Honestly, look at any of these warm ups in this video and tell me that this any of this is new or revolutionary. I don’t care if your background is the Army, high school wrestling, cheerleading, or Zumba. You should have seen and done most of these movements at one point or another before working out.
Towards the end, you see some stuff that becomes a little bit more advanced, but you see the same theme and same message typed out thre that you will see on any other reputable fitness site. While Matt Wichlinski is a great athlete, you do not need to be on his level to warm up like he does.
The goal with this series of blogs and videos is to expand your warm up repertoire. All coaches develop stretches and mobilizations that they love. Its the same thing with chefs developing flavor profiles or artists developing color palates. You find something that works for you and that you like and you tend to stick with it.
The problem is that some people may get more out of certain mobilizations than others. The walking quadriceps stretch may not do for you what lunges do. That’s fine.
Watch these videos, identify things that hit your problem areas, and do some self experimentation.
A lot of people in the gym are starting to realize that a forty something year old engine takes a bit more warming up than a twenty something year old engine. The smart ones hit the rower or do some PVC work before class. The others just stand around cursing time.
Find a few things and make them part of your routine everyday, even if you are not working out.
There are a lot of Crossfit gyms out there that do not do a group warm up before classes. Others do a great job of skill development and actually warming people up. Variance like this is sort of part of the package deal with having small businesses as varied as they are in Crossfit.
Frankly, I think its kind of irresponsible for a gym to start a group class without taking them through a warm up. Some gyms are blessed to have months long on ramp programs without driving away all of their clients and gym members that are all experts. Note: that last sentence was entirely sarcasm.
Part of the role of a coach/trainer is to keep people from hurting themselves. Whether it be telling the guy with a broken foot that he absolutely cannot do kettlebell swings on one leg. Telling the not as strong as he thinks he is 45 year old not to attempt the 450lbs deadlift that the 28 year old RX competitor just pulled. Or even telling someone who’s fresh back from vacation to do 3 rounds instead of 5.
However, not everyone is lucky enough to have a gym that takes the class through a warm up. There is also room for improvement from trainers and coaches. There are also some athletes that need a more through warm up than others. This is due to factors such as age, injury, or just poor mobility.
For me personally, it takes forever to warm up my shoulders and thoracic spine. So no matter what, I will always do some PVC dislocates and rotational dislocates before each work out.
I’m going to try to write a lot about this during this week.
Here is a great video from Catalyst Athletics on their standard warm up. Worth the watch no matter who you are.
I was originally going to do a video analysis of some folks trying to get muscle ups or doing progressions that don’t have any muscle ups yet. For whatever reason I couldn’t get the videos to load. So instead I’m going to put in links to three great videos that will show some progressions and get you started off smart.
This is the OG video from the Crossfit main page about muscle ups. People try to go from no muscle ups to doing muscle ups without the false grip too quickly. Its stupid. Its like people with only five strict pull ups who try to do butterfly. Yes, its what the Games athletes do. Here’s a secret….YOU’RE NOT A GAMES ATHLETE.
Even if you have that capacity, don’t skip steps. It’s why the people on the And 1 Mix Tapes don’t play in the NBA. They may have a sweet, fancy move or two but can’t actually play for real.
This is one from a coach whose blog I follow. His site is definitely worth checking out. I think that the people I’ve shared this with have found it really helpful.
The biggest challenge that I’ve had as a coach recently has been trying to teach several of the girls in the gym to do muscle ups. Due to the fact that I have another job that sucks the life out of me, I’m not in the gym consistently enough to do real work with them.
This hasn’t really been sitting well with me because three of them are so close. Usually, its an issue of strength. They’ve got plenty.
For all of them its a kinesthetic awareness thing. They can see it, but they just have a really hard time getting their bodies to do what they see. Which is even more frustrating for all of them because they have a gymnastics background.
I honestly emphasize with them. When I first found out about Crossfit in 2005 the muscle up was the thing that my roommate Andrew and I saw on videos and thought we could get. It was very frustrating. Especially because my other roommate Eliot was a Division One gymnast who didn’t even remember what the name of the movement was because it isn’t even scored in gymnastics competitions.
Let that sink in; the hardest gymnastic movement you’ll probably ever see programmed in a Crossfit workout isn’t even considered a thing for gymnasts.
I fooled around with them for three years. I was always strong enough (I heart pull ups), but never had the coordination to get them. I brought a set of gymnastics rings with me to Iraq and practiced some substitutions and partials every day for three months until I finally got them.
I honestly remember this story way to well. I was in the gym doing a goofy looking progression and explaining what they were to our Squadron Executive Officer and Retention NCO. The rings were set high enough and I tried one to kind of show what it looks like without expecting to get it.
I was so surprised and elated when I actually found myself on top of the rings that I had some form of awkward celebration. I than did a few more singles just for good measure.
Muscle ups are a great movement and a hard thing to learn. It is a hard skill to learn and one of the most rewarding benchmarks to get. Tomorrow I’ll post a video and some critiques of a great learning progression used in a WOD.