Who in the hell wants to spend 20 minutes getting ready to workout? Not me! At least not the younger me. It has taken me a full 46 years to figure out that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to fitness. It’s not much different than foreplay when you think about it. As foreplay most certainly yields dividends, a dynamic warmup prepares you for your workout and sets you up to yield better results. As I began working out a few years ago, I battled one nagging injury after another and it would always derail any progress that I would make. However, when I began employing dynamic warmup techniques, I have discovered that I can workout on a consistent basis and am not at risk of losing my gains to injury. Dynamic warmups prepare your body for the stress you are about to experience during the active phase of your workout. There are literally thousands of moves you can perform during dynamic warmup routines and none of them are wrong. I am going to take you through my current routine that has proven effective for me.
My old routine used to include a foam roller but recently I have expanded my warm up dramatically to include a host of varying dynamic (defined vigorously active or forceful) techniques. Here is how it works:
I begin every workout with arm circles. I do 20 reps of small circles in a forward direction followed by 20 in the reverse direction. I then repeat the process using large circles, like I’m doing the breast stroke and back stroke.
I then do alternating huggers, alternating top and bottom arms for 20 reps. The great Joe DeFranco calls these “some a’ deez” as many of his clients would tell him that they would work out by doing “some a deez” and swinging their arms back and forth into a hug prior to going in for a MAX lift!
Lateral Arm Stretch:
Starting with my hands at my side, I pull one arm, palm down, across my body until my shoulder is underneath my chin. I then place the wrist of my other arm near the triceps of my stretched out arm and pull towards me I do this 10 seconds with each arm returning my arms back to my side when complete.
Behind the Back Shoulder Stretch:
I put my hand behind my neck and pull my elbow up towards the ceiling with the opposite hand ensuring I get a good stretch in my shoulder and tricep. I do this for 10 seconds per arm.
Reach for the Sky:
With my arms to my side and the palms of my hands facing back I swing my arms out and up above my head stretching the to the sky. Then I slowly lower them back down and repeat 20 times.
I do 20 slow rotations to the right pausing for 10 second at the end stretching my head to my right shoulder. Then I repeat to the left.
I do 10 repetitions of each of the following unless I have a really tight spot. Then I spend a little extra time on that area. The foam roller is great for working out knots and sore spots on your body. It is like getting a quick massage. I just ordered my first knobby roller as I am graduating from the flat roller. I will fill you in on the differences after I use it a few times.
- – the technique I prefer is to cross my opposite leg over the ankle of the leg I am rolling. I feel this gives me a little added weight to help loosen up the knots.
- Back of the Knee
- – I don’t know why but the roller just plain feels good working the back of the knee.
- – I prefer to do both of these at once propping myself off of the ground to give the triceps a little work.
- – I prefer to work one side of the buttocks at a time as I can find any sore or tight spots easily.
- – working the top and sides of the thigh can be very painful (at least for me) when you first start using the roller. After the initial shock, it starts to feel great!
- – the lats for me are awkward to roll comfortably but when you find the spot you’ll know it.
- Neck and Upper Back
- – feels great and often get a nice stretch and/or crack out of the back.
On Back Alternating Down Up:
While lying on your back, put your legs and arms straight up in the air like you’re reaching for the sky. Then slowly lower the opposite leg and arm and until they almost touch the ground; bring them back up and repeat. The other leg and arm should not move while doing your 10 reps per side. When I am done working opposite Iimbs, I do both at the same time. Slowly lower both legs and arms to the ground and back up 10 times. In addition to warming the body up it is great for the core. (This can be hard on the lower back for many people, so if you have lower back issues try this instead.
I get on my hands and knees in the table position and I then extend my right hand forward and my left leg back. I perform this move for 10 reps and during the ten reps, my left knee and right hand never touch the ground. I then do the opposite side for 10 reps to complete the exercise.
I put the opposite hand of the leg (or you can put both hands on the wall) I am working against the wall and then I extend the leg outward and then sweep it inward across my body. I do 10 reps per leg.
You may need something to hold onto for stability, so start out holding onto something. Once secure, I kick my right leg forward as far as I can and then I reach back as far as I can while standing relatively upright. I do this for 10 reps and repeat with the left leg.
Inside Band Steps:
Using a resistance band secured to a post or hook or whatever, I put both legs inside the band with the band resting slightly above the ankle on the working leg. I then step out to the side and return to the starting position. 10 reps per leg. (need VIDEO)
Outside Band Steps:
This exercise is done with one leg inside the band and one leg outside the band. The band should be resting just above the ankle on the leg inside the band. With the opposite leg a step or so away from the working leg, I bring the working leg towards the opposite leg finishing with my feet nearly touching side by side. 10 reps per leg.
Knee Resistance with Band:
Placing one leg inside the band and resting the band on the back of the knee, I get a good stretch on the band with the heel of my foot raised off the ground. I then push the heel of my foot to the ground until my foot is firmly planted. If it feels too easy, just take another step back and try again. 10 reps each leg.
I just started using these and am sure I will be adding additional exercises to my warmup or workout routine, but here are two exercises I am using now:
- – put your feet ahead of your body so you have a 45 degree or more angle when you lean back away from the strap base. With your arms stretched out directly in front of you raise them up until they form a “Y”, slowly relax back to the starting position and repeat 10 time.
- – same starting position as the “Y’s” but with your feet a little further ahead. With your arms stretched out in front of you open them up and stretch them out to your sides until the form a “T”, slowly relax back to the starting position and repeat.
So there you have it. I know it sounds like a lot, but the next time you begin a workout, I urge you to give it a tray. After all, you’re not getting any younger, but since I incorporated my dynamic warm-up routine, I feel as if I am! If you have any other exercises you use for your warmup, I would love add them to my routine. I will try and get some video demos of my warmup to you soon.
Keep working to regain or maintain your ViTurity – you are all inspirations to someone else!
Enjoying the journey