More Than A Warm Up
By Cameron Hudson
The warm up: a chance to catch up with your fellow athletes, scope out what’s on the agenda for the day and just go through the motions. Right? To an extent, yes. But, the warm up is so much more than the first 5-10 minutes of class that allow you to socialize. Today I wanted to write about why our warm up deserves more attention than it usually gets and a couple ways to make it better.
- Movement prep– The whiteboard has heavy overhead squats as the strength portion of class. A movement that requires not only strength, but a heavy dose of mobility as well. The warm up is designed to start prepping your body to go into the proper positions and prime you for those heavier sets.
- Decreasing chance of injury– Building off of our movement prep, the warm up also ensures that we are ready to work and handle whatever tasks are thrown our way. If the strength is 1RM back squat, you wouldn’t just skip the warm up and go right for a new PR.
- Skill practice– If the workout has handstand push ups, but you are still getting acclimated to life upside down on the wall, the warm up allows us to practice skills or drills to dial in that movement pattern. Skipping out on the small things or just going through the motions is a one way path to failed reps or sloppy technique when they show up in the metcon.
- Setting the tone– Above all else, the warm up sets the tone for the rest of the session. Do you hear coach say “start with a 400m run” and immediately respond with “but why? There’s running already in the workout!”? Just a simple act of complaining or negativity will have an impact on how the rest of your session will go. And if you’re not sure why we are doing something in the warm up, revert back to the first few points (movement prep, decrease risk of injury and skill practice).
We can still have fun and enjoy the social aspect of our warm ups, but remember to have a purpose as you go through it. Warm ups are there to prime our bodies for the upcoming session and make certain everything is dialed in to allow us to get the most out of our session. Take your time, don’t just go through the motions and set the right tone!