Don’t Forget the Warm Up! A Few Techniques.

Warming up in the Gym is essential. We could all agree on that. But, not everyone does a very good job of it. And the reason may simply be, that warming up is not as easy as all that.

There are a few key reasons I (or any trainer for that matter) want’s people to warm up. The First is to do what the name implies, warm up the body, or raise the body temperature. Studies show that a raised temperature in the body is preventative of injury.

The second reason, related to the first, is that we want to warm up the specific joints and muscles that we will be working that day.

And the third is more about performance. We need to practice the skills we are about to perform so that we can remind our bodies how to do the movements (this is especially the case with complex lifts like the Olympic Lifts).

So to make this easy, I’m going to lay out a couple of my favorite warm ups for you, and you can just copy them exactly, or slightly modify them to suit your own needs. I’ll start simple and work my way up.

1. The Saij-1-Basic Warm Up. This is the warm up I start everyone with. It’s based on Dan John’s Concept, “Make the warm up the workout.

A1. Back Extensions

A2. OHSquats (start with a stick or PVC pipe and move up from there, but don’t go over 10k/20lbs or so. This is a warm up after all.)

A3. Push ups (You can start with Wall push-ups, then move slowly until you can do them from the floor. If you’re really good at them, do them with your hands on a swiss ball, or medicine balls).

A4. Pull ups (you can do these assisted, or even just do pull downs)

Reps: To 3 sets of 8-12 reps. NO REST between sets. Don’t kill yourself, but

2. Saij-2 Warm up. This one is like the first, but with different exercises. It’s good to switch them up sometimes.

A1. Step ups: 8 each leg, 6 each leg, 4 each leg–No rest

B1. Stiff-Leg Deadlifts

B2. Muscle snatch

B3. Press Behind the Neck

(reps for B-complex: 3×8,6,4 of each, no rest between exercises, all using the same bar–keep it very light)

3. The Burgener Warm Up. I stole this one from Coach Mike Burgener. It’s one he trains his lifters with, and the one he taught me. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and since film runs at about 32 frames a sec (or so), then that’s 32,000 words per second if I show you a video. So, here’s Coach B’s Daughter performing the Burgener Warm-up

He basically has you doing a few hang pulls, then muscle snatch, then snatch drops, then power snatches. I use this one a lot. But, if you aren’t familiar with the Olympic Moves, then it can be tricky.

After any warm up is a good time to stretch. This is not a post on Stretching, but I think it’s important to at least mention that it’s a good idea to stretch your glutes, calves, quads, hamstrings, and shoulders well.

So, there you have it. These are 3 great warm ups that I have people using all the time, that really seem to improve performance, and cut down on injuries. As Mark Rippetoe once said, “If you don’t have time to warm up, then you don’t have time to work-out.”


One response to this post.

  1. […] First thing’s first: The warm up. I’m not going to go too far into it here, but suffice it to say, that warming up is absolutely essential. For more on specific warm ups, see my post, “Don’t Forget The Warm-Up: A Few Techniques“. […]


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