T Nation

What's Your Killer Warm-Up Complex?

Hey guys,

I’ve been using the mobility complex routine suggested here in T-Nation for the last couple of months and I have to say it’s getting a little old. I’ve thrown in some lateral band walks for my adductors and bird dogs or cook-knees for some extra glute activation but it just doesn’t seem to do the trick anymore.

I haven’t injured myself in over a month so I wouldn’t say I haven’t benefited amazingly, I just want to start a new routine that my body hasn’t adapted to.

I am wondering what your homegrown warm-ups are?

I prefer to keep things simple; so I warm up by performing the exact same exercise and working up in weights. The “activation” issues are taken care of by contracting the desired muscles I want to emphasis while the weight is relatively light.

You can’t get much more movement specific than that.

[quote]Sewerhooker wrote:
I prefer to keep things simple; so I warm up by performing the exact same exercise and working up in weights. The “activation” issues are taken care of by contracting the desired muscles I want to emphasis while the weight is relatively light.

You can’t get much more movement specific than that.[/quote]

Same here. I also don’t believe in killer warmups. Warmups should help you lift your best, not annihilate you before your work sets.

This isn’t really a beginner topic.

Then again I’m probably only saying that because it can’t be answered with the phrase ‘SQUATS AND MILK’

I do bodyweight squats x10 (one set). Just to warm-up the ‘in-the-hole’ position of the squat.

Then military press the bar x10 (one set). Jerks hurt my shoulders if I don’t do this.

Then I’m good to actually warm up a given exercise.

1 min on rower
10 pushups or dips
5 pull ups
15 bw squats
20 mountain climbers
x 3 rounds to work up a little sweat

samson stretch
leg swings
wide squat sits

Then all these with an empty bar:
5 OH squat
5 back squat but keep the bar where it is
(when you squat down your arms will be extended and when you come back up it is like a back squat start)
5 forward lunge per leg
5 reverse lunge per leg
5 side lunges per leg
5 rotational lunges per leg…

then I’m ready to go… I really don’t do much for my upper body just a couple warm up sets.

[quote]Otep wrote:
This isn’t really a beginner topic.

Then again I’m probably only saying that because it can’t be answered with the phrase ‘SQUATS AND MILK’
[/quote]

Well, it can be technically answered with squats and milk, just lots of squats and no milk.

Thanks for the input guys.
It seems my mentality so far is that if I am not sweating my ass off before I start pulling/pushing heavy, I won’t perform my best. However, I agree that a warmup shouldn’t waste all your energy.

EDIT: Thats a sweet routine theuofh. How long does it take to complete? By the way, the back-squat-where the bar stays in the same position is called a sots press and I fuckin love them.

There are a couple of significant proponents of a solid workout. Dan John said in one of his newsletters that “the warmup is the workout” and “if it’s important, do it every day”. Crossfit has an extensive warmup before the workout of the day. It’s essentially a whole body conditioning warmup in its own right.

The Crossfit warmup is:
3 rounds of 10-15 reps of
Samson Stretch (do the Samson Stretch once each round for 15-30 seconds)
Overhead Squat with broomstick
Sit-up
Back-extension
Pull-up
Dip
Note that for a workout that’s dip or pullup-centric, you might want to do something else in the warmup.

I do something similar in my warmup. I do:
Overhead Squat with broomstick + Sit-ups + back-extension + 2 x 15 reps of whatever I’m not doing as the main exercise. For example, if my main exercise is a press, my warmup includes squats and pulls.

Stu

Magnificent Mobility has helped immensely here for me. I’ve got a list in my training log of moves that make sense for me considering my problem areas and then usually do about 6-8 moves before heading over to the squat rack.

Sure as hell beats the jog, and light stretching I was doing before.

-Matt

Matt and Stu, thanks for the input.

I’m still considering picking up a copy of magnificent mobility but it seems most of the stuff in the book can be found in these forums. Or maybe I’m underestimating the helpfulness of that book?

Stu that routine looks too intense but I’m not surprised that it’s used by those Cross Fit psychos.

For my own training, I’m always open to try something new. Lately, I’ve settled on the following, because it loosens everything up and feels groovy:

Reverse lunge with torso twist - 5-8 reps per leg
Plank position, touching pinky-to-pinky - 5 reps per hand
Plank position, touching toe to heel - 5 reps per foot
Cat-camel 8-10 reps
Lying hip rotation 6-8 reps per side
Side torso twist 5 per side

The first move, and last three, are from Magnificent Mobility but I may have the names wrong.

Another favorite warm-up I’ve used in the past, especially when time is really limited, is just an inchworm (handwalk from hands-on-toes out to cobra position) for 5-10 reps, followed by unweighted overhead or prisoner squats for 5-8.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:


Plank position, touching pinky-to-pinky - 5 reps per hand
Plank position, touching toe to heel - 5 reps per foot

[/quote]

Got any pictures of what you mean by these? I’m getting some weird mental pictures trying to figure out what these are.

[quote]funkhauser wrote:
Got any pictures of what you mean by these? I’m getting some weird mental pictures trying to figure out what these are.[/quote]

Plank position, touching pinky-to-pinky
From the position pictured above, pick up the right hand, lightly tap the left pinky, then return to start. Repeat with the opposite side.

Make sure to move deliberately, not quickly, with each rep taking about one full second. Only move the arm, not the torso.

Plank position, touching toe to heel
From the position pictured above, pick up the right foot, move it laterally to gently touch the heel of the left foot, then return. Repeat with the opposite side.

Again, move deliberately, not quickly. Each rep should also take about a second, and only the leg, not the hips, should be moving.

The main point of these is to add some dynamic movement to the standard plank, which brings the core into play that much more. Also, for most of each repetition, you’re only being supported by three base points instead of four (two feet and one hand in the first exercise, two hands, one foot in the second). This also makes it more challenging.

I first got the idea after I read about some college track teams using plank variations, moving arms/legs in different patterns, with their warm-ups. It seemed to make sense, and I really like the dynamic/static aspect of it. It just seems to wake up the shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, ankles, and wrists.

Thanks for the picture, now I’ve got some much better mental images about…planks.

…never timed it but I’d guess about 10-20 minutes and I knew that had to be called something. I saw the squat/lunge complex somewhere and I can’t remember where.