Work Your Core #2: Full Warm Up Routine For Optimal Performance & Injury Prevention
Warming up is essential for increasing body temperature, improving mobility and even psychologically preparing you, so you can focus on building muscle and strength in a safe and effective manner.
It's a small investment you can make for great returns, and we've made it even simpler by asking the team behind at Total Training SG to share a full warm up routine you can whip out and refer to before all your strength training sessions!
Here's a brief overview of the routine:
1. General warm up
2. Specific warm up
2.1 Foam roll (upper body/lower body)
2.2 Dynamic stretching (upper body/lower body)
3. Progressive pyramid (for big and heavy compound lifts)
A detailed breakdown of the routine:
1. General Warm Up (5 to 10 minutes)
Begin with a general warm up to increase core body temperature and get the blood flowing.
Perform a light (low-intensity) physical activity such as walking or jogging and aim for a target heart rate of 55-65% of your maximum heart rate (100-200 bpm for most healthy young people), or by aiming to reach the point of breaking a light sweat.
2. Specific Warm Up (5 to 10 minutes)
This portion will address specific muscles and joints that are going to be used in the particular training session to loosen and bring them to full range of motion.
2.1 Foam Roll
Foam rolling reduces soreness and improves range of motion without hindering strength and performance. You'll only need up to 2 to 3 minutes for this.
Lower body foam rolling routine:
2. Upper back and lower back (with flexed abs to prevent hyperextension
3. Inner thigh and adductor
Upper body foam rolling routine:
1. Thoracic spine
2. Hip Flexors
2.2 Dynamic Stretching
Unlike static stretches, dynamic stretches are active movements where joints and muscles move through a full range of motion.
Studies have suggested that dynamic stretching can improve overall performance at the gym compared to static stretching (which can cause performance detriments) or not stretching at all.
Lower body dynamic stretching routine: Complete 10 reps for each exercise
1. Walking lunges
2. Leg Swings – front-to-back and side-to-side
Front to back leg swings
Side to side leg swings
3. Step throughs with 1 to 2 second stretch
Upper body dynamic stretching routine: Complete 10 reps for each exercise
1. Small arm circles into big arm circles
2. Side to side arm swings
3. Band pull aparts
4. Band external rotation
5. Band Face Pulls
6. Wall Slides
7. Overhead Dumbbell Side Bends
3. Progressive Pyramid For big and heavy compounds lifts
Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time. Some include squat, deadlift, pull ups and bench press.
The aim of progressive pyramid is to gradually increase the load towards the heavy sets of any compound lift. This helps to psychologically and physically prepare you for them.
Here's the recommended progression:
Empty bar (10 to 12 reps)
Increase the weight to half the working weight (5 to 8 reps)
Increase the weight in 20 to 25% weight increments and reduce the repetitions with every warm up set
When warming up with progressive pyramid, note that the rest taken between each warm up set should be approximately 30 seconds. Using the guide above, you can aim to complete a total of three to 4 warm up sets.
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