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You Need to Warm Up Better: Mobilizations and Activations

July 23, 2015 2 min read

In my last blog I wrote about the importance of good warm ups that should come before good workouts -- which I hardly ever see anyone doing. It's a big mistake to jump into a hardcore workout without adequately preparing your body. You risk injury and you won't be getting the most out of you workouts. 

I know when you're ready to go beast-mode the last thing you wanna do is spend up to 20 minutes prepping. But do it anyway. All my personal training clients know they have to, and I most certainly do.

To recap, a good warm up should constitute the following:

1. Foam rolling. To loosen muscles, fascia, increase blood-flow and establish that all important mind-muscle connection. Take 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Mobilizations and activations. Two slightly different things I kill at the same time. Think of mobilizations as de-rusting stiff joints. Here you want to put your joints through their full range of motion before loading them. Activations, on the other hand, are little exercises you do to "wake-up" and engage commonly dormant muscles.

3. A gentle slide into more vigorous activity which sees the heart-rate gradually increase. These could include jumping jacks, burpees and things of that nature.

This post will cover mobilizations and activations.

When you wake up in the morning, or after sitting at your desk all day you are typically tight and stiff. If you workout in that state you are only re-enforcing that tight shell and/or tearing it apart in the most violent manner. Don't forget, fitness is about unencumbered, pain-free movement. You might not have just woken up, but if you haven't yet exercised and stretched chances are you are still stiff.

Aside from being tight, many of your muscles are likely "asleep" and aren't recruited when you summon them. This is a particular problem with glutes. You wouldn't believe how many people go around going up stairs, squatting and running with absolutely no involvement of their butt muscles. At the very least, please do your glute activations. It will save your back and make you look lovely from behind. 

There's no one way to do your mobilizations and activations. I encourage you to check out other YouTube videos that cover the same topic and find moves that work for you. 

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