How to ramp up in an adequate way
There are tons of mobility drills and training preparation exercises, and there´s not a single answer to what good preparation is.
An ideal warm up protocol depends on the goal with the training session. There are different preparation methods depending on what kind of session you are ramping up for.
However, the first part of the session should involve drills that gets your blood circulation going and that fires up your Central Nervous System (CNS). The second part should prepare your body to work in a full range of motion. The third part should activate your main muscles to make sure they´re fired up properly before going into specific movements. The fourth part depends on the activity and the main goal of the session.
Is the session ahead a pure strength session? A running session? A HIIT session? Or a mix of all these; a so called Metcon session? Is it a performance/skill session?
To put it very simply, if your main goal with a session is to hit personal records on deadlifts, you don’t have to spend 10 minutes on running drills. Not that it will hurt in any way to do it, rather the opposite, but there are better ways to prep your body for a 1RM lift.
This general protocol is a-so called RAMP protocol. Now you get why we say 'RAMP UP' before your session!
R for Raising body temperature and heart rate to increase core temperature and local tissue blood flow
A for Activating key muscle groups and neuro-muscular coordination and stabilisation
M for Mobilising joints and stimulate joint lubrication
P for Prime the body for maximal intensities that the following session will require.
Some popular warm up protocols
Prior to HIIT and strength sessions, the following mobility protocols are great:
- Wrists (wrist circles, stretch)
- Elbows (elbow circles, elbow punch)
- Shoulders/upper back (dislocations, arm circles, over and backs (swing the arms up over your shoulders and chop your upper back, then swing the arms back down behind you) and bear hug swings (swing your arms out to the sides, then back across your body like you’re hugging yourself) are quick and easy.
A stretch we call the pat down is also great: get near a wall and put your hands against it overhead like you’re getting searched by an arresting officer. Keeping the abs tight to prevent hyperextension of the back, push your chest down and back from the wall to open the shoulders. Instead of just pushing, thinking of pulling down away from the hands as well. No equipment needed.
- Spine/trunk (standing trunk rotations, scorpion)
- Hip flexors/quads (leg swings, lunge variation with rotations, running drills)
- Hip extensors/adductors (bow and bend, Spiderman lunge, groiners which are like mountain climbers that reach the feet up to the hands and put you in the Spiderman lunge position. Walking leg cradles (knee to chest), side leg swings, walkouts (inchworm), the Kossack, the Russian baby maker,
- Knees (knee rotations, squats)
- Ankles/calves (heel-toe walking, ankle circles).