T Nation

Squats warm ups

I have been squatting again. The problem is I take so damn long to warm up. I have tried stretching and doing some light cardio.
My knees still are stiff into my 4-5th steps.
Anyone have any routine to warm up?

before quads, i will ride the bike for about 3 minutes, getting the blood pumping through them, enough for a slight pump. before i start even doing my warm up sets for squats, i will do about 2-3 light sets of extns (about 15 reps each) to get more of a pump, then take about 2-3 warm up squat sets before i start with the real weight.

Jump Rope for 3 minute rounds followed by 1 minute rest periods for up to 4 rounds (15 minutes). Then perform 5 minutes of active stretches for the legs (see Stalely’s article) followed by Davies’ light warm-up protocol of DB Squat Pulls, DB Swings, Iron Crosses. Then begin normal warm-up with the squats, keeping reps/volume low. Total warm-up time is about 25 minutes but this works like a charm for me. Make sure to wear some knee sleeves to keep your knees/joints warm during the warm-ups and squats. Let me know if you give it a try.

In addition to riding a stationary bike and doing light leg extensions here are some other ideas that have worked for me. I almost always do hamstrings first, this really helps. Do other quad exercises first and do squats later in the workout. Icy hot rubbed on and topped off with neoprene sleaves warms things up. I read somewhere that putting on ointments to raise the temperture of the knee joint was bad but personally I think it was BS Keep sretching the quads during warmup sets and be patient. Sometimes it takes a long time and sometimes it’s better to do something besides squats for awhile. It sounds like you just started doing squats again so doing something else probably isn’t what you had in mind.I know there’s nothing quite like the squat.

Wear pants throughout your aerobic and specific warm-ups. That’ll increase the temperature around your legs and help loosen them up…heck, it works for me on cold december night rugby practices…

people already wrote all the nice answers like: wear pants throughout the warm up and ride the stationary bike. I like to doa steady rate increase to acertain level and then back down to make sure that i don’t go too far. Then i do progressive weight sets. laters pk

There is probably a reason that your knees are stiff. Go see an art practitioner today. www.activerelease.com. my knees were the same way. i had adhesions in my quads that made my knees hurt like hell.

Here is the program I use:

  1. X-trainer for 10-15 minutes, starting at level 8 and increasing the level every two minutes after the first five minutes. At this time I am wearing sweat pants.
  2. Lower body stretching.
  3. Light leg extensions with body weight squats and sissy squats.(1A. Leg Extensions. 1B. Body weight squat with twist bar(focus on form). 1C. Sissy Squats (very slowly). 1D. Quad stretches. 1E. Hamstring Stretches. And repeat twice more.)
  4. Starting with the empty bar I warm-up progressively.(empty bar x 10 - super slow reps, 135lbsx5 (slow reps), 185lbsx5 (slow reps), 225lbsx5 (slow reps), then 75% of my work weight for five reps and then the work sets.
    As you can see this program takes a while, but for someone with bad knees it has allowed me to push my squats up towards 500#.
    Not bad for an older lifter.

I would do more warm-up sets as Older Lifter indicates. Don’t be afraid to start your warmup sets with a tiny weight, and make jumps of less than a plate. For example for a final set of 300 x 4, instead of 135 x 8, 225 x 6
Try 2 x 45 x 10, 95 x 8, 135 x 6 175 x 4 215 x 2 245 x 1 270 x 1 or something like that.