The warm-up portion of a workout can make or break your performance in the gym. Failing to take the time to properly warm-up can also lead to injury.
You walk into a commercial gym and it is not uncommon to see a warm-up consist of 5 minutes of some variation of “cardio”. All this is doing is waisting 5 minutes of your precious time.
My goal today is to give you a template for a 10 to 15 minute warm-up to help you get the most of your workout
Purpose of Your Warm-up.
Increase Body Temperature
Slowly ramping up your body before a workout starts helps get the blood flowing and the working muscles create heat. This increase in temperature will help your muscles become more pliable and resistance to strain.
Your warm-up should have your heart rate up and have you beginning to breath a little bit heavier. It is important in performance and injury prevention.
Lubricate the Joints
Movement is the greatest “lubricant” for your joints. Within the joints is the body’s natural lubricant, synovial fluid. Synovial fluid helps reduce friction between the joints.
Movement helps move the synovial fluid throughout the joint, helping “coat” the joint surfaces.
Before any high performance machine can do what it is built to do, a switch must be flipped or a key turned. The human body is no different, but the switch is movement.
A good warm-up gets your body ready neurologically ready to perform at a high level.
The RAPP Template
The RAPP template is a simple acronym to help you organize your workouts. What is RAPP? I’m glad you asked.
The Release portion of the warm-up template primarily focuses on soft tissue work. You can use a foam roller, massage stick, or a lacrosse ball to provide self-myofascial release.
It is important to attack only trouble spots and not just roll body parts just because. Here are a few of the areas that I tend to see people struggle with
- Lateral Quads
- Thoracic Spine
This is the perfect time to apply “correctives”. I specifically like to attack the glutes and posterior shoulder/upper back. These are troublesome areas for many reasons.
Here are 4 moves i posted in a series of “moves to add to your daily routine” on Instagram
The one move you should do everyday? Band Pull-aparts. So much of our daily lives is spent out in front of us…from our cell phones and computers to bench pressing. The band pullapart can help counteract this and strengthen our upper back and posterior shoulder. This is important in shoulder and spine health.
Another move you should do daily?? The hip bridge. Many of us spend 8-10 our days sitting on our butts…effectively "shutting off" our glutes. This can be detrimental to our performance and can lead to injury. The hip bridge helps to counter the sitting all day and "activate" your glutes, helping increase performance and protect your low back.
And another move you should add to your daily routine! The miniband side shuffle. Implementing these in your warmup can have a powerful effect on the stability of your knee. The glutes and specifically glute med are responsible for providing stability in the frontal plane. Many people who suffer from knee pain or have injured their knee lack the strength to stabilize the knee side to side.
One more move to add to your daily routine! The face pull. This exercise helps build strong and stable shoulders for pressing and life. Like the band pull apart the face pull builds the upper back and posterior shoulder fighting against the poor posture of our daily lives. You can add these in as part of your warmup or I like to throw them in between sets of bench press.
The prep portion of the warm-up is the time to start moving. The goal here is to start raising the body temperature as well as move your body through the ranges of motion that you will be using during that day’s workout.
Here is a general movement prep warm-up for a lower body workout:
- Quadruped Rockbacks x15
- Bodyweight Squats 2×10
- Knee Hugs 2×20 yds
- SL RDL 2×20 yds
- Forward Lunge with Hip Flexor Stretch 2×20 yds
- Heel to Butt with Opposite Arm Reach Overhead 2×20 yds
- High Knees 1×20 yds
- Butt Kicks 1×20 yds
Your primary goal of “Prime” is to excite the nervous system for greater performance in the weight room. This helps take your body from 0 to 60.
There are numerous ways to go about priming your body for high performance in the weight room. Check out a couple ways to “prime” your body for high performance based on a lower/upper split.
Overhead medicine ball throws
- Medball Chest Pass
- Medball Slams
- Plyo Push-ups
Want to get the most out of your workout? It’s time to take your warm-up seriously. The RAPP template can help you prepare your body to perform at it’s best.