Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter Warm-up

Not a dynamic warm-up itself. Sorry for the misleading title, but I'm a nerd for alliteration.

Rather, we'll literally look at "warming" up. Winter weather can be a huge hindrance for some people. I personally can't stand doing anything when I'm cold, especially exercising. Therefore we can choose two options. The first entails becoming a fat ass like this fella:

Sucks for this guy if he was somewhere in Florida.
Then he must have been sweating up a storm.

The other option is to employ a few strategies to work in our favor and raise our body temperature.
1) Get Ya Drank On
  • Any warm beverage works. Tea or a bit of black coffee helps due to the caffeine. If you're lifting in the night, I'd advise against anything caffeinated because it may affect your sleep.
  • Likewise, you're not chugging a pitcher. A small cup's worth just to get warm and some caffeine, not a boat load. Drink too much and your stomach will be sloshing around while you exercise.
2) Everything In Your Closet
  • I lift in shorts and a t-shirt. If I'm home, even less (seriously). The point is we prefer to be comfortable when doing strenuous activity. However, the light attire can leave us shivering for our grandmas. Since it's either a walk or drive to the gym, it's not great to jump gung ho into your workout if you're cold before you even start.
  • Before I begin to lift, I prefer to build up a slight sweat. I go through my dynamic warm-up with a hoodie and sweatpants (shorts underneath) and even a few warm-up sets for my first lift. When it's time to get down to business, I strip them off. The change in feeling is significant enough for me to feel much more comfortable and ready to lift.
3) Make It Challenging
  • Your warm-up will get your body going, but if you're accustomed to your routine it won't be as nearly as challenging to complete. It doesn't hurt to add a little extra effort. You won't end up "over prepared." If anything, you'll feel even more ready than usual.
  • It's relatively easy to make your warm-up harder. Add a few bodyweight movements in with little rest. Jump squats, push-ups, planks, various lunges, single-leg Romanian deadlifts, hip thrusts, handstands, lateral shuffling, jump rope, so on and so forth. The possibilities are endless.
  • If your session is upper-body based for the day, add in upper-body exercises and likewise for lower-body. If you're cycling, focus a bit more on ankle mobility. Benching? T-spine mobility drills. Target areas of your body that will be taking the brunt of the training session.
Through a few quick and easy strategies, we're able to continue through the blistering cold. The extra 5 minutes you utilize will go a long way. But, I can't promise anything like this.....

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