Education

Stop Wasting Time Wondering How to Warm-up and Read This

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Do you waste 15-20 minutes every day twiddling your thumbs thinking about what you should be doing for your warm-up? We want our athletes to effectively utilize their time in order to properly prepare themselves for whatever is programmed, so we’ve created standardized warm-ups for four basic movement patterns: squat, upper-pull, upper push and hinge.

Warm-Up Standard Operating Procedure 

A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a must-have for any athlete to maximize their time in the gym, address problem areas, mitigate injury and ensure longevity in training. 

First, spend five minutes doing some simple movements to get your blood flowing and joints moving. Use this time to figure out where any sticky spots are in your body (ex: CARs). This is also a great time to work on any breathing practices you may be incorporating into your daily training. Maybe your hip is tight…you now know to spend a little extra TLC on it. This doesn’t have to be special, you just have to MOVE, and the best part, it can be different every day, just let yourself flow through movements, almost yoga style. Use this as an opportunity to be creative!

From there, move directly into a standard warm-up for the movement pattern you will be performing that day. If you’re on one of the Invictus online programs, we will provide that for you each day. If you’re not, you can still give our standardized warm-ups a try to see for yourself why they are one of the many tools we use with great success in our online programs.

Movement Pattern Focused Warm-Ups

Of the four basic movement patterns, in this article we’ll address squatting. On squat-focused days, we want our athletes to get their blood flowing as well as prime their midline and legs for the loading that comes with squatting. This standardized warm-up allows them to do just that while also adding in extra accessory work. If done regularly, our athletes will complete a minimum of 2500-3000 feet of carries each week. We’ve found that this has led to more durability and less injury frequency amongst our high-level athletes.

Warm-Up for Squat Emphasis Workout

This warm-up is perfect for our Invictus Athlete and Competition online program athletes to prep for squat days. For Masters athletes, we recommend spending a little longer with a warm-up that contains targeted mobility, joint activation for stability and a warm-up flow to get you moving for the day’s movement patterns. 

Move continuously between sections and this will take a total of approximately 20 minutes.

A1. Three rounds of:

10 Banded Monster Walks (each direction – forward, backward, left and right)

10 Banded Good Mornings

Time: 3 minutes

A2. (optional) 2-3 minutes of: 

Kettlebell -OR- Sandbag Ankle Stretch (each side or both sides together)

Time: 3-5 minutes

A3. Three rounds of:

100-foot Double Kettlebell Front Rack Carry

100-foot Kettlebell Farmer Carry

Goal: heaviest weight you can complete unbroken

Time: 3-4 minutes

A4. Three rounds of:

10 Double Kettlebell Front Squats

10 Double Kettlebell Deadlifts

Goal: heaviest weight you can complete unbroken

Time: 3-4 minutes

A5. Two to three sets of:

20 Reverse Hypers @ 50% of 1RM Back Squat*

100-foot Reverse Sled Drag @ 30-40% of 1RM Back Squat

*If you do not have access to a reverse hyper, perform banded pull-throughs

Time: 5-6 minutes

Why did we pick these movements?

Here’s why we choose each of these movements to use for our standardized squat warm-up.

Banded Monster Walks

This activates the glutes and abductors. Our athletes have access to a belt squat machine, which we prefer, but banded monster walks work just as well.

Banded Good Mornings

This activates the posterior chain, primarily glutes and hamstrings, while providing minimal impact to the body.

Double Kettlebell Front Rack Carry

This introduces loading to the athlete’s frame and activates the obliques as well as posterior chain.

Kettlebell Farmer Carry

When paired with the front rack carry, this keeps athletes under tension for 3-4 minutes straight but with minimal impact. This both activates the entire body and helps bulletproof the midline when done regularly.

Double Kettlebell Front Squats

This introduces the squat pattern with loading that will be 30% or less than the athletes 1RM back squat and further reinforces midline strengthening.

Double Kettlebell Deadlifts

This allows the athlete to hit posterior accessories on days that aren’t highly posterior focused.

Reverse Hyper

This is the single most important tool for building a strong back and keeping our athletes healthy. It is a low impact and high blood flow tool that our athletes use almost daily.

Reverse Sled Drag

This promotes quad activation and keeps our athletes’ knees healthy.

Athletes of all ages and experience should have a standardized warm-up as it will be imperative in helping to maintain your health throughout years of intense physical training. We hope you enjoy this one and if you have any questions about it or your training, please reach out to us!

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