How to properly warm-up for a workout

15 04 2009

I hope my first few articles have given you enough information to pique your interest, because now we’re going to get into the meat of the workouts.  Every good workout starts with a good warm-up, and today we’re going to walk through what constitutes a proper warm-up.

Before I get started, I want to make it clear that taking a quick jog and then touching your toes does not count as a warm-up.  I tell my athletes that if they aren’t at least close to sweating by the time they get into their workout, then they aren’t warming up properly.  I also want to make it clear that static stretching (the stretch-and-hold technique you’re most likely doing now before practice and games) before training or playing is not a good idea.  I could bore you with a bunch of science, but the long and the short of it is that static stretching makes you less powerful when it comes to performance.  Take my advice and follow this simple progression to warm up and you’ll be ready for the hardest training sessions and the most important games.

The basis behind this whole warm up is that we are going to prepare the muscles to perform optimally in several different directions (just like your sport: you don’t run in straight lines unless you run track).  Our warm up is going to start with dynamic mobility, which basically means we are going to stretch our muscles while moving in those different directions.  The other important factor is that we are going to wake up our core so that it helps stabilize us and makes us quicker and stronger.  The last important factor of our warm up is that we are going to ramp up the intensity until we are ready to function at 100%.

Here is the basic warm-up my athletes do before every workout (click the exercise to see an example):

  1. Walking lunges with a twist: 2 sets of 10 yds
  2. Walking Lunges with an overhead reach (reach overhead with the hand of the knee that is on the ground towards the opposite side): 2 x 10 yds
  3. Lateral Lunges: 1 x 20 each leg
  4. Frankensteins: 1 x 10 yds
  5. Inchworms: 1 x 10 yds
  6. High Knees: 1 x 10 yds
  7. Butt kickers: 1 x 10 yds
  8. Lateral Shuffle: both directions 10 yds
  9. Carioca/Grapevine: both directions 10 yds

As always, if you have any questions email me at and feel free to email me with any topics you’d like to see covered!

Dedicated to your success,


Total Performance Sports & Fitness




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