We wait for 8 o’clock for the workout to be published on SugarWOD. We wait until the next day to get to the gym. We wait for the class before ours to finish to step out on to the floor. Then, in this moment, the waiting is over, and the time has finally come for us to PR our lifts and crush today’s AMRAP… but not without warming up first.

While many athletes love the warm-up, some often perceive this component of the exercise routine as a delay that eats up the hour they would rather spend fine-tuning their snatch or chipping away at 150 wall balls of “Karen.” It’s time to transition away from the mindset of a warm-up being “the thing before the workout” to instead “Part A of the workout.”

The Purpose:

  • You’re about to put your body through a great deal of stress and strain. Dropping the concept of “0 to 100” and easing your way into it is the best way to prevent injury.
  • Get your mind right! Warming up allows you to consciously think through what the next hour will consist of. Taking this time to register how you feel today will allow you to set an appropriate intention for your workout and train with a purpose.

The Benefits:

  • SAFETY – Elevated muscle temperature causes increased secretion of synovial fluid, which lubricates the muscle fibers and prevents them from tearing.
  • PERFORMANCE – Heat improves both blood flow to the muscles and the ability of that blood to release the oxygen that fuels the muscles’ contractions. This enables the body to produce force at a greater speed with more power.
  • VOLUME – The exercises included in your warm up should mimic the range of motion and degree of activation of the muscles required for your actual workout. This provides extra training volume in a manner that prepares the mind and body for attacking them at a higher intensity.

CrossFit Games Athletes’ Favorite Ways to Warm Up:

  • Lauren Fisher: The Turkish Get-Up
    • “Not only do you activate the shoulders/triceps the entire time, but you activate the core, glutes, and hamstrings all in one.”
  • Sam Dancer: Single-Leg Med Ball Strict Press
    • “Great way to feel your feet and shoulders working hard to keep stability and balance.”

Ultimately, the goal of any warm-up is to increase the heart rate and body temperatures without draining energy stores and causing undo fatigue prior to a workout.  A combination of light aerobic activity, dynamic and/or static stretching, and WOD-specific movements are sure to adequately prepare you for anything that Aida and Pete throw at you.

Written by Hannah Stevens