This collection of warm ups is a journey through some of the most fundamental Functional Bodybuilding movements and positions that have been researched, tested, and proven. Our aim to do more than just “warm up” the body. In fact, we believe that a carefully crafted movement series executed before training can accomplish the following:
- Prehab – Adequately move the bodies joints through ranges of motion in progressive loading patterns to protect against injury in training
- Increase Skill – Give athletes opportunities to improve motor control in a variety of movement patterns, thereby increasing movement skill and coordination
- Optimize Performance – Activate the Central Nervous System before training in such a way to help elicit an even great training response and improve performance within the session
In my years of coaching Functional Bodybuilding and executing thousands of movement complexes and warm ups, some movement themes have emerged that make their way into these warm ups. Themes that recur in these warm ups do so because they serve a particularly important global purpose in the development of great movement. They have proven to be effective at keep clients and athletes Looking Good and Moving Well (#lookgoodmovewell).
- There is a dominance of upper pushing vertical positions in these warm ups because it is a position that is not explored enough in daily life and deserves daily attention. Activities of daily life for many individuals don’t demand reaching above the head. Therefore we take care often in our warm up series to hit this movement pattern.
- Core focused movements that specifically target the abdominal wall and coordinate the large muscles of the trunk are common. Prehabbing and preparing for training should follow a core to extremity approach much like functional movements. In getting the core to fire we help set a proper firing sequence for movements that come later in training, and we help to wake up the CNS and raise the body temperature.
- Lastly, there is almost always a movement that targets the musculature of the hips or the scapula. These are the stabilizers for the major motors of the body. The hip and shoulder control what happens in the extremities. We almost always want to ensure the supporting musculature of these joints, the stabilizers, are ready to go and awake. Bring extra awareness to these muscles as you go through this series.
Equipment considerations (Rower/Assault Bike/Run/Jump Rope) – Some warm ups call for any one of these monostructural cyclical exercises. They are mostly interchangeable and serve as a way to promote blood flow around the body and get the breathing rate up. Whenever possible utilize the exercise that is specifically called for; however, if you lack that piece of equipment then substitute with one of the others as necessary.
MIND MUSCLE CONNECTION
Perhaps one of the most ground breaking aspects of Functional Bodybuilding is the ability to forge deeper mind muscle connection through our unique style of lifting and our diverse exercise library. There are a few places within training where we have found the mind muscle connection to be easiest to connect with. Those places are when there is an absence of or limited intensity. Warm ups are a perfect place for this. We haven’t started getting intense in our training yet and we encourage you to really take a deep dive into “feeling” the movements and what muscles they connect with. By deepening your mind muscle connections you can and will unlock greater control, stability and power.
Good luck and please share your experience with us on Instagram using the hashtags: