Aug 132016
 

Guest article by Jesse Irizarry over at Strengtheory. I personally think that some people spend to much time and effort on their warm ups. Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone needs to warm up to a point just not as crazy and extreme as some get. Jesse covers this subject after reviewing over 70 peer-reviewed articles. Check it out!
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Note on source material: A couple of years back, I reviewed over 70 peer-reviewed articles on warming up for Bret Contreras. He posted my notes to his site here. If you’re interested in going through everything I did to reach the conclusions I’m going to share in this article, you can check that out.
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Any discussion of warm-ups usually includes opinions on three basic topics:

  1. How to figure out the objective of the warm-up, and what qualities we’re trying to address and possibly improve.
  2. The use of static stretching versus dynamic stretching techniques.
  3. How to include methods that increase performance in the following training or competition through means such as post-activation potentiation (usually referred to as PAP).

Most recommendations on warm-ups are based on the opinions of coaches or on anecdotal evidence – both of which can be fine. But I wanted to see if there was concrete evidence in the research regarding best practices, so I would have more than my biased opinion and experience to share. That’s not to say all conclusions taken from research are clear or applicable to elite lifters and athletes; subjects are often untrained or have limited training history. And, of course, training age and history play a huge role in what warm-up practices will be most appropriate.

Rather than prescribing a specific practice, my purpose for this article is to provide a clear picture of what a useful warm-up does not look like, according to the majority of research done on the subject. I’ll also discuss some practical takeaways based on my personal experience as a coach dealing with real, breathing human beings with varying levels of ability and training experience.

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