Why warm up? Several changes takes place in the body once physical activity is initiated. A person’s respiratory rate, blood flow, and oxygen and nutrient levels delivered to the cells increases. Warming up also increases your body temperature, which increases the flexibility of muscles, ligaments, tendons and cartilage and leads to fewer strains, sprains and tears.  The rate of increase should be regulated in a steady pace to prepare the body for the physical stress that exercise will demand.

If one foregoes this priming procedure, the body will function less efficiently and the workout will produce less quality results. Warming up preps up the nervous system, heightens mental awareness and alertness, and loosens up joints and muscles to make them less prone to injuries. Warming up jump starts the fluid located in the joints, minimizing the risk for wear and tear of the muscles. It gives the heart a suitable period to adjust and pump up blood and nutrients into muscles. As it turns out, there are several reasons why we warm up, and yes, as you noticed, warming up is important. The following are excepts from Bill Starr’s article on Warming Up featured on The CrossFit Journal.

A complete warm-up involves two stages, and the second stage consists of two parts, so some contend that there are three stages. The first stage is basic. Do an activity that elevates the overall body temperature. Nothing complicated here. Calisthenics are good, as is riding a stationary bike or skipping rope. A number of the Olympic lifters at York Barbell preferred skipping rope because it not only elevated their body temperature but also helped them get their foot speed, coordination and timing tuned up for the coming workout.”

Warming up activates the enzymes responsible for the many chemical reactions that occur during physical exercise. The body’s energy system depends on those enzymes and, until they’re released, the energy system will not function properly. This is why an athlete feels sluggish at the beginning of a workout if he’s failed to warm up properly.”

A good thing to keep in mind is that a warm up should be relevant to you. It should reflect the movements that you will perform in the workout and it should consist of skills that need fine tuning. The warm up is not a race or competition with your fellow gym mates, it is not for time, nor is it a time to lollygag and mozy around until the workout begins. Its serious business!!!

The warm up is also a perfect oppportunity to try something new or work on a movement that is giving you a hard time.  Take for instance the ring dip. Lets say you haven’t quite gotten them yet. When warming up, practice the ring dip, go for technique, work slowly but be efficient. If you use a band to assist you in the workout, in the warm-up try doing them without a band or with a band of less resistence. In this way you are not only warming up, but you are training your muscles how to move. In the long run you will be doing yourself a huge service. 

For some members a more gradual and longer warm up is needed.  If this is you, try getting to the gym a few minutes early and doing a jog, walk, row, etc.  So you are ready for the regular warm up.

Tuesday’s WOD:


AMRAP 20 minutes

400m Run

Max Rep Pull Up

Ok, we are going to try this again.  The rain thwarted us last time, let’s see if the weather will be more agreeable tomorrow.  If not, we will find something to do with ourselves.

contributed by Reets.


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