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Don't Skimp on the Warm Up!

With the colder temperatures in the gym lately (have you noticed?), the warm up portion of each class is more important than ever.

In our CrossFit, Fast & Strong, Legends, Swing Fit, Barbell Club, and CrossFit Kids programs (ALL OF THE PROGRAMS!), coaches program and lead the classes in a dynamic warm up. A dynamic warm up has multiple benefits. In addition to getting the heart pumping a little faster, which gets the muscles and joints moving a little easier, the dynamic warm up is designed to mimic the movements you will need for the strength and WOD that day. This starts to get your central nervous system ready to do overhead movements, or lunges, or pull ups.

For example, on a day when deadlifts are programmed as strength, and there are push ups, walking lunges, and rowing in the WOD, you might see a warmup that looks something like this: 

  • Row or Bike for 2:00
  • Then do 3 rounds of:
  • 5 Inchworms with a Push Up
  • 5/5 Spiderman Lunges
  • 5 Ring Rows
  • 5/5 Single Leg Glute Bridges

Look a little more closely at this warmup and you can see that the warmup movements are really going to get you ready for the day's work. The rowing or biking raises your heart rate and is a good overall warmup. The inchworms and glute bridges help you open up your hamstrings and engage your glutes in preparation for the deadlifts. The push up starts your brain thinking about push ups. The ring rows help you prep for the rowing, and also help activate your shoulders for the push ups and deadlifts. The single leg glute bridges give you some one-leg warm up to prepare you for the walking lunges. 

As you can see, there's really a lot going on in these warmups! And it's all the more important in cold temperatures to spend time (at LEAST 10 minutes) getting your muscles warm and priming your whole body (muscles, heart, and nervous system) for work you are expecting it to perform. If you skip the warm up, you not only will not perform as well as you'd like to in that workout, but you increase your risk of injury. 

SO! Don't skimp on the warmup. Some tips: 

*Show up to class a few minutes early so you can get the full benefit of the entire warm up, the part written on the board and the movements that your coach leads you through. 

*Don't rush! Get moving a moderate pace, but not so quickly that you aren't opening up those joints or engaging those muscles. 

*And turn on your brain! THINK about what you are moving, how it feels to you today, and if you aren't sure how the warm up corresponds to the work of the day, ask the coach to help you understand better.

If you are late to class, which happens Because Atlanta Traffic, don't just jump right into the lifting. Talk to the coach about an alternate warmup (if you're only a few minutes late), but again don't rush. If the lifting or skill part of class has begun is about to start, skip that part and do the warm up so you can be ready for the WOD (and if you have time, stay and do the strength with the next class). Or be ready to join the next class to get the full benefit of each class.

The warm up can be the best part of class (and sometimes the easiest part, haha), so give yourself the chance to get ALL of the benefits! 

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