Are You Paying Enough Attention to Your Warm Up?

When it comes to warm ups, I see it time and time again. People will foam roll for 10 minutes, do some PVC pass throughs, hop on a bike for 10 minutes and then hit the open workout. This is not a sufficient warm up to prime the body, and certainly will not allow an athlete to have their best performance in a workout.

It might feel good, but foam rolling isn’t preparing your body for your work out.

A good warm up will increase the speed of muscle contraction, improve oxygen delivery to muscles, improve power and strength, increase blood flow to muscles, and in improve psychological readiness for performance. Bottom line: don’t skimp out!

When we think about an open workout, we want to start with a general warm up and progress towards a specific warm up.

What’s a General Warm Up and Why Should I Do It?

A general warm up consists of 5-10min of general slow activity such as bike, rower, jogging, etc. The purpose is to just increase body temperature and getting moving.

What’s a Specific Warm Up and Why Should I Do It?

Specific warm ups are about 10-20 minutes long with movements that are directly related to what you will be performing. You will progressively get more focused on the skills in the workout as you gradually increase the intensity until you are at workout intensity.

Got it! So..how do I design my own warm up?

Let’s use this concept to design a warm up for the CrossFit Open workout 19.5.

The Workout

  • For time with a 20 minute cap
  • 33-27-21-15-9
    • Thrusters 95/65lbs
    • Chest to Bar pull ups
General Warm Up

Five minutes of rowing will do the trick for your general warm up. You should gradually increase your speed over the course of the five minutes. We have selected a row, because it involves knee bending and straightening for the thrusters, and pulling for the chest to bar.

Specific Warm Up
Part 1

First we activate the muscles that will be used, and begin to move through and increase the range of movements for the specific exercises.

2 Rounds

  • 10 Scap push up to down dog
  • 10 Air squats
  • 10 Scap pull ups
Part 2

Here, we’ll gradually increase the specificity of movements while building in weight.

2 rounds: Round 1 empty barbell, round 2 75/55lbs

  • 5 barbell squats
  • 5 barbell push press
  • 5 kip swings
  • 5 kipping pull ups
Part 3

This part will build intensity in workout specific movements up to your workout intensity.

3 Rounds with Increasing Intensity

  • 7 Thrusters 95/65
  • 7 Chest to bar pull ups

To scale the intensity for the final part of the warm up, take Round 1 at about 70% of WOD speed, round 2 at 85%, and round 3 at your anticipated workout speed. Keep in mind you will need to pace yourself throughout the whole workout!

I’m Warmed Up and I’ve Worked Out. Now What?

Once you’re done with the workout, hop on the rower for a 3–5-minute cool down. The cool down helps to slowly decrease your heart rate following a workout.

Use these tools to make a warm up for your next workout, and let us know how it goes!

Looking for more open prep ideas? We’ve got tons of content on our instagram! Dealing with pain or finding yourself plateauing instead of peaking? We can help! Reach out here.

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