The older I get the more I notice I need to get a good warm up in before training. Unlike teenagers who seem to be able to do anything they want at a drop of a hat. There are many ways to get warmed up, and each body is different, but a warm up is always the same.

A good warm one will do multiple things for you.

1. Spike your heart rate

Essentially waking up your body, getting it prepared to start moving with intention. Which leads to..

2. Raise your Body temperature

To prepare your body to work hard you need to get the blood flowing to those muscles. When you raise your body temperature your blood is pumping faster.

3. Warm up muscles and tendons

Whether you are just waking up first thing in the morning, or have been sitting all day at your job getting your muscles warm and loose will help keep you from injury and you will be able to perform better quicker in your workout. 

4. Finding your Full Range of Motion

The main reason to wake up those muscles. Letting your body know to be prepared for anything that is about to be thrown at it with less chance of injury and more chance of awesomeness and success.

5. Mentally prepares you

Forget about what your day looks like ahead of you, or what you have already done today. A good warm up will help you focus on your workout. Put you in the right frame of mind to concentrate on your intensions, and focus on that mind-muscle connection. It will help you get the most out of your time. If your foggy or not paying attention you’ll be more likely to just go through the motions. Your here to work, so let get some gains!

If you have troubled areas, places where you have previously been injured, this is also the time to make sure those areas are good and ready to go so you don’t hurt them again. For me, it is my hips I give extra attention to.  I have had trouble there for years and I have learned that specifically my right hip will give me trouble if I don’t warm up well enough.

My Routine:

I always make sure to warm up my whole body no matter what the workout looks like for the day. But then I target specific areas that will be working extra hard.

I start with Foam Rolling. To work out any kinks and sore spots. I spend about 20 seconds on each part, with more attention and time where I am sore or tight.

To start working on warming up my joints and muscles I do Ankle, Knee, Hip, Shoulder, and Wrist circles until I feel warm and find full range of motion. Usually about 10 – 12 circles of each part in each direction.

Then I move on to body weight dynamic movements like lunges and walkouts with a push up. Really focusing on what muscles are firing at the time. I do about 10 reps each or more if necessary. 

Lunges: Step forward, or back, until your back knee touches the ground making sure to keep your front knee from going past your toes. Do 10 – 12 repetitions on each side. You can keep them stationary or do walking lunges.
Walkout with Push Up: One of my favorite full body warm ups. Start by standing tall. Keeping your back and legs straight, bend over and put your hands on the floor. Walk your hands forward without moving your hips from side to side too much (stay tight), until you are in a plank position, do a push up, and then walk your hands back in toward your feet, and stand tall again, squeezing your glutes as you stand.

To help open up the range of motion in my hips I do two different stretches and then some leg kicks in each direction.

First Stretch, bring your knee up to your chest and squeeze, slowly releasing back down and do the other leg. Alternate for 20 repetitions, (10 each leg).
Second Stretch, carefully bring your ankle up and across to your opposite hip and squeeze, you will feel it in your glute. Slowly release and repeat on the other side. Alternating for 20 repetitions.
Swing your leg from side to side as high as you safely can go. 10 – 12 Repetitions. Then repeat on the other side.
Swing your leg front to back for 10 – 12 repetitions. Then repeat on the other side.

I add some resistance using Mini Bands. They may look small and unintimidating but they sure pack a good punch! I concentrate on the muscle groups being worked and on my form, making sure I go slow to really make it burn.

With a Mini Band around your wrists, Keeping your elbows next to your sides, and your palm facing the floor, stretch the mini band out to your sides rotating at your shoulder. Pause with your hands wide and then slowly with control come back to the starting position.
Same as previous, this time with your palms facing the ceiling. Do 10 – 12 repetitions each.
With the mini band around your wrists, behind your back, stretch it out to your sides with your arms straight. You will feel it in your shoulders.
With the mini band around your hands, stretch it out to shoulder width and then press up over your head while keeping it stretched out. Bring it back down to the start position.
Starting in a squatting position, step out to one side, step the other foot in to meet, and then do the same on the other side, staying in a squat.

I top it off with some quick cardio, either on the treadmill, (or on the road if the weather permits), or some jump rope, burpees, box jumps, whatever is fitting for the moment. 

Then I run through the workout with a empty barbell or light dumbbells to make sure I am ready to go.

All while thinking of my intensions for the workout. Preparing myself mentally to push hard because I want to grow, I want to be better, to give it everything I have to give.

Need some workout guidance?

Here is a good bodybuilding shoulder workout. It burns so good!

A whole body workout to get a good sweat in!

Or an odd object workout to mix it up a little bit!

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to download Do Something: Home Workout Program and Nutritional Guidelines!

Have fun!