Warm-up Early: Weightlifting Training Mobility & Preparation
Greg Everett

Not all of us have the luxury of a schedule that allows the following, but you may still be able to pull off something similar. One of the great things about training twice a day is that the second sessions always feels great - at least with regard to being warm and loose. Even hours later, you'll still be "warm" from that first workout.

You can get some of that benefit without doing a full workout, and potentially without even going to the gym. Try doing your warm-up in the morning even if you're going to train in the afternoon. It doesn't need to be the full meal deal, but a quick series of dynamic range of motion exercises, easy calesthenics, foam rolling, and yes - even static stretches. You can do your ab work and any pre-hab type stuff like rotator cuff exercises - Things you know you need to do, and know you tend to skip because by the time you're done with your real workout, you're too tired and uninterested to bother. This can be anything from 5-20 minutes depending on what you want to do and what you have time to squeeze in.

When you come in for your real workout later that day, still do a warm-up, but make it an abbreviated one. You may not need the foam roller, for example - a few dynamic stretches and some work with the bar may be all you need. Quick and easy, and you don't have to bother with the abs when all you want to do is drink your protein shake and go hold the couch down with your ass.

This can help with mobility in the long term by getting you moving more in a given day, and often people feel much better throughout the day even just with the littlest dose of activity in the morning. Try it out and find the formula that works best for you.

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Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, coach of the USA Weightlifting National Champion team Catalyst Athletics, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting, co-host of the Weightlifting Life Podcast, and publisher of The Performance Menu journal. He is an Olympic Trials coach, coach of over 30 senior national level or higher lifters, including national medalists, national champion and national record holder; as an athlete, he is a fifth-place finisher at the USAW National Championships, masters national champion, masters American Open champion, and masters American record holder in the clean & jerk. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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Matt Foreman 2013-06-07
I started doing this six or seven years ago and it was one of the best training additions I've ever made. I do it on training days pretty much exactly the way you're describing, it literally takes 5-8 minutes in the morning, and it drastically improves how I feel when I hit the barbell later in the day. I wish I would have been doing it when I was in my prime.
Danilo 2013-06-07
Nice tip. I'm going to start doing it from now on. What exercises do you suggest: simple things like body weight squats, quick stretches for stiff body parts and etc?

Greg Everett 2013-06-08
Danilo -
I do a full foam rolling series, which for me is about 10 passes each on upper back, glutes, quads side to front, hamstrings, adductors, VMOs. Then some static stretches for shoulder girdle and lower body mainly, then my ab work for the day. The static stretching is because I'm seeing how long it takes me to get back to doing the splits after several years. You could definitely substitute some dynamic work there - I like stuff like walking lunge variations, single leg RDL. Pretty much anything from this -
Andrew 2013-06-08
Mind. Blown.
Austin Newsam 2013-11-14
Wow, I have never thought about this... I will definitely start my morning off now with some mobility work and static stretches.

I am undergraduate student and am at school from 7-5, so I usually train in the evening (no way I would skip out on sleep!).
But allotting 10 extra minutes in the morning for better performance on the evening wods sounds worth it!
Mal Sharman 2014-09-30
Any hints for those of us that train in the morning? Any way to incorporate this kind of thing if we are already training in the morning?
Do a quick series of DROMs when you first get up - basically as soon as you possibly can. That will still be at least earlier than immediately prior to training and will have a similar effect.

Greg Everett
Steve Pan 2014-10-01
If you train in the morning you can put the second mobility session in the evening.
Warren 2016-03-09
So true this, my main sessions used to take place in the early am and I always rushed my warm up. When the intensity got high I started missing lifts I would normally hit.

I now warm up early am before training clients then between sessions do my training it works loss better..
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