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The Key Factors to Warming Up: Part One

The Key Factors to Warming Up: Part One

Dynamic Functional Mobility

I am asked many times a week what is the best way to warm up for training. When you have hours in the day to train this answer becomes a little more simple but when you allot 60-90 minutes per session, this can be trickier. In my workshops, the first priority is to explain 2 main principles that apply to prepping your body to train. These are Dynamic Functional Mobility (DFM) and Proximal Stability 4 Distal Mobility (PS4DM). In part one of this warm up series, we will explore DFM. Use the photos and some raw footage videos I have to learn the movements and immediately implement to home.

Dynamic Functional Mobility:

Dynamic: constantly changing
Functional: relates specifically to the task at hand
Mobility: creating an environment that is elastic in response to stress imposed

The movements that we are looking at here are not based on prolonged stretching or rolling/mashing an area out. Instead, they are implementing exercises that move you through sequences that are similar to your lifts. They mobilize many joints at once, train a movement pattern and leave the body ready for training, the nerves and muscles are fired up, like getting a car warmed up to race. When you visit the next several exercises you will see they look similar to lifting patterns. My athletes tell me they feel prepared for training, and feel good unlike some other options.

1. Dynamic Squat Stretch Sequence (DSSS) - the purpose of this exercise is to put the body into a good squatting position and rotate and move the spine and shoulders in the fashion they need to for proper form. Repeat 2-3 times per side.

2. Seated Wall Press: the purpose of this exercise is to align the spine properly to prevent compensation and press overhead with the correct form. 

Sit against a wall with your legs criss-crossed or in a butterfly position. Make sure the entire spine from tailbone to head is flush with the wall.

Place a PVC pipe on the top of your head and align elbows so bent to 90 degrees. Press upwards as far as you can without arching your back. Each time you practice, develop more range of motion. Breathe naturally throughout the movement. Perform for 4 minutes.

3. 90/90 complex: the purpose of this exercise is to work on trunk rotation and shoulder mobility as it relates to many of the different grips you have when lifting (OH squat, snatch, jerk, pulling, etc). You will discover you have imbalances going from your right to left side. That is imperative to know and warm up before lifting! Perform 5-10 reps on each side.

4. Squatting From The Bottom Up (SFTBUp): the purpose of the exercise is to learn how to extend out of the bottom of the squat. Many of us think we lack the proper hip and ankle mobility to squat, however much of the deficit is in the strength we have in our trunks to keep us upright. The exercise works on this imbalance. Perform 6 repetitions, slow and controlled. If you struggle with keeping your body upright at the bottom, add 5 or 10# plates under your heels, work on progressing to remove them as you get stronger.

As a recap:

DSSS - 2-3 sequences per side
Seated Wall Press - 4 minutes continuously
90/90 complex - 12 reps per side
SFTBUp - 6 reps

In part 2, we will focus on PS4DM and layer on the activation sequences for strength improvements!

This was a guest post courtesy of Dr. Lauren Polivka. You can learn more about movement, repair and recovery by visiting her website here - or follow her on Instagram - @lapolivka11

View Part Two - The Key Factors to Warming Up: Part Two

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