A lot of people don’t know where to start when it comes to warming up. Often this means we either don’t do any warm up at all, or do so in a completely unsuitable way.
I am a huge fan of the ‘RAMP’ method (developed by Professor Ian Jeffreys) for warming up in most instances. This comprehensive and versatile warm up methodology is divided into three segments, which I will outline below.
This first segment of the warm up is simply about raising your heart rate, breathing rate and body temperature.
This could be any number of things, from rowing to shuttle runs. Do try to select options that are relevant to your sessions, as this is a great opportunity to improve your movement patterns with some extra practice.
Activate and Mobilise
This section moves on to improving mobility and accessing a full range of motion, and recruiting key muscle groups.
You should focus on targeted dynamic stretching or foam rolling to increase flexibility and improve mobility. Combine this with light, or bodyweight, movements to further activate your muscles.
In simple terms this final part means getting better and stronger at a movement by practising it, and increasing the intensity or speed as you do so.
Potentiation is often incorporated into the first main movement of your session. This means that gradually increasing the weight on the bar, as you build towards your working sets, will improve your subsequent performance.
If not performing strength movements, a more generalised approach here can also be extremely effective, perhaps incorporating some plyometric principles.
Example warm up
This is all very interesting Dave, but can’t you just tell me what to do?!
Well, yes I can. It won’t be quite as effective as a bespoke programme, but here is a sample warm up that will be useful for a lot of people, before a strength and conditioning session.
The rowing should effectively elevate your temperature, heart rate and breathing rate, before moving onto some movements for mobility.
Stripper squats will stretch your hamstrings, mobilise your hips and back, and get your whole lower body working. The lunges will introduce some unilateral and rotational elements to the session, before shifting focus to the upper body with the muscle clean and press. These should be done one after another, before resting for thirty seconds, and then repeating.
Finally, by performing increasingly powerful jumps and throws you will prepare yourself for some effective training.
I hope you can incorporate some of these ideas into your warm ups and you find them helpful!