To stay healthy and get the most out of your body every time you train it is important that you warm up correctly. Here at CoActive Health we divide the warm up into two categories – general and specific.
General warm up
The general warm up we practice with our personal training clients here at CoActive is a sequence of movements that target common areas of restriction and steadily raises the core temperature. We know from experience that certain areas of the body are prone to tightening up and subsequently limiting performance in the gym. We use the general warm up to gradually raise body temperature and mobilise the following key areas:
- The thoracolumbar fascia
- The thorasic spine
- The hip complex
The thoracolumbar fascia is the largest area of fascia on the body, it covers the whole of the lower back region. We know that if we can loosen this area it subsequently helps all other parts of the body move better. We use the core 4 sequence to mobilise this area. Core 4 helps target your myofascial merdians.
Knee drops side to side
90 / 90 Forward bends over knee
Arm circles x 5
Thorasic Foam Roller + Pin & Stretch
The thorasic spine is notorious for tightening up and restricting upper body movement, especially with overhead work. We use the foam roller and a ‘pin and stretch’ action to help here.
Roll up and down mid back, try to keep pressure either side of the spine.
Hands on temple, pin and stretch the thorasic.
Stride & Reach
The most common area of tightness we see in clients is in the hips, we simply weren’t designed to spend so much time sitting down. In order to mobilise this area we do a stride and reach sequence.
- Press up position, take a big stride placing the front foot alongside the hand.
- Reach with same side arm x 3 each side.
- Reach with opposite side arm x 3 each side.
Please see the video below for the full general warm up sequence.
Specific warm up
Once the general warm up is complete we can be more program specific with our warm up. The specific warm up is needed to firstly help prevent injury and secondly to ‘prepare’ the nervous system for the work to follow.
How advanced (essentially how strong you are) will dictate how many warm up sets your personal trainer will prescribe need prior to starting. The basic premise is that the stronger you are the more sets you will need prior to your opening lift. In some case’s this can mean up to 8 sets before the workout even begins. However, most of the time you will only need to do 2-3 sets prior to starting.
The best way to do this is to use your first 1 or 2 exercises. You need to select a weight that is approximately 50% of your starting weight. You should then perform 5 repetitions at your workout tempo. Next you should select approximately 75% of your starting weight and perform 3 repetitions. After this you’re good to go.
Here’s an example of a specific warm up:
DB Chest Press: 5 x 6-8 at 4010 starting weight 20kg
- Do 5 reps at 10kg with a 4010 tempo | Rest 10s
- Do 3 reps at 15kg with a 4010 tempo | Rest 30s
- Do the first set of 8 reps at 20kg with a 4010 tempo
Hopefully that helps to clarify why and how we warm up here at CoActive. As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more about personal training with us, then don’t hesitate to ask one of the team. Now go warm up!