I was trying to mind my own business at the gym recently, but an interaction between two individuals really stood out to me. Apparently they had come to the gym separately but decided they would work out together.
Person #1: “Sweet, lets do arms today. You warm?”
Person #2: “Uh sure, I just ran a mile on the treadmill.”
Person #1: (palm to face) “That’s not what I meant.”
I suppose running on a treadmill could indeed get you warmer, get your heart rate up. But a warm up should also prepare the body for the performance to come. Here are some better suggestions:
Prime the Mobility
If your workout calls for pressing or clean/jerks, do you have the appropriate thoracic extension to best achieve those moves? Attempting to press with a thoracic spine stuck in flexion is going to make for a rough day in the gym. Time on a foam roller would prep T-spine extension and make for a better day of pressing. For my move advance peeps, maybe some thoracic bridging.
Prime the CNS (Brain)
Keeping with the theme of upper body workouts, how did the baby develop upper body strength? One way was crawling and if you’ve ever spent time at SCI, you’ve probably crawled. Crawling (like a baby or like a crab) is great for the shoulders and the core and the brain loves the neurodevelopment cross crawl pattern as well. Controlled/strict crawling for 15-20ft will get your heart pumping too. Don’t believe us, give it a try.
Rehearse a General Skill
Consider that if overhead presses (barbell or otherwise) are in your program, you could warm up with a lighter weight press, focus on strict form and appropriate breathing. Even better, consider a kettle bell up press to really get the shoulders engaged and ready to work.