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5 Steps For A Perfect Warmup

5 Steps For a Perfect Warmup

September 24, 2015
Updated May 21, 2016

This Post originally appeared at

One of the often overlooked aspects of training is the warm-up, or what I like to call “Activation and movement preparation”.

For many years we have used a simple yet effective and efficient pre-workout routine to get folks primed for a great training session. This is our 5-step sequence.

1. Soft Tissue drills (2-3 minutes)

Foam rolling has become mainstream and anyone who has ever got on a roller will attest that it can be quite addictive.

We keep it direct and to the point – hit essential areas, spending a few extra seconds around those tender spots. What are our essential target areas? T-spine, upper back, IT band, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

If you really want to target specific areas like calves, shoulders, glutes etc. we can address that with a lacrosse ball or, for those who have a little lower discomfort threshold, a simple tennis ball.

2. Turkish Get-ups (2 minutes)

2. Turkish Get-ups (2 minutes)

One of the most complete movements ever created is the Turkish Get Up or TGU. Literally every single muscle mover in your body will be called upon to perform this move. We perform 2 repetitions on each side with a moderate load. Nothing too heavy but enough load to keep us honest and alert throughout the 6 steps of the movement.

3. Kettlebell Complex (2 minutes)

As we continue our warm-up we can increase the intensity and move into a 4 movement complex that incorporates some essential movement patterns. We use a Kettlebell to target the 4 movements: Goblet Squat, RDL, Swing, and finishing with Judo Push-ups.

We perform 1 set of 5 repetitions with a moderate weight.

4. Mini-Band Walks (2-3 minutes)

4. Mini-Band Walks (2-3 minutes)

“Gluteal Amnesia” is a term often used to describe our inability to activate our glutes. I like to think of our mini-band sequence as flipping a switch to turn the electricity on to your rear end. Placing a mini-band around your ankles, perform 10 lateral walks in each direction and 10 monster walks (stepping up and out at a 45-degree angle), both forward and backward.

Finish by puling the band up under your knee caps, lay on your back with knees bent and perform 10 hip bridges with a 2 second hold at the top.

It’s common to feel like your glutes are on fire at this point – this is a good thing. Your body is now activated and ready to train!

5. Dynamic Movement Prep (8-10 min)

Using approximately a 10 yard space, perform the following dynamic movement prep drills down in one direction:

● A-Skip forward
● A-Skip Backward
● Lateral Skip right
● Lateral Skip left
● Walking Knee Tuck
● Walking knee tuck with internal rotation
● Door Opener forward
● Door Opener backward
● Atlas Lunge
● 180 degree side squats
● 1-leg Walking RDL Forward
● 1-leg Walking RDL backward
● Spiderman crawl forward
● Spiderman crawl backward
● Lateral crawl right
● Lateral crawl left
● Carioca stepover right
● Carioca stepover left

There you have it! 16-20 minutes and you have performed as complete an activation and warm-up sequence as you will ever need!

P.S. If you want help with more than just pre-workout warm-ups, check out Complete Program Design.

It will teach you how to write highly effective workouts that build strength, work capacity, and real-world performance

Whether you’re a coach or an athlete, you can’t be leaving results on the table with sub-optimal programs.

Grab it here.

Coach Robert dos Remedios has been involved in strength and conditioning for over 25 years. After completing his competitive football career at the University of California, Berkeley in 1988, he began training athletes on a full-time basis. “Coach Dos” has a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Biomechanics from California State University, Northridge, has been a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA since 1990, and is one of only 100 “Master Strength & Conditioning Coaches” (MSCC) in the world as recognized by CSCCa.
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