We’ve grown accustomed to stretch and warm-up before exercise. From PE classes to globo gyms, “Warm-up so you don’t get hurt” is a normal phrase thrown around. But what if I told you that warm-ups aren’t necessary, aren’t natural and aren’t even making you safer?
Let me start by saying that warm-ups do have their place in fitness, but most people warm-up from the wrong reasons. The correct reason to perform warm-up movements is to prepare you for performance. In CrossFit we care about performance, so warm-ups are generally useful. To mobilize and to activate certain areas of the body and movement patterns is to create the chance to produce more power in the workout. Therefore, warming up for CrossFit, or other sports (if we really care about performance) can play a big role in how well you perform.
But most people warm-up because:
- Sore and achy joints.
- Sore and achy muscles.
- Tight muscles and tendons.
- Low energy.
- Cold temperatures.
If you warm-up because any of these reasons, you are masking those symptoms. That’s like putting a band-aid on but not looking for the cure. Even the cold temperature reason, most people don’t warm-up to shovel snow. And that’s how we have naturally evolved. When we were hunter and gatherers, we didn’t warm-up to chase an animal, or to escape from one.
If you need to stretch, mobilize and activate to get up the stairs, throw a ball with your kid and run after your dog, then you have some issues that need addressing. Similarly, when warm-ups become necessary for you to exercise, there are some issues that you need to work on. We should be able to get in certain positions and perform exercises “cold”. So, instead of spending 20 extra minutes moving every day before your workout, let’s figure out how we can fix your problems for good and have you be ready to go at any time.
- If warming-up is a necessity, find the root cause and fix it.
- Warming-up for performance is okay and can be useful.
- Warming-up for performance and warming-up for longevity should look different.
- Warm-up and accessory work should not look the same.
If you’re looking to optimize your fitness and fix what’s holding you back, come by and chat with one of your Celebration CrossFit coaches today!
by Coach Matt