View Full Version : What's your warmup?

Gittit Shwartz
12-20-2008, 02:24 AM
I thought it would be interesting to see what everyone was doing for warmup. (If you have a workout log on here, you can just cut and paste.)

Some guiding questions:
Are there exercises or routines you like to do before every workout, or before a specific kind of workout?
How long is your warmup?
What exercises will you do even if you're pressed for time?
What special exercises do you do for injuries or imbalances?
What are your "biggest bang for the buck" warmup exercises?

I'll start:

The "workout" is a few minutes of hand balancing (handstands, QDR) every morning. Actually the warmup takes longer than the actual "workout" since it is also my morning routine. I've been doing this routine for a few weeks.

The issues I have to specially address are naturally closed shoulders, an old lower back injury, and my hand/wrist problems - I have a bone spur (carpal boss) on the back of each hand that somewhat limits ROM in the wrist and between the metacarpals. Especially when it's cold and in the morning, I can't entirely spread my palm flat right away, so it needs special attention.

What I do EVERY morning, even if I don't have time for the handstands after:
- Upward facing/downward facing dog
- Some high rep exercise to pump up the lower back - either 50 good mornings/RDLs with a light weight, or 25 reverse hyperextensions
- Shoulder flexibility routine on Swedish ladders by Ido/Coach Sommer x3 - so far, I'm getting really good results with this.
- Shortened version of Coach Sommer's wrist prep routine. I've found that once my shoulders are good and open the hand/wrist don't feel as stiff. It could also be because gripping and hanging from the ladders warms them up.
- If I have time, some alternating leg pistols and pike stretches on the swedish ladders.

For strength or metcon based workouts, I don't really warm up, just some basic joint mobility. It's sort of a deal I made with myself... Too many sets and exercises in the warmup and I just lose my appetite for the actual workout. Of course if I'm going to DL heavy, I work up from a lighter weight, but that's about it. I've never felt I really needed more.

Comments/questions welcome.

What's YOUR warmup?

Darryl Shaw
12-20-2008, 04:39 AM
I've never really done any specific warm up so I usually just do a single easy/light set to mobilize my joints and make sure everything feels okay then I go straight into my work sets.

Allen Yeh
12-20-2008, 06:38 AM
Currently if I'm lifting in the gym I'll alternate between these 2 warmups, I'm supposed to use a foam roller for the first portion so by subbing the little massage bell thing I don't eve get my lats like it's suggested.

Eric Cressey Warmup Option 1: ~10 minutes
SMR using massage ball thing - thoracic extension, quads. IT bands, hip flexors, adductors and pecs
lacrosse ball - calves, glutes, infraspinatus, arch roll ~0:15-0:30
kneeling RF/TFL stretch - 0:15L/R
sleeper stretch - 0:15L/R
glute bridge - 12
reach, roll, lift - 8L/R
wall ankle mobility - 8L/R
x-band walk - 10L/R
pull-back butt kick - 5L/R
cradle walk - 5L/R
split stance broomstick pec mobilization - 8L/R
squat to stand - 8
OH lunge walk - 5L/R

Eric Cressey Warmup Option 2: ~11 minutes
SMR using handheld massage ball thing - IT bands, quads, adductors, hip flexors, thoracic extension, pecs
lacrosse ball - calves, glutes, infraspinatus, arch roll ~0:10-0:20
warrior lunge kneeling stretch - 0:15L/R
hip external rotator stretch - 0:15L/R
bird dog - 8L/R
x band walk - 10L/R
rocking ankle mobility - 8L/R
scap pushup - 12
wall slide - 12
levator scapula stretch - 0:15L/R
high knee walk - 5L/R
reverse lunge w/ postolateral reach - 5L/R
walking spiderman - 5L/R

If it's not a gym day and I'm at home I'll usually do either a DROM warmup (hip circles, swings, arm circles...etc.) Throw in some movement prep exercises like inverted hamstring stuff. I'll also throw in some foam rolling prior to working out as well. 2+ months ago I was doing a variety of lower body things along with the diesel crew should rehab program. I like the way Eric Cresseys things out.

Things I've been trying to lately is incorporate a daily brief joint mobility program that hits all the major joints, in ~5-15 minutes. To focus more on areas I rarely focus on (feet, ankles, wrists, neck). This will usually be early morning or upon first waking up.

Once I start the workouts I'll typically warmup like this if it's a deadlift day with little rest other than changing the plates.
45 x 8, 95 x 5, 135 x 3, 185 x 1, 225 x 1, 275 x 1, rest 3 minutes then work sets form there.

Daniel Labuz
12-20-2008, 09:28 AM
Whatever I want to improve on, I always liked Dan John's philosophy of the warm up being the workout so I usually do some bodyweight exercises, or if I'm lifting some lightweight mid-rep lifting complexes, or sometimes I'm lazy and just row 500-1000m at a good pace.

But my pre-warmup(workout) always involves some foam rolling, calve stretching against wall, hip and shoulder mobility movements, and finger/wrist stretching

Kevin Perry
12-20-2008, 11:14 AM
I change it up from time to time depending on my mood.

One day might look like this:

Pushups, situps, squats kinda like a mini CFWU

Most of the time though I do SN balance + Jerk Balance + Hit Clean

I try to do some ROM movements before every workout and every so often some foam rolling since I discovered how effective it is.

I'm really bad at remembering to stretch though.

james forshaw
12-21-2008, 10:12 AM
At the moment, mine looks like this...

10 reps of the following:

Standing leg swings (each side - dynamic hamstring stretch)
Split squats (each side - dynamic hip flexor stretch)
Shoulder dislocates
Standing leg swings
Overhead Squats

Takes about 3-4 mins which IMO is enough to get the heart-rate going, and I think it covers all muscle groups whilst addressing shoulder/hamstring flexibility (which I'm sorely lacking).
My best Fran is well under 3 minutes rx'd, but a full Crossfit warm-up I'm convinced would take far too much out of me. Never done one though, so it's just speculation.

Derek Weaver
12-21-2008, 03:10 PM
It depends but my most common warm up looks something like overhead squats with the bar for 5-10 reps depending on how cold it is in the garage... nice and slow.

THEN I'll head into joint mobility and any other stuff. Sometimes it's CFWU, other times maybe a light KB comples (one arm swings, cleans, snatches, goblet squats, windmills etc.), tuck jumps etc.

I also have been working more shoulder dislocates and stretching to loosen the upper back depending on what the workout is. Usually this on days with a standing press involved. Upper back tightness screws with my rack position on presses and jerks.

Need more PWO stretching still though.

George Mounce
12-21-2008, 03:48 PM
3 min rowing at moderate pace
dynamic range of motion
10 reps each of squats, sit-ups, back extensions, pull-ups, handstand push-ups
warm-up lifts for those I'll be doing that day

Arien Malec
12-21-2008, 04:58 PM
What's YOUR warmup?

Very simple:
500m row, shoulder dislocates, pvs OHS, wrist rotations.

Complexes with 20 kg, 30 kg:
muscle sn, tall sn, sn balance

Mike ODonnell
12-22-2008, 08:48 AM
3 min walking incline treadmill to warm up hammies
bodyweight higher rep pushups, squats, lying hip raises, lunges
cable twists, pulls, pushes

nothing strict....just have fun and get the muscles going

Emily Mattes
12-22-2008, 01:24 PM
I always do some dynamic stretching to get things moving. I follow that with the dot drill or a few minutes of rowing. Or sometimes I do the dot drill/rowing first. I'll then do some broomstick/7.5kg bar work--overhead squats, scarecrow and tall cleans/snatches depending on what I'm working that day, presses, air squats, Sots presses. It changes depending on my mood, but I always try to work in the scarecrow and tall lifts and the Sots presses.

I try to throw in the Diesel Crew shoulder rehab program right before my warm-up. I'm not as good about that as I should be. I've had random weird shoulder issues, nothing major but enough that I should be doing prehab work.

Alan O'Donnell
12-22-2008, 06:55 PM
Recently I've been warming up with 50 1 pood KB swings, plus some pushups and pullups. It's quick and seems to work pretty well.

Blair Lowe
12-23-2008, 12:54 AM
This is my complete workout warmup.

-Roll on back and shoulders on foam roller. Roll neck around, twist torso/lower back
-Hang from bar and do mini kip/tap/beat swing. We call them wiggles in gym. Elbows pop while hanging.
-Practice hanging from changing grips and doing 1/2 turns in hang.
-Hang and do leg swings to each side 3-5x and hip circles both directions.
-Swing on dip bars with bent knees piking at hips to loosen back. I also do this on bar.
-Stick work, 7-15 in over/under/L-grip, halos
-Cuban press 7-10x
-Support on rings.
-Upper arm support and shrugs. Stretching in the bottom of the dip.
-7-10, maybe 15 of the following:
good mornings with stick
high bar back squat
stiff leg deadlift
front squat with stick
straight leg deadlifts, sometimes i alternate each rep in a set with SLDL
stick deadlifts
" Multi-directional lunges " lunge forward, back, sideways, front diagonal, back diagonal, crossing over in front and back 2x each with each leg, sometimes 2 rounds
-Occasionally SDHP with stick or light weight
-Burgener WU, heaving snatch balance in there.
-Leg swings 5-15 sideways in front of body, forward/back sometimes with straight and bent knee
-Hold bottom of pistol for 15-20s
-10 calf raises feet together, heels together, toes together and on one foot, bring toes off ground so it goes heel to toe
-3-5 depth jumps, stick landing
-Squat down to candlestick, deck squat 5x or do this and pistol up. sometimes do yoga plow/basket/crash position on back
-Sit in L, heel lifts 10-30x, hold for 30s; repeat in straddle, sometimes do hip flexor circles
-5 yoga pushups, 5 divebombers alternating
-Wrist prevention: back of wrist to pushup, pushup to MCP joint, pushup to fingertips at top, wrist stretches in over/under/L-grip, sideways and circle leans 7-10x
-Head bridge, roll from side to side and up and down
-Hand bridge, bridge pushups 5-10x, bridge rocks 5-10x
-Standing hip circles, trunk rotations, backbends
-Wall HS, free balance, HeS roll out
-Jump-press to HS 5-7x

20-30m. I forget stuff sometimes cause well I'm forgetful.

I used to do rowing before when I had access to a rower until I decided I didn't care enough about rowing for 3-5m. Sometimes I will row for 2-3m or 500m while at an affiliate.

Short WU is always shoulders, wrists, yoga pushups, 5 leg swings per, GM/BS/DL with stick, Burgener WU, head bridge, ankles, and generally stick dislocates and hang from bar or rings and swing around a bit. 10-12m, maybe 5-10 if I go super fast.

Daily WU in morning is side lunges, Basic lifts with lift, foam roller, hang from bar, stick dislocates, yoga pushups, Burgener WU. Takes like 3-5m, if that.

I forgot I like adding wrist curls in circles, up/down, side2side with a DB in the short WU or regular one before and after the workout.

Dean Saunders
03-10-2009, 03:35 AM
Nowhere near as advanced as everyone elses warmup. I do some light ab work, and depending what the lifts of the day are, light lifts focusing on technique (snatch day - snatch hang and snatch squats) getting progressively heavier until close to working weights. And similar thing in reverse at end of workout with static stretching at end. Not scientifically proven, and probably all wrong but I'm making progress and not too sore in the following days. It seems to work for me:o

Gant Grimes
03-10-2009, 08:06 AM
A few discloates, a few short box jumps, some arm circles, mess around on rings, a few OHS. That's it.

Kevin Perry
03-10-2009, 09:03 AM
change it up from time to time,

sometimes a modified CFWU followed by some technique work in the O-lifts or sometimes a warm-up on the treadmill, rower, or eliptical depending on what's available followed by ROM exercises, stretching hip flexors, ankles, wrists.

Dave Van Skike
03-10-2009, 09:14 AM
I usually do progressive lifts interspersed with KB swings, traction with bands and on press days I've started doing thoracic extension foam rolling as I work the press weight up.

Same every time pretty much, the warmup and the work just flow together with the goal to be workingup/warming up for heavier and heavier movements.


if shoulder feels good warm up with overhead squats, then front squats then narrow stance back squats and then do the squats. maybe 6 warm up sets total.


if it's a pull day warm up with front squats, then power cleans, then a few hi pulls and then start the pulls


if it's press, warm up with a set of 10-15 strict presses really fast, then 5,4,3, 2, 1 increasingly heavy strict press ending with the working weight for a single or maybe a double. Then go to work.

If it's a not a strict press day I'd do this up to a heavy single or double and then start working up from there with push presses working the weight up until it's too heavy to press and then push jerks working the weight up and then maybe press lockouts to work the weight up a little more.

If we're doing events, I always warm up with squats.

Adolfo Riveron
03-10-2009, 10:23 AM
10-15 pullups
10-15 bar dips unless i bring my rings to the globo
neck mobility
big arm circles
lower back twists
leg circles
hip circles
shoulder dislocates
burgener warm up
gymnastics for the day (count it as warmup, i lift better when i practice gymnatics before hand)
tall snatches, tall cleans, 3 position lifts, jerks all with an empty bar( depends on what im doing that day)
Long list but it only takes 10-15 minutes including woking on gymnastics. Not counting that it takes 5 minutes.

Scott Kustes
03-10-2009, 10:48 AM
Depends on my workout that day, but here's typical:

Gym Workout
General joint movement
- Arm circles (single arm forward/backward, both arms forward/backward)
- Hip mobility - straight leg swings to front and side
- Hip flexor stretching
- Pullups, light shoulder rehab (sometimes the shoulder stuff goes after the workout)
- 250-500m light row on the C2
- 6-8 sets of whatever lift I'm doing at increasing weights

Track Workout - Much more vigorous warmup here...make sure I'm starting to get a good sweat going on.
- Hip mobility - Straight leg swings, front and side
- Hip flexor stretching
- A skips
- B skips
- Power skipping
- Light plyometrics (zig-zag hops, etc)
- Sprinting - 5-8 short sprints (20-30m) @ 60-100% (increasing speed each rep)