Diving right into it today. Here’s why, do you struggle with finishing your workout in a timely manner? Do you feel it takes you 2-3 sets of your exercise to start “feeling” the exercise? Do you feel you are wasting time walking on stairs, stretching muscles, and foam rolling before every workout? If you answered “yes” to any of these or have your own, then most likely your warm-up isn’t effective at doing what’s intend to do, prime and ready you for the work that’s about to be done!
Most of us who go to the gym and work out regularly have been programmed that we need to warm-up for 10-15 minutes before we lift weight to reduce the risk of injury and to really feel the muscles work in an exercise. But really who has time for all that every single time? Also, your warm-up could actually be doing more harm than good.
You see, when we “warm-up” we tend to over do it too much, we stretch too long or foam roll are “tight” areas, then we do some cardio, all which can hinder ourselves during strength training and exercises. Stretching and foam rolling can temporarily increase our ranges of motions but in return when done before a workout it actually sends a single to the body to relax those areas. This has a negative effect on our strength because the muscles become softer and more elastic, they lengthen to turn off the signal to Golgi Tendon. We want our muscles to be strong, springy, tight, to be able to create tension to support the loads we are going to lift. So save the stretching and foam rolling for after when it’s more beneficial. As for cardio before you lift, it’s a massive waste of energy and sends the wrong signal to the body. See cardio exercise use what’s called the aerobic energy system which means it’s done with oxygen. When we are lifting we tend to use the anaerobic energy system or ATP, which is the energy system in the body that is done without oxygen. If doing cardio before your workout you deplete your ATP sources which in turn can decrease your strength and your power output on your main lifts.
Okay Coach Quinn, so what should I do to warm-up… is what you’re probably asking yourself? Well, I’m going to give you one of the simplest and quickest warm-ups you can do to prepare your whole body in just a few minutes. One exercise to hit all the right spots. Now, this isn’t the end all be all or holy bible of exercises, and of course individual variance applies as well, so be sure to address your specific needs, but for a healthy individual with decent mobility and no injuries this is a go to favorite of mine.
The Plate Weighted Prying Squat
This one movement hits all the major joints such as your ankles, knees, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders. It also requires core stability and bracing. Just think, one move that works the whole body from your big toe to your pinky finger and everything in between. Use the link below for a great tutorial on how to perform this movement, to get you in the groove to move.
Video by: Dr. Aaron Horschig of Squat University