The most important part of the workout is the one most often skipped! It can feel like pulling teeth if it is too slow of a pace, or not preparing you for the what lies ahead in your training session. Yet, without a warm-up, the chances of injury skyrocket, performance potential decreases, overall preparedness for the challenge is low, and you are in a position to not move or feel your best; yuck to all of that!
Like a Car in the Winter…
Any auto mechanic will recommend starting your car to idle for a few minutes before hitting the road. Before slamming the gas and driving off, you want to allow time for the mechanisms to move, disperse fluid, and warm-up the complex parts within it. If you’ve tried to drive away the second you turned the key, then you know what the car does in retaliation; slow, sludging movements, poor acceleration, and there is a sense of stiffness underneath the hood of the car. Not the ideal way to start a journey, and over time, can accumulate legitimate damage that would need extensive repairs.
If that simple trick helps a powerful, multi-ton machine function better, shouldn’t we as humans use the same mindset when utilizing the most important machine of all? Of course, I’m talking about our bodies!
That is where I step in. My job is to bring the best methods to keep your internal engine at its strongest, above most other things. So let’s start at the very beginning of our training session:
WARM UPS ARE BORING, POINTLESS, A WASTE OF TIME, AND NOT FUN
In the fitness and training mindset, the same thing can happen to coaches. “Sticking to the basics” is never a bad idea, and truth be told, can be a great blend of comfort and challenge for everyone. I believe the purpose of a warm-up session is to wake up your joints, stimulate the brain to coordinate/wake up/connect to the body, and stimulate blood flow to your muscles for the maximal potential of performance.
A warm-up is designed to prepare you for the tasks at hand, improve joint range of motion and health, ready the soft tissues that support muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Add that into some cognitive stimulating, focus demanding movements to work a sweat on your brow and you’ve got a recipe for not only improved performance during that session but have LEARNED how your body is moving to bring that mindfulness into your everyday life! Does this sound like something you can get jiggy with? Good! It means you are ready for a movement upgrade.
A purpose in my coaching philosophy is bringing awareness to shift your focus from “dabbling in exercise” to “training and moving to live better”. What is the purpose? What do you want from your training? What will make you feel empowered? What will you able to do with your newfound ability and strength? The answer to those “what’s” will determine your “why”. And that why is the driving force behind optimizing your body for longevity to do the things you love most. If you want changes in your life, it’s going to take initiating a big change first! Start by creating a deeper connection with movement, training, and expanding your untapped potential to live better every day.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are 14 Ways we Spice Up Our Warm-Ups to get your internal engine primed and ready to go
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