Seriously wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just walk in the gym, put weight on the bar, and in five minutes be hard at work? There used to be a day when that was reality. When I was 10. Now we all know warmup is a necessity and more than that even part of your workout.
I teach a very specific style warmup that is intended to accomplish 3 specific tasks:
- The first task that the warmup is designed for is to warm the body up. I know this is earth shattering but we warm up because our joints and muscles are cold and need to be warm to perform at their best. Athletically, we function best when warm. No surprise here.
- Secondly, a good warmup is going to create good movement patterns. In football we did footwork drills and calisthenics to help us run and move more efficiently. In weightlifting, the barbell and PVC warmups should be designed for the same purpose. A good Olympic Weightlifting warmup is going to help develop proper bar track, help develop properly timed power application, and ultimately help create perfect movement. In wrestling practice in high school, we always warmed up with basic takedowns and basic escapes. We did this not only to warmup but also to help engrain those movements into our repertoire and to make them perfect in their execution. In weightlifting, our warmup is the same. It engrains perfect movement patterns into our mind creating perfect movement patterns later under load.
- Lastly, a good warmup undoes bar movement patterns. For those of you who have bad habits that plaque your lifts and prevent more frequent PR’s you know how frustrating these bad habits can be. A good bar warmup, if performed with intentionality and purpose, will help quell bad habits replacing them with good. Think about how many reps can be performed in a warmup each day. Lets say you only lift once a day and you complete a bar warmup twice before working out. Lets also say that bar warmup has 8 movements each completed for 3 reps. That means that in one day you could theoretically complete 48 perfect reps for the benefit of your lifting. If you workout 5 days a week that’s 240 reps each week done with intention and perfection. Certainly this is one of the greatest tools we have in combatting bad habits.
Be intentional about how you warm up. Use the bar. And make sure your warmup does more than just warm you up.
Snatch Bar Warmup: