Proper Warm-Up For Any Workout: Part 1

Foam Rolling and Stretching

Today I am here to talk to you about what I think is a great way to warm-up for any workout, sport, or intense physical activity. You never want to go from sitting on the couch right into squatting 315 pounds or running a 5k. This routine will help us prevent injury during our activities and become more mobile throughout the movements. The warm-up shouldn’t take any longer than 15 minutes but the benefits will be seen for months to come. Lets get started with one of my favorites, foam rolling.

Foam rolling is a great way to start any stretch routine. The benefits have to do with the mobility of the fascia. Fascia is a fibrous layer of connective tissue that surrounds all of the muscles in our body. Without proper mobility, fibers of the fascia become cross-linked and they bind to muscles and nerves, inhibiting normal motion and causing pain. The first area we are going to foam roll is our glute. This stretch is performed by sitting up on thefoam roller with one leg bent and the other propped up on top of the other leg, place the hand on the ground behind you and proceed to roll back and forth over the glute. Work the inside, middle, and outer edge of the glute. If you find a spot that hurts or a “trigger point”, hold on that area for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat the movement.

The second area we are going to target is our back. Begin by lying on the foam roller with it under your upper back, knees bent and feet planted. We are going to hinge over the foam roller with our upper back exhaling as we extend. Hold in the extended position for a five count then repeat five to ten times. To hit the lower back slowly start working the foam roller down your back, 2 to 3 inches at a time until you reach your lower lumbar. Perform the same sequence as the upper back stretch. The final area we are going to roll is our lat and posterior shoulder. Set up starts just like the upper back portion except we are going to roll to one side and extend that arm over head. Once in this position begin to roll up and down on the lat all the way to the base/ back side of the shoulder. A small roll of the lat for five to ten passes. Switch sides and perform the same thing. Now we are ready for the stretching portion.

Being that the fascia is broken up pretty well, we can get into our stretches. We will begin with the banded hamstring stretch, which is a very simple one to perform. Place a band over your mid foot and hold onto it with your hands, lay back and slowly pull your foot from the group to a 90 degree angle. The opposite leg should be laying flat on the ground. Once you have pulled the foot as high as you can, hold there for 20-30 seconds. Switch feet and perform the same process. Hip flexor stretch is next up. This one is very simple. We are going to do a reverse lunge, placing the back knee all the way on the ground. Once in this position lean forward keeping a talk chest and if need be a slight lean back. You should feel this stretch at the front of the hip on the leg kneeling. Hold leaning forward for a 10 count then switch. Perform 5 reps per side. The last one we are going to stretch is our Adductor or inner leg. We will start this one off on our hands and knees. Once here we will spread our knees as far as we can comfortably. We will then drive our hips back toward our heels, hold that position for a few seconds, and then drive our hips forward. You should feel this stretch in your inner legs and hips a tad. After foam rolling and stretching, we can finally get up off the ground for our activation portion.
Warm –up Summary Part 1:

Foam Roller– Glutes- 5-10 passes per side

Lower and Upper Back- 5 extensions

Lat and Posterior Shoulder- 5 times per side

Stretching-Band Hamstring- 20-30 sec hold per leg

Reverse Lunge Hip Flexor Stretch- 10 sec/ 5 times per leg

Adductor Stretch- 5 sit backs and lean forwards/5 sec hold each

In Part two we will introduce the activation and active warm-up portion.

– Cody Temples ACE, USAW

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