What Warm-Ups Should Consist Of

Since being at Endeavor, I have learned more about training, injury prevention, programming, and how to continually become a better coach.  All of this learning stems from everyone there constantly promoting the importance of continuing education.  This led me to finding out about Dan John, one of the best strength coaches in the world.  He simply knows how to get athletes stupidly strong.  You can find out about him at his website but for his football athletes, the numbers they put up are amazing and it is no coincidence that they win state championships.

“If it’s important, do it everyday,” an awesome philosophy which had encouraged me to begin looking at our programs at Endeavor to see if we did the same thing.  It does not mean that you should be squatting, deadlifting, benching, or military pressing every single day.  I think what he is implying lies more along the lines of movement patterns, namely squatting(knee-dominant) and deadlifting patterns (hinging).  Warming-up is one of the parts of training that may go over looked and there are many ways of conducting them but what we are trying to do is mobilize joints in need of mobilization such as t-spine, hips, and ankles, and activate what needs activation (typically glutes, scapular retractors, upward rotators **lower trap, middle trap, serratus anterior) and anyway of incorporating these into movements is king.  For example, let’s say you train 4-days/week and your regimen is upper body one day, lower body the next, you obviously are not going to be squatting on deadlifting on upper body days so the warm-up is one way to incorporate these movement patterns each day to ensure that you become a Jedi-master at squat/hinge patterns and activate muscles that typically get weak.

Here are some movements that are big bang for your buck exercises as well as some activations exercises to incorporate into your warm-ups, these also happen to be some of my favorites.

Big Bang for You Buck Movements (If you are limited on time, do these)

Squat to Stand w/ Overhead Reach 8x/side

Spiderman Lunge w/ Rotation 5-6x/side

Inverted Reach (keep both hips pointing down to the floor)-Do not need to use a ball 8x/side


Rectus Femoris Mobilization 8x/side


1/2 Kneeling Adductor Dips OR Split Stance Adductor Mobilization (shown here is adductor dips) 8x/side

Scap Push Up Into Yoga Push-Up (keep flat back, good mobilization for hamstrings & calves, as well as activation for serratus) 8x/side

Quadruped Extension Rotation


Rotator Cuff/Scapular Muscles 8x

Scap Wall Slides

Hand Switches  or Scap Push-Up (shown above) 6-8x/side

(Instead of using the MB, set up into push up position and without letting hips move, touch hand to opposite shoulder

Any Glute Activation works here (ex. 1-leg glute bridges, glute bridge march, or normal glute bridge holds) 8×10 2s holds

     Hope these give you an idea.  The big take home message is that you think of mobilizing what needs mobilizing first, activations second, and then incorporating all these into movements such as the inverted reaches, reverse lunges, and spiderman lunges w/ rotation etc..


Categories: Injury Prevention, Strength Training

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1 reply


  1. APT: What is it and how can you fix it (because you probably have it)? « Hey Joob

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