Warming Up to Warm-ups

08 Jul

In the beginning there was numbing cold…

The idea and implementation of warming up has slowly changed here at CrossFit Oahu, both from a coach’s perspective and from that of our members. I’m sure some of you remember the times when a coach would send you out to Reed Lane for a lap and then go straight into movement instruction and it was 3-2-1 go before you knew what happened. I’m proud to say that hardly–if ever–happens anymore.

Coaches at CFO have slowly waged an arms war in the warm-up world against one another.

-Jon Boy

Coaches at CFO have slowly waged an arms war in the warm-up world against one another. One coach throws in some head rotations, another works wrist mobility into the mix. In a constant battle to outdo each other, I believe our coaches have brought CrossFit Oahu’s warm-up game to the next level. “But what, exactly, makes a good warm-up?” you ask.

Winter has lifted…

Running 5 minutes on a treadmill or track is no longer considered an adequate warm-up, especially at a facility of our caliber. As it turns out, we need a lot more than that. A warm-up is meant to optimally prepare an athlete for the training of that day. There are a few fundamental things to every good warm-up, listed here:

  • Raise heart rate, stimulate cardiorespiratory system
  • Increase body temperature
  • Prepare nervous and musculoskeletal system for movement
  • Synaptic Facilitation (practice the upcoming movements)
  • Increase mobility and range-of-motion

The P.E. Teachers had it right…

What does all that medical jargon look like in a gym? Small circles forward…big circles forward…small circles back…big circles back. Lunge it out…hands over head. It turns out we’ve been doing it right at CrossFit Oahu, lately. Our warm-ups resemble basic mobilization of joints, preparation of important muscles for related work (activate hamstrings to effectively deadlift later), and a moderate increase in heart rate. We also spend time working on fun stuff, like getting out the agility ladder or working on a weakness like kipping pullups. As a side note, warming up for 225lb deadlifts does not mean doing 5 reps with an empty bar and then loading it up to 225lbs, doing one, and calling it a day.

Check out this video of oldschool CrossFitter Greg Amundson doing a warm-up of the very nature discussed:
YouTube Preview Image

We’re hot now…

In the future, who knows what warm-ups at CrossFit Oahu will look like. I’d be curious to hear what people would like more of. Post to comments what you’d want in your next warm-up.

  • About Jonathan Waltz

    CrossFitting since 2009. Worked at CFO from 2010 to present. Changing hearts, bodies, and minds.
  • Alao

    Great discussion. I purchased a $10 book on dynamic stretches that I pile through a majority of my workouts, to include band work. I love groin stretches and after adjusting my warm ups and even longer cool down stretches I can now sit almost lotus.

    • http://CrossFitOahu.com Bryant Powers

      What book?

  • Alao

    “Dynamic Stretches – The Revolutionary New Warm-Up Method to Improve Power, Performance and Range of Motion” by Mark Kovacs, Ph.D., CSCS. I got it on Amazon.com and it covers a range of movements; (some that were experienced at CFO) sport specific as well.

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