WARMUPS & WORKOUTSWhat is the best warm up before a workout? Is it stretching, foam rolling, cobra poses, or what?
“Make the warm up the workout” is what my colleague Coach Dan John would say. An example of what he means by this is if you going to be squatting in your workout, you should be squatting in your warm up. All you need are a few light sets of 15, 20, or so reps is typically sufficient. Since we change up our workouts at Synergy Kettlebell so much we try to include movements in our warm ups that are moving all the joints and "prime mover" muscles.
But is that enough? The answer is: usually yes, but sometimes no. Most of the time what studies have shown is a few brief minutes on the foam roller and some gentle stretching/mobility will do. This is precisely why we have our Synergy Dynamics mobility drills positioned at the front of all classes first and then any weighted movements we do are a bonus, but not necessarily required.
Stretching has received a few bad marks these past couple years, but stretching in the right capacity has always been useful and good. If something is tight, I think you should stretch it. That’s also what Dan John and other top coaches would say.
But what about correctives, and all that functional movement stuff? Great question! Most of the time we build correctives right into the workouts and you often times see them in between sets. They are a good way to keep rest periods productive (aka active rest), without sacrificing precious energy, and sometimes even regenerating it, like a health pack in a video game.
It can be, however, a mistake and of course a waste of time to do 30 minutes of warm up or corrective work, like leg raises, bird dogs, and ankle rolls before a workout though. Then all your time and concentration has been sucked right out of you. Do only what you need before you lift to prepare you for your workout and then save the rest for afterwards if you still desire to do those things.