Programs for my clients and myself include three components; soft tissue work, a dynamic warm up, and a series of six to eight (usually strength) exercises. And often when I check in with said clients who are working out on their own, our conversations go something like this:
Me: How's the warm up going? Do you understand how to do all of the exercises?
Me: It's like you're moving your mouth but nothing is coming out.
Client: .....I was pressed for time.
I get it. Been there done that. You've got 60 minutes to work out, it takes five minutes to change, another five to foam roll, and you just want to get your sweat on to feel like you've done something. Doing a bunch of glute bridges and dead bugs feels counter intuitive to the process.
But as I mentioned in part one, warming up keeps your body healthier, helps with injury prevention, and for many desk jockeys, is a good time to counteract the effects of sitting all day long.
A warm up also sets the tone for a good training session. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to teach a warm up to college students who are taking a coaching class. After going through foam rolling and six warm up exercises, all of the students (who are also athletes), had the same reaction.
"Man, I feel totally turned up and ready to go."
I think "turned up" was a good thing, but apparently I'm 90 and no longer understand half of what college kids say.
A good warm up stabilizes some joints and creates mobility in others. You're thoracic spine (upper back), hips, and ankles often need increased mobility, and that's what the students in the class were really responding to. They'd been sitting in classes all morning. But other joints, shoulders, elbows, and knees require exercises that will promote stability. And finally, you need a warm up that will activate some of the muscles that have literally been sitting all day, like glutes and abs.
Yada, yada, yada Kim. What am I doing?
Everyone is different, but here is a sample warm up that addresses all of the areas above. If you have a specific injury history or find any of these movements painful, then find your nearest personal trainer and get an assessment so you can get an individualized warm up.
Sample warm up
1. Foam roll - if your crunched for time, just hit the areas you'll be working out that day; lats, upper back, legs, etc.
2. Positional breathing - there's an entire field of study dedicated to the idea that, and this is a serious understatement of the field, better breathing can improve posture. www.posturalrestoration.com - the first two exercises below are rooted in PRI theories.
3. From there we add a few stretches for the hip flexors, some glute activation, and some full body activation.
A. Supine 90/90 hip lift with full exhale
B. Lat Stretch
C. Rocking Hip Flexor Stretch
D. Supine Glute bridge
E. Kneeling Glute bridge
F. Spiderman lunge with hip lift and overhead reach
G. Alternating lateral lunge walk with overhead reach
Give it a whirl. Or at least foam roll.