T Nation

How Do You Warm-up?

Now that winter is approaching, I find I really need to warm-up properly before training. Warm-ups are so boring, though! What do you guys do to warm-up? I plan on changing my warm-up around every week or so.

I’ve done the bike, treadmill and stairmaster. And when I remember, I like to use my jump rope. I think that is a great way to warm up. In fact, Charles Staley recommends 2-3 minutes of jump roping for a warm-up.

Other than that and other calinsthetics (jumping jacks), I’m not sure what else you can do to warm up!

The fastest way, I think, is to take a short run. Lately, though, I’ve been using Staley’s jump rope method for variety. Other times I’ll go a few rounds on a punching bag. Mix it up. Don’t get so bored that you skip the warm-up. You’ll regret it.

Tek

I have been training for over 25 years and one thing that I have learned, the hard way, was not to warm-up sufficiently enough. I thought that I could just throw my arms around a few times and get right into a set until I torn practically every muscle in the entire body. Now, I warm-up with a t-shirt with a light, full arm-length cotton shirt over that. I use the Life-Fitness bike and pedal at a 90rpm pace with a level of 3. Over the course of 2 to 3 minutes I slowly increase the tension to 3 to 5, but no higher. I want to warm-up, not fry my legs. After 10 minutes I have a good sweat going and move onto the weight floor. If I am doing upper body, I take a couple of 5lb. plates and do circles forward and circles backwards. First doing singles and then doubles. I do 4 singles forward, 4 singles backwards and then 4 doubles forwards and then 4 doubles backwards. This will loosen up the entire shoulder structure, including the Rotator Cuff. Once I am ready for weight lifting, I do one set of whatever I will start with, and within 2 sets I am near my 90% max. weight. I have never had a shoulder injury in over 5 years as a result of this warm-up. It may seem that this may take a little longer, but take it from me, once you destroy your shoulders or knees, you are done lifting. I have also found that icing my joints immediately after lifting has cut down considerably on my recovery time even it is for just 5 minutes. Don’t ever skip a warm-up!

Mobility exercises and dynamic stretching are excellent for priming your muscles for a workout and getting warmed up. After about 10 min. I have a light sweat going, I’m loose and ready to go.

80% of the people in my gym DO NOT WARM UP at all. The consiquences are injuries!! Look in the previous section and or do a search. There are LOTS of info. already out there. Don’t forget to cool down & srtetch after W/O to increase your recovery ability