I think this is an important message to share, and it involves the traditional warm up, that we are known to do, or have evolved to. From the traditional run or do cardio for 5-10 minutes, to a more specific dynamic warm up before we train or play sport, I’d like to take it to another level. We need to have a specific goal in mind with each component of our training, and the warm up process is equally as important as the essential first step of the training system and foundation of program design.
The strategic corrective warm up.
The strategy, means you have a specific objective in your warm up routine. And not just to ‘warm up’, increase blood flow and circulation before exercise. For 99% of us, we have muscle imbalances. We are dominant left or right handed. At best, ambidextrous, where we may favor left and right sides equally and perform certain tasks, or play parts of a particular sport well with both sides. Either way, we will be dominant left or right handed to write, and perform majority of daily tasks. This in itself creates imbalance, stable and unstable differences, over compensation from standing, walking, running, throwing, writing, carrying bags, drinking coffee, holding anything and drive to name just a few. I’m sure you get the picture here.
Bottom line. We all have imbalances, and therefore prone to overcompensation, weakness, and risk of dysfunction, pain and injury. So we all need this approach, and we, I mean everyone.
The corrective warm is design to be just that. Corrective. An intelligent approach to warming up, active recovery and giving purpose to your warm up routine.
This also leads back to a previous article on randomness. If you are investing, time, money, energy into your training, you should make it as effective and valuable as possible right? And that starts with your warm up. So make it strategic, rather than random.
What Most of Us Need:
There are a couple of key physical issues that most of us need help with. In technical terms, they are called lower cross syndrome, and upper cross syndrome. A quick break down will help you understand which major muscles are weak, which muscles are tight, which then explains why we end up in pain and have poor posture. To keep things super simple, Ill break down both symptoms in an easy to understand format.
Lower Cross Syndrome: The result of tight hips / lower back and weak core / glutes. This results in an ‘anterior tilt’ of the pelvis which can be seen by the excessive curvature of the lower back.
Upper Cross Syndrome: The result of tight chest / pectoral muscles and upper traps and weak posterior chain / mid back muscles, resulting in the typical hunch back and rounded shoulder posture.
Warm Up with Purpose and a Specific Objective:
Have an outcome for your warm up exercise. Work with a health professional trainer, coach or physio to identify your weaknesses, muscle imbalances and develop a program. Choose 8-10 exercises. In our system, we follow this very simple, yet logical method.
Choose 2-3 exercises for each key component of your corrective warm up program.
Shoulders – Any exercise that helps to improve range of movement, activation of stabilizers and engage all shoulder joint muscles in a functional way. Majority of movements should be backward motion.
Hips – Any exercise that focuses to improve range of movement, motion, stability and muscle activation of the hip joint.
Core / glute activation – Switch on the central nervous system (CNS) and active they key muscles needed to stabilize, generate force and are the prime moves in major movements.
Movement preparation – Start to get the heart rate up, full body movement and move outside the square for multidirectional flowing movement.