Don’t skip your warm-ups

Nobody really warms up …  but you should, here’s how!

Over the years of physical preparation and general fitness development with my clients, I came to the conclusion that if you don’t give direct information on the warm-up, your clients will not do it by themselves. Even if you do, most of the trainees just skip it.

Why? What is the problem? Most of the people just don’t see or understand the goal of it.

What can you do to increase the chance that people do their warm-up? I might have part of the answer: they want to train, not warm up! They want to get right into the action. The training thrills them, not so much the warm-up.

They don’t want to waste energy doing super long sequences of SMR (self-myofascial release), mobility drills and neverending activation exercises for every muscle … They want to lift the weight, do the reps, run the distance and go for that PR …

Then, what can you do? You explain the why and the how, but still get no success. You know that they want to train and not lose time warming up… So, let’s jump right into it.

The method
I developed a system with some simple warm-up/activation routines that give the impression that they’ve already started the training. It sounds great, right? How did I achieve this? Just by dropping a kettlebell in their hands and bam! Most of them are not used to work with bells. Therefore, they will need to focus on learning new skills as they warm up. In addition to this, they get a load in their hands, so the impression of starting right away the training is real!

So far, these warm-up routines work super well! Simple exercises, easy to assimilate and easy to progress. I noticed a significant augmentation in my client ratio doing vs not doing their warm up.

Here the link to my Full body kettlebell flow activation system


Before the flow perform 1-3 foam roll drills, 1-3 mobility drills, and then to the flow for the prescribed amount of sets.
The exercises with the bells will improve ROM, mobility, crank their SNC, stimulate grips/hands, increase proprioception, increase heart rate and sudation. A very light weight will be used, so there is no need to warm up for the warm-up.

Here is an example of how I prescribe it:

  • 1-2 sets: 10-20’’ foam rolling the back, quad and gluts (or any other significant regions/muscles for the training) (keep it short)
  • 1-2 sets: 6-8 reps of strider to rotation and shoulder band dislocation (or any other significant mobility drills for the training) (keep it short)
  • 2-4 sets: Kb flow, 3 reps each Ex. (without break, but do not rush it)
    Then, a specific warm-up for the training of the day could follow. (It will depend on what you’re planning to do, maybe a couple of bars before squatting for example)

Keep in mind

1- Take time to explain the purpose of warming up, even though they don’t care or don’t fully understand why it’s a vital part of their training. Some will and it’s your job to do provide them with the best knowledge possible on the matter, so go on and educate!

2- Use any strategies that may help your clients to warm up. Here, I have explained mine.

3- Be creative and elaborate your own methodology that fits your clients’ needs. It is not mandatory to use kettlebells, but they are so versatile and offer a broad range of exercises!

Jean-Robert Rioux
B.Sc. Kinesiology  CSCS CPPS-L1 CKFT-L3  CKCT-L3.1 CPT TAI

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