Warm-up only with cold feet?

Especially now, in the cold time of year, you have to pay attention to staying warm all the time.

But how does a correct wamr-up work?

According to the recent consensus in science a warm-up doesn’t have much in common with the former understanding of a quick running unit, a few static stretches, and some loosening up exercises.

Functional training has also fundamentally changed the concept of warming up.

Thus, static stretching exercises are a thing of the past. Or do you see an advantage in preparing yourself for movements with standing still or sitting? Certainly not!

The functional warm-up is supposed to heighten your body temperature, activate your metabolism and central nervous system, mobilize your joints, and ready the body for high strains with linear and lateral movements.

The goal should be to keep your warm-up as sports specific as possible.

But one step at a time.

The following elements belong to a decent warm-up and have to be implemented in different lengths and with different intensities into your warm-up session:

  • Myofascial Release
  • Dynamic warm-up
  • Movement Preps/Prehab

With this functional approach to a warm-up you quickly realize how fluid the transition from warming up to mobilization and then to strengthening really is.

Myofascial Release

The myofascial release is done with a Blackroll or a similar piece of equipment. The Blackroll can help you mobilize your musculature and your fascia. This foam roller is the perfect tool the prepare your body for the coming workout.

In the long run, you should be able to achieve a good relocatability of the fascia. Training with the Blackroll can take up 5 to 15 minutes and significantly supports your performance.

Dynamic warm-up

This includes all dynamic exercises that jump-start your body. So every kind of jumps (forwards, backwards, to the side, diagonally, jumping jacks), as well as leg raises, high knee running, skippings, and kick backs. Complement this with standing scales and lunges forwards and backwards.

In contrast to these linear warm-up movements you will also do lateral movements. This includes the lateral squat, spiderman, and all kinds of lateral jumps. Don’t forget arm swings in all directions. This will take about 5 – 10 minutes.

Movement Prep/Prehab

Movement Prep imprves your mobility, stability, strength, proprioception, and your balance. The exercises of choice are, among others, hip roll, scorpion, hand walk, standing scales, lateral lunges, lunges forwards with your elbows moving to your feet, lunges backwards with twists, crossed lunges, and stretching from the sumo squat. This part of the warm-up will not take longer than 15 minutes.

Prehab, from my point of view, can be seen as an addition to movement preps.

With prehab you can actively strengthen those body parts that are heavily stressed during daily activities and are thus very injury-prone:

If the core is properly strengthened the posture and the whole alignment of the body is improved and with this the joint functions. Additionally, this will strengthen the injury-prone areas to prevent chronic diseases and pain. To this kind of exercises you can count all kinds of planks and shoulder bridges as well as the complete shoulder circle with the exercises Y, T, W, and L.

And now, that we are fully warmed-up, we can finally start our actual training…

What routines do you do for your warm-ups? Please write your answer in the comments section below!

Author: Marius Seifert

Marius is founder and director of CrossOver – Functional & Athletic Training in Munich. After his career as a Coach at Eisenhauer Training in Hannover (2000 – 2001) and at the Fitnesspark Munich GmbH (2001-2003), he became director of the Fitnesspark Munich GmbH 2006. In addition, he gathered experience in directing the Fitness Park Westkreuz in Munich. In 2013 he founded his own enterprise. Click here to visit Marius homepage and here to follow him on Facebook.

One Comment Leave a comment

  1. elmar@aerobis.com'
    Elmar 12. December 2013 at 3:57 PM #

    Als kleinen Warm-up Zirkel kann ich auch diesen hier von Steve Maxwell empfehlen. Elemente aus dem Yoga dürften einigen bekannt vorkommen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E11G2MxLn0Y

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