Alu's Warm-Up Routine
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
I seem to have a unique perspective on warming up before exercise. Many people question why I warm up the way that I do, and some consider it unnecessary or even wrong. I will attempt to explain the method to my madness.
While I used to roll out of bed and do 120 pushups before even going to the bathroom, I find that my injuries and aging body may be catching up to me. I can no longer exert myself much without first warming up my muscles and joints. Perhaps it's my beaten and bruised joints and muscles. Perhaps it's my poor circulation. Whatever the reasons, I do need to warm up before strenuous physical activity. If this sounds familiar to you, read on. If you don't have any issues working out without warming up, enjoy your youth while you can!
When I first arrive at the gym, I am wearing clothing that will keep me much warmer (leggings, sweat pants, underarmor, hoodie) than I would if I were just there to relax. This helps me increase my body temperature, especially the periphery. I do not do intense static stretching right away, and I do not lift weights right away. I begin with the warm-up that our instructors at TSMMA put us through. Ankle circles, knee circles, hip circles, shoulder circles, neck movements, elbows, and wrists.
At this point, I feel that my joints are loose enough to begin putting a little more stress on them, so I transition to dynamic stretching. I do some half-power front kicks, ideally on a heavy bag. Then comes high risking kicks (dynamic hamstring stretch) and then round kicks and hook kicks. I mix in some jogging back and forth in the gym between kicking sets. The running speed increases each time until I am sprinting at 100% speed. I also mix in alternating lunges and lateral bending of the torso while doing the dynamic warmup. As I reach 100% intensity on the sprints and the kicks and I move to jumping lunges or jump-squats, I begin to do some static stretching: straddle, splits, glutes, shoulders, back, quads, and calves. I finish off my warmup with the rowing machine, a set of pushups, or a light round of boxing on the heavy bag.
Once I complete this routine of around 10 minutes, every muscle in my body is warm and every joint has maximal bloodflow and flexibility. This increases performance and decreases injuries. I have sustained zero serious injuries while working out and I rarely strain anything in the gym, because I'm always so warm.
Hope this helps!
This is pretty much the warmup I do before any type of exercise: