Whether your fitness routine gets you the results you want ultimately depends on your ability to string together effective workouts for days, weeks, and months in a row. With that in mind, the success of any one individual workout starts with how well you thoroughly warm-up your entire body.
Constructing a proper warm-up can be a confusing task, however, as the fitness world is full of conflicting ideas on how best to warm-up for your training. In this article we will detail some key concepts and specific examples that you can include in your warm-up today.
Why Should You Warm-up At All?
For many experienced trainees, the need for a thorough full-body warm-up may seem rather intuitive and self-explanatory at this advanced stage in their fitness journey. On the other hand, many newcomers to Gymnastics Strength Training™ might not yet understand why it is necessary to even warm-up at all.
A proper warm-up should do a few key things in the body. First, it should quite literally warm you up by increasing your core body temperature and blood flow to your limbs and extremities. By heating up your body, you are making your muscles, fascia, and connective tissues more pliable so that they can move more easily without restriction.
Second, a proper warm-up should prepare your joints for the ranges of motion that are required during your workout. Coach Christopher Sommer, the founder of GymnasticBodies, often refers to this aspect of the warm-up as a “daily limbering” session. This section of the warm-up should consist of low-intensity, full range of motion movements through each of the major joints in your body.
Lastly, your warm-up should help prepare you mentally and psychologically to focus on the task at hand for your day’s training session. With the countless potential distractions of modern life, it is easy to just go through the motions while you are at the gym. Instead, use your warm-up to help you hone in on what needs to be done so that you can approach your workout with a laser-like focus.
How to Properly Warm-up
With all of these key concepts in mind, let us now discuss how to put these into action with a few examples of movements that you can do today to help you warm-up for your training. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to constructing a proper warm-up, however, and if you would like to learn more, then be sure to check out the GB Fundamentals course.
The first step of a good warm-up is to get warm. You can achieve this in many different ways, not limited to but including running, jumping rope, or doing various agility drills. Awaken, the GB Master Affiliate in Denver, CO, often has their students line up and perform fast-paced movements such as high knees, butt kicks, skips, and jumps in order to increase their body temperature. If space is an issue, you can always default to a classic exercises such as jumping jacks.
Second, you need to move your joints through their full ranges of motion. In practice this may often look like arm circles, squats, pikes, crawls, and variations of these fundamental movements. The goal here is to lubricate your joints just the same as you would with a car engine before running it. If your training session that day has a particular focus, such as handstands for instance, then perhaps spend a bit more time loosening up that area of the body.
As mentioned earlier, a crucial piece of a proper warm-up is that is helps you focus before you begin training for the day. While all of the previous components will help you minimize distractions and hone in on being more mentally present, another useful strategy is simply to get everything ready that you will need for your workout. If you follow the GB Foundation Series, for example, then you might need to have your mat out, rings set up, and workout log open. If today is a day for one of the Stretch Courses perhaps, then be sure that you have the video cued up, loaded, and ready to play.
Warming up is an essential piece of the puzzle in order for you to maximize your progress in Gymnastics Strength Training™
A proper warm-up will increase your body temperature, prepare your joints, and help you focus on the task at hand for the day.
There are countless movements that can be included in your daily warm-up, and you can use the examples listed above to help you get started.
Contributor: Christopher Sommer