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Thursday 150226 - Rest Day/Open Gym

From the archives, Tyler with a monstrous front squat in Sanctify 1.0 circa 2011. We've come a way since then huh?
Be sure to tune in to the CrossFit Games site on Thursday at 7PM for the announcement of 15.1. You can read about all of the Open workout announcements here.
The What, Why, and How of the Warm Up
by Ryan Jennings

We all have some type of warm up routine that we practice on a regular basis before training. For some it is focused, and purpose driven, while others just kind of do it because that’s what their high school gym teacher told them to do. At Sanctify we always schedule time at the beginning of class to warm up, but not everyone uses the given time efficiently and wisely. Hopefully the following information will help give you some direction, so that you can design a warm up routine specific to you, which will help improve your training experience.

Why do we need to warm up?

Warming up has many benefits. These include:
  • Improved elasticity of soft tissues. Warm muscles are more elastic and have a decreased risk of strain and injury.
  • Improved joint range of motion (ROM). Daily habits lead to a decreased ROM of our major joints. All of the movements we train at Sanctify require healthy ROM and if there is a ROM limitation it will impact your results and increase your risk of injury.
  • Increased muscle temperature. Warm muscles contract and relax much faster than cold muscles.
  • Blood vessels dilate. This leads to improved blood flow and reduces stress to the heart.
  • Hormonal changes. Your body will increase the production of various hormones which will lead to better usage of fatty acids and carbohydrates for energy production.
  • Mental preparation. A proper warm up will lead to a more focused training session and help you change gears after a stressful day.
How should you warm up?

It’s true that anything you do is better than nothing at all, but there should be a system to your warm up.
  1. Get the blood pumping. Spend just a few minutes on an erg, Airdyne, or with a jump rope. The goal here is to raise your body temperature and muscle elasticity.
  2. Static stretching. The stress of daily life can leave some muscles short and unwilling to lengthen. This will inhibit opposing muscle groups and make it difficult (sometimes painful) to move a joint through a full ROM. If you are short on time just hit the major trouble makers: Hip flexors/quads, chest, glutes, and hamstrings. Foam rolling can also be introduced at this stage of the warm up.
  3. Dynamic stretching. This should be movement based with the goal of improving joint range of motion. You should focus on your ankles, hips, spine and shoulders.
  4. Specific warm up. This is where you begin preparing for the major movements you will be training for the day. If it is squat day, then do a few sets at a light weight. If it is s snatch day then spend time warming up the bar path with a light bar.
Life can be busy and stressful, and we don’t always have thirty minutes to spend warming up. That’s okay. It doesn’t need to take that long. Just think about what limits you most during training. Is it a bad shoulder? Stiff hamstrings? Knee pain? If you can create a routine that addresses these issues, and make it a habit to complete your routine daily then you will get more from your training, and you will have a decreased risk of injury. As always, your coaches are available to help you if you need advice on stretches and strategies for improving range of motion.