncomfortable desk at work right now and running a 100 meter sprint. You could probably do it, but it would probably suck. You'd probably feel like a 6 month old golden retriever who doesn't know how to use their legs yet, and you'd probably hurt yourself.
This has a lot to do with the fact that your body simply isn't designed to get up and GO. This doesn't change when you go to the gym. It's incredibly important to prime your body by doing exercises that are designed to get your body running like a machine. These are moves typically tailored to your own movement mechanics and enhance the quality of your movement, thus improving the quality of your workout.
3. Get Your Core Right
Your 6-pack (or the space where you swear your 6-pack should be) is not your core, it's a little more complicated than that. Your core is where movement originates from, thus it should be your foundation. It consists of your transverse abdominals, internal/external obliques, diaphragm, pelvic floor, spinal erectors, thoracolumbar fascia, and many more structures.
Completing specific "core" exercises designed to activate these muscles and stabilize your lumbo-pelvic hip complex (LPHC) will ensure that you're getting the MOST out of your workouts. It helps create a solid foundation in which to exercise from, which leads to less injury, and more gains.