How do you warm-up? A couple of star-jumps? A bit of jogging and a few press-ups? Most people think that a warm-up is just to get the blood flowing round the body and prepare the joints for more intense work. The problem is, that’s only half the story, you could use your time more efficiently to really maximise your performance in the rest of your competition or workout.
1. Use corrective exercises.
Corrective exercises are movements that you must use to correct weaknesses or imbalances in your body, the most common uses are to improve posture in the upper back and shoulder joint, improve abdominal/hip posture and getting the glutes to fire properly. Although there are many, MANY corrective exercises you can use for your specific weaknesses, these are the most common areas due to the majority of the population being sedentary and sitting down all day! This causes a badly rounded and weak upper back, tight hip flexors and inflexible and weak glutes and hamstrings.
So if you’re not sure where you’re weak or tight, focus on the above areas and you can’t go wrong.
2. Use bodyweight exercises that you suck at!
This one is really easy to do, pick a bodyweight exercise that you suck at and put it in your warm-up for a couple of easy sets!
Can’t do a press-up without bending your back like a spineless maggot? Just work on a few easy sets in your warm-up!
Can’t do many pull-ups? Throw in a few easy sets of 2-5 reps.
Can’t do glute bridges very well? Throw in a couple of easy sets!
Use the exercises that you HATE to do or you SUCK at cos’ you need to get better at them to increase your overall performance.
YOU ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS YOUR WEAKEST LINK!
3. Use progressions in your warm-ups
This one is easy to overdo, so be careful. Don’t start working through percentages or going for rep maxes, it’s still a warm-up! But progressing from a glute bridge to a one-legged variation will increase the difficulty and improve your strength, but it won’t wipe you out.
Going from press-ups to feet elevated press-ups won’t feel like much of a difference, but your serratus anterior will develop without you noticing it and you’ll effortlessly improve posture and shoulder health!
Change from an exercise you can easily do to a similar but slightly harder progression and you can be sure that your weak areas and muscular imbalances will soon be a thing of the past!
- Find what your weak and/or tight areas are and focus on strengthening/loosening them up in your warm-ups
- Do the exercises you hate to do and you suck at
- Progress from exercises you can EASILY do to slightly harder variations
Do all three and you will have a world class warm-up and you’ll be constantly breaking records whilst staying healthier and injury free!
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