You’re feeling good and raring to start your CrossFit workout, so you might not think you need to warm up first, but you’re wrong.
You’re going to be performing a lot of different movements, such as running, jumping, and lifting, and you don’t want to run out of steam. So, a warm up is crucial.
A warm up ensures that your body can do all the moves that are required without risking an injury.
When blood is pumping through your body, it’s filling your muscles so that they can work better.
How to warm up for CrossFit? Your warm-up routine should consist of the following:
- Cardio to increase heart rate and body temperature
- Mobility to increase your range of motion (ROM)
- Preparation to prepare your body for the movements you will be doing
- Muscle Activation, which is boosting your body’s power with plyometric exercises
Start With Cardio
Do a cardio warm up of your choice, such as running or jumping.
However, make sure you can still maintain a conversation with someone so that you’re not overexerting yourself.
Aim for approximately five minutes of cardio to boost your heart rate and increase your body temperature.
A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that aerobics reduces the body’s natural stress hormones.
Cardio can therefore also boost your mood so you feel amped for your CrossFit workout. This is important because you need your head in the game!
Boost Your Range Of Motion (ROM)
Range of motion in exercise refers to how much you can move your joints in different directions.
Doing ROM exercises regularly will make you more flexible, while improving your strength and balance.
When doing a CrossFit warm up, a simple stretch routine can help you achieve greater range of motion. Two great stretches to try are:
The Samson Stretch
This is basically a lunge, but with more pronounced movements.
Raise your arms straight above your head, step forward with one leg and bend your knee, open your hips, and focus on stretching your hip flexor muscles.
As you become used to the stretch, you can bring steps of a classic lunge into it. Feel the burn!
The Pigeon Stretch
This stretch begins in a plank position.
Place one leg on the ground so that it’s perpendicular to your body.
Now, push your weight onto your front leg so that you make your gluteal muscles move closer to the ground.
You should aim to hold this position for about five seconds, then repeat it with your other leg.
Prepare Your Body For Your CrossFit Moves
In this part of your workout warm up, you should do exercises that are linked to the workout you’ll be doing.
For example, if your CrossFit workout is focused on strength training, do some squats or deadlifts to prepare your body for the strength exercise you’ll be doing.
You can also tailor your CrossFit warm up to target specific areas of your body that will be used during your workout.
For example, if you’re going to be doing intense shoulder workouts, you should do some yoga push-ups that will mobilize your shoulders.
Activate Your Muscles
Plyometric exercises are designed to activate your muscles so that your workout will be more powerful and successful.
Box Life magazine defines plyometric exercises as quick, explosive moments that are meant to increase your speed and power.
This is quite different from regular strength training exercises that consist of longer and slower movements.
Basically, when you do plyometric exercises, you activate more muscle fibers and this increases your muscle contractions.
Here are two easy plyometric exercises to add to your CrossFit warm up:
- Squat Jumps. Stand in a regular squat position with your feet in line with your shoulders. Then squat down and jump up as fast and as high as you can. When you land, land in a squat, and quickly jump up again.
- Push-Ups With A Plyometric Twist. Here, you’ll get into a normal push-up position on the ground. Move down as you would in a regular pushup, then quickly push yourself up off the ground so that your hands lose contact with it. This adds more force to your push-up.
How Long Your CrossFit Warm Up Should Be
It’s important to keep your warm up short and sweet.
Doing too much of a warm up can backfire, leaving you with less energy for your CrossFit workout.
You should aim to make your CrossFit warm up routine about 15 minutes long, but if you’re going to be doing a more intense activity, your warmup should be longer so that you don’t get tired too quickly.
The Shorter Your Workout, The Longer Your Warm Up!
This is a good rule to bear in mind. It means that a workout comprised of higher-intensity movements will require you to have a longer warm-up session.
On the other hand, if you’re going to push yourself over a longer period of time, you should have a shorter warm-up session.
“But I Have No Time To Warm Up!”
One of the excuses you might have for skipping a CrossFit warm up is that you don’t have enough time.
Maybe you’re running late and feel like a warm-up session will eat up too much time for your actual workout.
But what’s the point of doing a workout if you’re not going to do it properly?
CrossFit is intense, but working up a sweat alone doesn’t mean that you’re reaping the rewards.
A CrossFit warm up will not only improve your circulation and send more oxygen to your muscles, but it will also improve your position during exercise.
When you prepare and activate your muscles during a CrossFit warm up, your positions will be better during a workout, which means the movements will feel easier and you’ll achieve more during your CrossFit workout.
Add A Foam Roller To Your CrossFit Warm Up
You might have heard about foam rollers being used in CrossFit, especially when trying to ease stiff, sore muscles.
But you can also use a foam roller during your CrossFit warm up!
Using a foam roller helps to loosen your muscles before a workout while also targeting any tight spots.
As Shape magazine reports, you should choose the least-tight areas on your body and start with those, then move towards the tense ones.
You want to take your time – foam rolling too fast is not beneficial for your muscles.
Should You Drink During Your Warm Up?
Since your CrossFit warm up is challenging but not extreme, you might push your bottle of water aside, but don’t.
Staying hydrated is important to prevent sluggishness and dehydration. Aim for drinking approximately 5oz of water during your warm up.
Should You Stick To The Same CrossFit Warm Up?
It’s vital to choose warm-up exercises that are right for your current skill set.
However, that doesn’t mean you should remain stagnant.
As you become more comfortable with the moves, make them more challenging to build up your strength.