Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"The warmup is the workout."

Dan John has said "the warmup is the workout."

Keeping that in mind, I've changed how I "warm up" my children's training group at work.

Before, I'd take them through the warmup - a series of lunges, squats, jumps, pushups, bird dogs, bridges, etc. designed to progressively get them ready to move. Not all of them can do every movement well, so I'd try to catch each one once each session's warmup and work on improved technique.

Stealing an idea from Martin Rooney, who I saw at a seminar recently, and from Dan John's quote above, I decided to do it differently.

Now, the warmup isn't just the warmup. It's a significant portion of the workout. No more 10 minute warmup - last time it took almost 40 minutes.


Because - and this where Martin Rooney's idea kicks in - nobody moves on to the next movement until everyone did the current exercise correctly. Every does them together - no more "at your own pace" and we re-do them until they all get it right. If someone is physically incapable of doing it, I'll give them a modified version and count those.

Seems pretty gym-class harsh, but it's already working. They're paying closer attention, they get a better warmup, and I need to fill less time. And since the movements themselves have a lot of value as exercises, it's still a productive workout. You may need to do 12 lunges and 24 squats instead of 3 and 8, because someone else can't get them right, but that's just further reinforcing a correct movement pattern in all of you.

We'll see if it holds up, but I like the idea and how it's turning out so far. The warmup is the workout indeed.

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