Your warmup is the primer for the session ahead and at the end of it you should be moving better than when you started. With this thought at the forefront, think now to the 10 min cardio warmup you did before your last weights session even though you had tight hamstrings…..Was this the smartest option? Shit no!!!
So what is the best warmup?
First, before we get to that important questions, let’s state this fact, warm ups need to be done pre-session, 100%, every time.
To everyone training with limited time, we know this is the first thing you ditch to save some time, but don’t. An effective warm up can be the difference between:
- A good session or a bad session
- hitting a PB or not (fastest time, most weight, intensity or volume)
- remaining injury free or tweaking something
So don’t skip your warmup, discussion closed on that point.
Back to what’s the best then, if it’s not a stint on cardio then what should you do? Well truthfully there is no best one size fits all. At PPT, we have some clients warming up with stretches, joint mobility and movement, foam rolling, muscle activation, joint distraction, dynamic movement, warm up sets, sometimes even cardio. There’s lots to choose from and everything has a place.
Our goal as trainers, get the client prepared for what’s to come. If we were going to squat and we know a client is very tight through their ankles, we would spend some time mobilising the joint, rolling out their calves, stretching and probably once we felt there was some improvement, then do a few warm up sets. If they still looked like they needed more work, it wouldn’t stop there.
About to do intervals, then there would be benefits from a totally different warmup. There might be some dynamic stretching and movement and then a 5 – 10 minute period where intensity and heart rate are built up to prepare them for the tough interval work to come. Very different approach, neither are “the best” but both would help each respective person perform better in the session to come.
Reading this might make it all sound really complicated, but really it’s not. Strip it back and keep it basic. Follow the guidelines below, put the time in and you should be right to go. Still unsure, ask your trainer, that’s their job.
- What type of session is ahead? Weights, cardio, intervals, prep the body for the work ahead
- Identify any muscles that are tight, foam roll first and then lock them down with a static stretch as a minimum.
- Test the movements before attacking your session, if something doesn’t feel right, keep warming up
Hopefully you’re a little warmer now and not out in the cold on what to do before a session! Get in and do what you need to get the best from your session.
To find out more about PPT’s services and how we help our clients achieve their health and fitness goals, get just contact us and our team will be in touch