Just a quick note, I am having issues setting up the main picture on WordPress….damn ‘upgrade’.  I hope to have it fixed soon but the only picture in this post should make up for it.  That is all, on to the good stuff!

Let’s face it, the average person doesn’t do much more than a few light stretches followed by 5 minutes on a treadmill to warm-up before hitting the weights.  Sadly, that is even being a bit generous.  The fact is that most people don’t know they even SHOULD be warming up before engaging in strength training/strenuous exercise.

Needless to say, if you are flailing around with 3lb dumbbells your whole workout IS your warm-up but that is a story for another day.  For the rest of you, it might be a good idea to work on a few things before total deadlift domination. A proper warm-up should include:

  • Corrective/postural exercises (fix weaknesses and prevent injury)
  • Soft Tissue Work (a.k.a. foam rolling, myofascial release, lacrosse ball lovin’)
  • Activation (Stabilization of Joints)
  • Mobilization (dynamic stretches)
  • Patterning (mimic strength exercises or work on a weakness)

Until recently, these have been the foundation for any and all client and personal programming.  None of the above have changed and but I have added some plyo/explosive work to the mix as well as some athletic drills depending on the program/athlete.

Why?

  1. Explosive strength is the first and fastest strength component to decrease with age.
  2. People move poorly at great speeds (a.k.a. suck at jumping, sprinting and throwing)
  3. It helps you lift more. 

If you are an athlete or weekend warrior this stuff is absolutely essential to enhance your performance and dominate your sport.  If you are a powerlifter or strength athlete such as myself, regularly incorporating explosive work will mean better efficiency and rate of force production but just remember to not overdo it.  For the rest of you, it will add a little pep to yo step and prevent you from losing power with age.  

How To Incorporate In Your Warm-Up

You should NOT be gassed by the end of your warm-up, you should feel fired up and be starting to sweat.  That said, you should only add a few of these drills the the end of your warm-up.  Meaning after you have foam rolled, stretched, mobilized, stabilized, ridden on the back of a unicorn and fired up your CNS.  

If you train 2 lower and 2 upper body days each week, I recommend doing lower body drills on lower body days and upper body drills on upper body days.  If you train 2 or 3 full body days each week I recommend either cycling drills or doing a couple of each.  Simple right?

Keep it simple with loading as well but just remember that the closer you get to >90% effort the lower the reps should be, especially with box jumps.  I prefer to stay in the range of 3-5 reps per set and if need be increase the amount of sets to increase volume.  If you want to do 50 box jumps in a row then you should check out your nearest Crossfit.

Trainer Note: It is dumb as shit to jump on a box that you can barely make it on top of so don’t do it.  Period.  I shouldn’t have to explain this one.

Lower Body Drills
Jumping
  • Jump Squat
  • Weighted Jump Squat
  • Box Jump
  • Weighted Box Jump
Sprinting
  • Sprinting 
  • Sled Sprint (recommended in most cases)

*hardstyle kettlebell swings may be added or substituted as well

Upper Body Drills
  • Med Ball Chest Pass
  • Med Ball Slam
  • Plyo Pushups

There are certainly more explosive drills and plyos that you can do but these are the staples that I use since they are simple to coach and have excellent carryover to training and sport.  Please let me know if I left anything out or if you like this post and light up the comment section below.  Boom!


Written by Steve