How To Warm Up Effectively
This is one of those things we get asked constantly but doesn't get the same amount of coverage/attention that something like, "How To Bench Effectively" might. That being said, it is super important to warm up and yet often times we do a poor job at it or even neglect warming up completely. Take the time to warm up, it does take some time, but its worth it at the end of the day to help prevent injury and better overall performance.
What and how we warm up IS dependent on the movement(s) you're going to lift. Regardless of activity(squat,bench,dead,etc.) you will want to go from general to specific in the warm up. No matter the exercise or activity you will want to get in a general warm-up(bike, walk, run, sprint, row, etc.)
From there we move to complimentary specific movement. If you are going to bench, warm up the scapula, get the blood flowing in the upper body. We might want to do something like pull apart's, face pulls or light dumbbell work to get some of that light range of motion that our main movement hits. We want to do enough so that we are truly warm, but not so much that we fatigued ourselves with a heavier load. Specific as, taking the movement as light as possible working into your sets. Example: work the barbell on bench for 3 sets of 10 before we move up into your percentages.
Make sure that you address your individual needs. If you have a weak point, be sure to do something to target that area. If its your shoulders, hit something like a face pull, as I said get that blood flowing. Be sure to avoid static stretching and keep movement a priority.
If we are working on a squat(or even deadlifts)start out doing the same general warm up we mentioned above then move into the specific warm ups. A good option is planks and side planks for our core(focus on breathing and bracing). Lunges for individual leg warm ups and stability. We can do that, then work our way into sets with an empty bar. Be sure to add in anything for your individual needs that is necessary. In the squat or deadlift we have more going in muscle activity, so we are going to have more going on with our warm up than we do in the upper body.
These same ideas can be applied to whatever lifts you will be doing, OHP, Deadlifts, Bench, etc. Just follow the guidelines of, general, specific and individual.
- Silent Mike