Warm up Ideas and Exercises Before CrossFit

Jeff Baldelli
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Why it is important to warm up

There are many people in this world who wake up, get in their cars, and go straight to their offices every single day. Not everyone performs a job that requires them to rush to work or exercise very early in the morning, however, so those aren’t good warm up ideas.

A good way to start your day off right is to practice some basic stretches before you get to work, have your morning coffee, or even before your cross fit workout.

The proper way to warm up before your cross-fit workout is simply found in the basics of exercising correctly.

Short bursts of activity, that slowly increase intensity, before your workout or other physical activity is a smart way to get your blood flowing and loosen up your muscles.

You need to make sure to warm up, however, or else you could be putting yourself at risk of injury.

If you stop and think about it, most minor chronic pain that you may experience is a result of poor warm up techniques.

Your muscles are basically held in place by little connective tissues called tendons. You will notice that if you are sitting in a chair right now, so you are, and that there are deep spots in your back and other areas where it’s difficult to get a full range of motion.

If you are not properly warmed up before exercise, then you are putting your body at risk to injury.

Just every day movements that are not warmed up can result in injuries, let alone rigorous anything.

The goal of any good warm up routine should be to move most range of motion through that particular body part, or joints, in those body parts.

The majority of injuries occur when you stand up, take a few steps, and realize that you are tight. Gentle movements before and after physical activity and movement is a surefire way to avoid common injuries for this exact reason.

Preventing injury is just one of the many reasons why you should always warm up before your cross fit workout.

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But that’s not all

Training with the WOD is what distinguishes crossfit from other athletic programs. The CrossFit WOD (workout Of the Day) is a combination of power lifting, callisthenic movements, and Olympic weightlifting.

Warm-ups are essential before each and every workout. They should be done at a relatively low intensity if you are not going to perform a high-intensity or endurance program afterward. These exercises should be performed to start exercising your body and avoid muscle soreness. Examples include jumping jacks, jogging, easy skipping, and static periodized stretching.

Stretching, while it seems helpful, actually isn’t the most efficient way to overcome muscle soreness. Stretching will help those within two hours of the workout. Static periodized stretching will help those who perform the exercises for their form purposes only, such as pull-ups and bench press. Static periodized stretching involves holding a stretched position for a period of time and then slowly moving away from it into the starting position.

High intensity training days following an endurance or weightlifting program should involve longer and safer warm-up sessions. Cyclists can start by pedaling at a low intensity for about another five minutes. Those who are more inexperienced in the weightlifting room should crouch down as if doing a deep lunge, hold it, squat, hold it, and repeat.

Runners and swimmers should start slowly as well. Those who run or cycle two days consecutively should take an easy two mile run or easy 60 minute cycle.

The Recovery

Regardless of your cardio program, recovery and injury prevention are essential if you want to keep exercising for a long time. If you run or cycle for up to 15 miles a week, then it’s better to take three hours to recover. If you’re training for a marathon, then it’s better to rest for about two hours.

Cycling would be an excellent choice for the first two hours of the recovery period. You can also try slow pacing in the pool. Those who do yoga should also wait until the muscular soreness goes away before beginning to practice.

What about stretching during warm up?

If you have been having any physical pain before or after exercising, stretching before exercise has been found to help reduce your pain. It is really important to warm up before exercising. Here are some ways you can do it:

  • Stretching and gentle movements
  • Jogging or cycling on a stationary bike
  • Using a foam roller
  • Dynamic stretching
  • Use a mobility link
  • Use a mobility device
  • A massage can be a great way to warm up before exercise

How Long Should a Warm up Last?

You need to warm up for a minimum of five minutes, and a maximum of twenty minutes.

I really liked this end range hip flexor stretch. It works great and was painful enough. Then I did a series of hip openers.

Based on the number of reps, I would say that this was about a four minute warm up:

  • Circular knee to opposite elbow
  • Crescent kicks
  • Downward facing dog to knee to opposite elbow
  • Crescent kicks
  • Downward facing dog to squat
  • Stand on one foot
  • Use my arms to pull forward
  • Crescent kicks
  • Repeat stretch

CrossFit Movement Types

(KEY TERMS: Easy, Moderate, Challenging, Intense)

It's not just about lifting heavy.

The weight should not be heavy.

The resistance is mostly created by moving quickly.

The move should be explosive.

There shouldn't be any momentum – it should all be maximal effort.

You need to stay away from momentum in order to get the benefits.

The move should be natural.

You should not need to think about your body.

We encourage a range of easy, moderate, challenging and intense.

What constitutes easy, moderate, challenging and intense varies for each workout.

Intervention was designed to start with the basics.

The program should never punish you for being slow.

Don't be mad if you can't do the workout at a certain speed.

The workout should be on the easy end at first.

We learn best by trying; it should never be a right or wrong answer.

This is an intense workout, but it's just warm-up.

Yes, it is intense, that's the whole point.

The Sampson Stretch

This stretch uses a cable machine to target three different muscles in the torso. Focus your effort on tightening each muscle that you’re targeting.

Stand 3 – 4 feet away from the cable machine, facing a low-pulley cable attachment. Place your right leg behind you with your left leg forward. Bend over and grab the cable attachment using both hands, with your hands approximately shoulder-width apart. Tighten your right glute muscle and left core muscle, and then pull the cable attachment towards your right leg. Release the cable attachment so it returns to the starting position. Hold the top of position for a second, and then repeat the exercise with your left leg.

This exercise will effectively target both your core muscles and your glutes.

A/b Chest Press

This exercise is a standing and more advanced way to hit your chest muscles. The main difference is that you’ll hold the dumbbells rather than have both hands on the pulley machine.

Stand with your back to the pulley machine. Hold on to the two dumbbells using an overhand grip. Lean forward a little bit. Slide the weights out in front of you, with your elbows bent. Press the weights up so they’re directly above your chest. While keeping your elbows slightly bent, lower the weights back down behind your body.

This exercise works the pectoral muscles located in the front and side of your chest.

Lat Pull-Downs

This exercise allows you to really target the back muscles, which are important to improve posture and balance.

Adjust the pulley machine so that the cable is the highest setting. Set the bar on the highest setting, so that it’s close to the top of your head. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the bar. Keep your chest up, your shoulders back, and your abdominal muscles tight. Reach for the bar and release it so your arms are fully extended. Pull the bar down to your chest, focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together. Don’t let your hands drop lower or farther back than your chest. Slowly raise the bar to return to the top position.

The pull-down exercise will work your lats, which are vital to athletic performance.

What are the best CrossFit warm up ideas?

The best suggestions for warm up strategies come from the actual CrossFit program. The reason for this is simply because the creators of the program know what works best thanks to years of trial and error, studies, and data analysis. In the end, though, it’s up to you as to how you best work up to your next set of exercises.

The general idea with CrossFit exercises tends to be doing something that will raise your heart rate and get your body moving in preparation for the intense movements and exertions that the actual CrossFit workout will require of you. Due to the nature of CrossFit exercises, you will always begin with a brief warm up and finish with a cool down.

Example

For example, before you do a workout calling for a dozen repetitions of high-rep kettlebell swings, start with some lighter kettlebell swings or any other form of lower-body movement like squats. Do more of the lighter movements at the start, and then do more intense movements like running or sprints about halfway through your warm up.

The CrossFit Crawling warm up is another great one to give you a good start to a great workout. The idea here is that crawling activates more muscles and joints than sitting. The goal is to focus almost entirely on your hamstrings and hips at the start of the workout, but you could add in some upper body movements if you need to at the beginning.

Walking lunges, a simple full body exercise, are best done as a warm up. Start outwards at the beginning, and then do them forward as part of your workout for a more intense warm up.

How Is CrossFit a Fat Burning Workout

All of the CrossFit workouts revolve around a variety of exercises, movements, and training methods to push your body to its limit. Although different exercises and movements call on different muscles and body systems, there is one thing in common with every CrossFit workout, and that’s your heart. The exercises, movements, and training methods that CrossFit uses all motivates your body to raise your heart rate. The same is also true for any other kind of workout when done properly, but there are also some other ways that CrossFit is a fat burning workout.

The Warm up Acronyms

  • WU: Workout of the Day
  • WOD: Workout of the Day
  • WOD: Workout of the Day

There’s a growing number of acronyms swirling around the CrossFit and exercise communities. With all the gyms and trainers out there, learning CrossFit can be a confusing and daunting prospect.

A quick Google search can bring up tens of different names and websites for CrossFit trainers and gyms. The fact is that CrossFit is a trademarked brand that encompasses a lot more than the workout alone.

Here are some of the most common CrossFit acronyms and what they mean:

WOD: Workout of the Day. This is the main workout that you’ll find on the CrossFit website. It changes depending on what day of the week it is.

WU: Workout of the Day. This acronym refers to the warm-up that you engage in before the WOD. The aim of this is to prepare your body for the intense workout, but it’s also a fun and challenging workout in its own right. Some of the WU workouts are short and intense too!

WL: Workout of the Day. This was created by Anytime Fitness and distributed on their website. It’s usually based on the WODs on the CrossFit website.

AO: Another WOD. These workouts, which are meant to be both fun and challenging, are created by CrossFit moms. Completing them gives you a great sense of accomplishment.

L1-L5: The five levels of workouts that form part of Featrue Fitness. They start with L1 and end with L5. Each level is progressively more complex than the last, with levels L1 and L2 essentially being beginner workouts.

PWOD: Personal Workout of the Day. This term was introduced by the Bethmóin and Hackstaff website.

PWOD.Simple.WOD: Personal Workout of the Day. Simple, or Simple. These workouts, based on the WOD.Simple.WOD site, are easy to follow and include a warm-up and cool-down too.

CFE: CrossFit Endurance. These workouts can last anywhere from 30 to 200 minutes. They involve short, intense bursts of exercise.

YouTube Warm Up Routines

If you are into CrossFit as a beginner, you should check out some of the free videos available on YouTube. These may not be anything fancy, but they generally feature simple movements that you can do at home.

First, you’ll want to do a general warm up that focuses on things like muscles, joints, and ligaments. Try moves that are focused on improving flexibility, such as the ones included below.

This 6-minute workout from Fit, Tiny & Happy features a combination of exercises that will increase your core strength, improve posture, and burn calories.

This next warm up by Fitness Blender is a little longer and features some difficulty variations. Even if you are not a beginner, this might be a nice change from the usual warm up.

Take a look below at the exercises performed by Fitness Blender in the above video.

Shoulders

Weather you have your hands on a barbell, dumbbells, a kettlebell or just a pair of dumbbells, the Shoulder Shrug is a must exercise for warming up your shoulders.

Do 10 reps of this exercise 3 times for a workout or warmup.

Chest

The next exercise for the shoulders is the Chest Press on the Bench. The bench will help you lift the bar away from your feet.

This moves will warm up your shoulders and chest as well.

First, do 5 reps of this exercise at a time, pay close attention to the form and don’t forget to breathe.

Repeat the reps 2 more times with full form for a warmup.

Core

For a good warmup you should definitely do some core exercises for your core. Research shows that your core is the powerhouse of your body.

This is why it is important to have a strong and stable core. The plank exercise is great for your core.

Check below how to do the plank exercise at home.

Click here for a more intense plank exercise.

Triceps

The triceps movements will mostly be bench presses, dip and shoulder press.

Bench press is a basic exercise in weightlifting, but you should remember to lift with your back and not with your arms.

Watch the video below to see how you are suppose to do the bench.