We often wonder “what’s a good warm up?” when we’re finally committed that one hour of time in our day to get moving. Sometimes, it might be hard to even start working out because you are already perplexed with this idea of “warming up” to prepare for movement such as lifting weights or some sort of aerobic activity.

At CrossFit Des Plaines, our knowledgeable coaches are equipped with several intentional routines, techniques and movement patterns to help prepare our members to move better throughout their one hour CrossFit class. Here are three simple ways that the coaches incorporate “warm ups” also known as RAM: range of motion, activation and movement.

1. General aerobic warm up intervals or movement: Think about this method as your typical “warm up” idea – any simple way to start getting your blood flow moving. Your breath and heart rate progressively start to increase in order to get your body ready for the heavy lifting or high intensity “WOD” (workout of the day) by increasing blood flow to major organs such as the brain, heart, and lungs, but also to our muscles that will be contracting throughout exercise.

2. Range of motion preparation: Whether this is passive or active, range of motion preparation allows us to move our joints outside of their “typical” line of movement when in a relaxed state. This can be especially helpful especially if you are someone who is seated all day at work, and may need some added structure to help your body move fluidly through different movements you will use in class, such as squatting, pulling, pressing and so forth. Examples of this could be using a PVC pipe to “pass through” our shoulder range of motion to prepare for a snatch, or taking a few big lunge steps across the gym floor to open up the hips, and stretch out the legs to prepare for squats.

3. Activation: Exercise is more than just the physical movement, and this is where activation comes to play. Your brain and your body work together to “turn on” the right muscles to contract when moving through say, a simple movement such as a deadlift (glutes, hamstrings, core, heck, your whole body!), yet: can create some obstacles for us to perform if we are not properly activating the right muscle groups for the lift. Some of these examples might be things like: banded good mornings, glute hip bridges with a pause at the top, single leg kettlebell deadlifts, just to name a few for deadlifts.

The benefits of this old school idea of “warming up” include an increased exercise performance, practicing injury prevention, and greater body awareness overall for strength training and aerobic conditioning. If you’re looking to get warmed up to your next workout routine, give us a call, or learn more about our Get Fit Starter Package. We’d be happy to discuss how our coaches, CrossFit programs and facility can support your enhanced workout routine.

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