The warm-up; An approach for movers of all levels

Axel performing wrist work

Axel performing wrist work

Time. It seems to be all that we talk about, since apparently we never have enough. I am guilty of saying this myself but we all know better. It is about priorities. People make time for television and Instagram scrolling, but what to do with themselves the rest of the day some don’t really know. Today we are going to talk about the precious time before your training sessions.

I have been addressing this issue with my students and though we are seeing improvements I want to see more from you all! Addressing this will have a few benefits :

  1. Rehab/Prehabilitate injuries and imbalances that may be causing you pain or immobility

  2. Prime the nervous system for a more effective session

  3. Enter a flow state early on in the session, feeling better; quicker

  4. Practice extra repetitions which will add up in the long run

This is what brings me to this weeks topic, the warm-up.

A warm-up is any activity which will move your mind/body towards performing a particular activity more efficiently/effectively. The warm up if done properly should immediately improve your mobility, motor unit recruitment (strength), coordination, agility, mental acuity, and more. We all know this, but HOW should I go about developing my own personalized warm-up?

Warm-ups can be separated into two types for our purposes.

First, the general warm-up.

The general warm-up should be, well, general. This means that it is preparing your for any activity that comes next in the scenario where you are not sure what is planned for the day. This is most days, and the good thing about a general warm-up is that you can address many systems at the same time. A general warm-up could look like this :

  1. Hanging and wrist prep x 2 min

  2. Spine terminology x 2 min

  3. Spine waves / improv x 2 min

  4. Add squatting while moving the spine – make sure to squat all ways, not just flat feet x 2 min

  5. Begin to touch the floor – using hands as supports x 2 min

In 10 minutes you have performed some joint prep, mobility work, worked on your fine motor control, touched strength, and all while developing the complexity of your movements through an improv setting. The inner (spine) and outer frame (limbs) both get addressed while allowing you to still find what feels the best for YOUR body.

Now, if that is all confusing to you, and you don’t know what any of the above material is then you would be best served working with a teacher 1-on-1 to address a warm-up that works for YOU. Click here if you are interested in booking a session to address this. Students can book a session in-person or through email as well. This is a crucial part of your practice, and one you should be able to perform independently over time.

The warm-up is an individualized (just like everything in our program) portion of your practice. If you can improve your warm-up, expect to see your training sessions pay back two-fold.

Next week we will discuss the other type of warm-up, the specific warm-up, in hopes of dealing with injuries, limitations, and when the scenario ahead is already known!