If you're not already doing a warm-up of some kind prior to your workouts, you should be. Warm-ups are an often overlooked aspect of a badass workout, but they can prime your body for the destruction to come.
We won't go into the nitty gritty details, but just know that warm-ups get blood flowing through your tissues, "unlock" stiff joints and prepare them for movement, and get your body comfortable with the movement patterns you'll be using in your workout. While skipping a warm-up might not break your workout, doing one may very well make it.
We get it, though: warm-ups are boring. Even though the fitness industry has shifted from static to dynamic, movement-based stretching, which is much more interesting by default, it's still easy to get stuck in a rut.
The easy fix? Stuff all of your warm-up exercises into a single combo movement.
This full body warm-up hits your entire body, and 5-8 reps should cover your warm-up needs. Of course, don't forget to supplement it with additional exercises to target weak spots.
- From a standing position, hinge your hips back and drop your hands to the ground for the walkout.
- Walk all the way into a high plank (pushup position), then pull one leg forward for the groiner.
- Hold for a few seconds, then add the reach and hold for a few more seconds. Do the same with your other side.
- Now, bear crawl 10-15m, then settle back into your high plank and do a pushup.
- Finally, walk your hands towards your feet and stand back up.
Walkouts require upper body stability, core strength, and lower body mobility. They're well-rounded and that's what makes them such a powerful warm-up exercise.
- It's okay to round your lower back here if you need to. The loading is minimal, so you're not putting yourself in any real injury danger, and it can be helpful for people in lots of extension (athletes, individuals who stand for hours and hours).
Groiners stretch out most of your lower body, but they're especially effective at waking up your adductors and improving hip mobility.
- Make sure to finish each step by driving your foot down into the floor so it's completely flat.
This reach is perfect for people who find themselves stuck in a seated position for long periods of time. It targets your thoracic spine, an area that gets roughed up with prolonged sitting.
- Focus on rotating from your mid-back and up, not from your hips and lumbar spine.
4) Bear Crawl
We tend to think of the bear crawl as a primarily lower body exercise, but when it's done with strict attention to detail, it can light up your entire body.
- Body positioning is one of the most common bear crawl errors. Keep a straight line from your head to your hips, just like you would during a plank, and don't bob your hips up and down as you crawl.
This one shouldn't need much explanation — it's a classic. Pushups get your chest, shoulders, and triceps ready for a tough session, and the high plank position turns on your core musculature.
- Drop your chest all the way to the ground, maintain your beautiful plank position, and push evenly through your hands and feet as you drive back up.
Give this combo warm-up a try and let us know if you like it better than what you're currently doing. And if not, then share your warm-up so we can enjoy it, too!