Hacking Warming Up

Now that my body is closer to where I want it, it is time to begin lifting.


I have an adjustable bench and a set of Powerblock dumbells that go up to 90 lbs each hand.


When I am working out and afterward I feel awesome...it's the laziness and dread I get from having to warm my body up before beginning. 


I've done longer session jumping jacks or a 15-60 minute walk to get me up to warmth, but it really is the part I hate the most and often causes me to just skip.


I'm trying to hack away at the lazy pussy inside me ho wants to have the body but not do the work.


Can I lift really slow and controlled the first set and that will be enough, or is that asking for injury?  I'd rather take a warm shower AFTER working out.


Any creative ideas for hacking the warming up process pre-lifting or do I just have to man up and stop whine-typing?  :) 

Seeing through the chaotic.


  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭

    The whole warm up thing has always been a mystery to me. People do stuff to warm up that other people warm up to do! (i.e. people jog to warm-up and people warm-up to jog!) I remember the days years ago when people used to static stretch as part of a warm up.


    Personally I do whatever I want, just start slow/light. Do a bit at 50% or less of what you're going to do. You'll know when your body is ready to increase the intensity or weight. 


    In my opinion a warm-up is half to prevent injury and half to prepare for performance. If you keep your form/techinque good, then you'll likely to remove a high percentage of the chance of getting injured and increase the gains from the exercise. 


    Actual performance (i.e. time or weight of the workout) isn't the goal of most training. You should be training to increase performance for whatever you're training for. Quality of training, not beating a time or lifting a large weight with bad form.


    Whoops, long post for a simple answer ;-)


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • I don't warm up either but then I do a hell of a lot of sets(with little time between them) and thus do not do heavy weight.  I would say warming up is only necessary if you are doing few sets and high weight.  My impression is that warming up is to prevent injury and since I have not injured myself in many years I think all is well with this line of thought.

  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭

    seems we're all on the same page ;-)


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • I find just enough to get the blood into muscles is good, assuming you're doing some resistance training, then ramping-up to the working sets...

    Some muscle and central nervous system activation can be good too, I find.  I usually do this by some targeted exercises on weight-machines at lighter weights with explosive reps or by doing some jumps (box jumps, etc.).  For muscle-activation, certain bodyweight stuff can work well, like bird-dogs and clams for the glutes (cf. Brett Contreras).


    I don't usually stretch, but may do some dislocations (rotate arms from front to back while holding a stick or resistance band) if I'm going to do snatches or clean & jerks, or may do some resistance band warming to try and engage certain parts of my body.  If I've been on the computer all day, or sitting at a desk, I'll often do something like bent-over lateral raises, to get the rear delts engaged.

    As for going towards my working sets, I will often start with a 50% of 1 rep-max or so, then jump by 15-20% or more at a time, just doing 1-3 reps with a short break inbetween those sets.  If it's something that's skill/central nervous system-heavy like the olympic lifts, I'll do a few sets of empty bar work to try and get my movement patterns fresh...


    Hope that helps.

  • Generally though, this takes me only 5-10 minutes, sometimes just 2 mintes... dislocations, jumps, a few different explosive reps on the big muscle groups on machines, and then start-in on the workout.

  • edited August 2013

    PokeYouInDaEye's recommendations are good. I don't normally do much static stretching unless I'm deliberately trying to ensure a specific amount of range of motion (i.e. in my hips and hamstrings when doing squats and deadlifts). I find myself very rarely stretching my upper body much when I'm warming up.


    Usually before each workout I just walk on the treadmill at an uncomfortably fast pace for 3 minutes, then jog for 2 minutes, and then I do some central nervous system activation such as box jumps, springing lunges/pushups, etc. 


    Another absolute favourite I have for warming up my entire body is Turkish Getups with a kettlebell because it really works your upper body, your core, and your lower body all at once. It also really gets your head in the game and makes sure you are concentrating.


    From there I just start light with a higher number of reps and exaggerated movement patterns and include a few well-timed pauses here and there.


    Also don't underestimate the power of slowing down a movement during your warmup rather than going fast. I often see people grabbing a light set of dumbbells and doing a dumbbell press so fast and with such poor range of motion it looks more like a seizure than anything else. Grab those dumbbells and push them up slowly, squeezing hard at the top, then lowering down real slowly giving yourself a nice stretch at the bottom, etc - can be applied to all movements.

  • everytime:


    -mobilitywod 1

    -mobilitywod 5

    -coach mobility

    -thoracic t spine smash


    If its weights: then a mobwod related to whatever I am specifically training, both before and between every set.

    If its running, swimming, rugby etc: I'm gtg.

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • Some weights for me today. Light cycle to the gym. Bit of foam rolling, a light set with just the bar weight to get the movement down, then started my 5 sets of 5 reps. Squats, Cleans and Rows. Each exercise I do a set with just the bar before starting to make sure that movement is warm enough. Then I normally start on a lighter weight before increasing to my max weight for the last 2 to 3 sets.


    Quick bit of fast rowing on the concept II and I'm done.


    Then a bit of a stretch with some Bikram yoga poses incorporated in. Light cycle home.


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • in Parkour, we warmup by going through a Joint-Loosening from Head-to-Toe regimen, then we do squats, pushups, a bit of light jogging and then Quadrupedal Motion (QM's). the warmup is 30 minutes and WEARS US OUT, but that is because their method is to teach technique to the students while they are fatigued. the rationale behind that is that, if you can do it when you are exhausted, you can do it when you are full of energy.


    i am with you on the whole warm-up-is-boring thing. i wish i could skip it and go straight to the running, climbing, jumping and swinging sledgehammers!

    Patrick Graham


    You should visit my website here.

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