By: Coach Mario
I can’t think of many things I hate in life but warming up for a workout is definitely one of them.
For me, I don’t have the convenience of training for long periods of time. So my window of opportunity comes between coaching classes and office hours. From start to finish my session lasts 25 minutes. Warming up would drag that time out even longer.
For me, the purpose of a warm-up is about getting my body primed and ready for intense training. I call it getting “hot and sweaty”. Until that moment comes I jack around in the gym until I feel myself break a sweat. I’ve never regretted warming up before lifting heavy but something in my mind always tells me to skip it. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve had to come up with creative solutions for preparing my body for training while removing the monotony that is attached to stretching and jogging.
These are some of my favorite creative warmups:
- Tabata Squats
Tabata is an interval of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest; repeated 8x. Every set I flow through Air Squats at whatever pace I feel like. I use the squat because of it’s bigger muscle group in comparison to the upper body. But really there are no limitations to the body weight exercises I use. Use a timer to hold yourself accountable.
2. Ladder Drills (video)
It’s rare we train for speed, agility, and quickness but ladder drills can be a great addition to a warm-up. It’s fun, challenging, and different from the traditional norm of warm-up exercises. I go back and forth until I can’t come up with other movements to complete. That usually does the trick.
3. Barbell Warmup (video)
This is by far my favorite warm-up because I heart weightlifting. It becomes, even more, fun with I add a Tabata interval to the mix. Every set I change the barbell exercise. Matter of fact, I don’t know the exercise I will perform until the prior set is over. Not only am I breaking a sweat, my heart is pounding ready and prepared for the training session.
There’s tons of evidence that promotes the benefits of a sound warm up. More than that, I just feel and perform better when I spend time preparing for my workout.
Doing something will always trump doing nothing.
Give it a try. Let me know what you think!