Warming up. It's OK, you can admit it - you don't do it, do you? Sure, you may do the standard CF "warm up". But let's face it, is that an adequate warm up for every single WOD?

I'm a singer. As such, I am supposed (need) to warm up before singing. It took me years to realize that the function of my vocal warm up wasn't just to warm up my vocal chords and shake the cobwebs out, but rather to pattern the correct muscular involvement so that when it came to singing my music I would sing correctly.

The same is true when approaching any athletic movement. There is a reason we pattern the movement with light weights before approaching any max load efforts - just like with singing, we are working with the neurological cues as well as getting blood flow to the muscles. But I believe we need to begin that work even earlier, and shape our warm-ups in such a way that those muscles are automatically recruited when the WOD comes into play.

Regrettably, I'm not knowledgeable enough to design such warm ups on my own. As such, I plan to plan to reach out to the CrossFit and athletic community in the coming months in an attempt to compile a collection of varied and functional* warm ups for us all to stockpile. If you're anything like me, you are neglecting the warm-up. Let's remedy that.

How about you? How do you warm up before training?

*LOL, did you catch how I threw "varied and functional" in there? Tee hee. I'm good.


  1. Hi Staci,

    I DO warm up, every workout, every time. I call it a "buy-in", and it's the price of admission to any WOD.

    I mix up my buy-in based on the workout. I prefer to hit similar or complimentary movements to the planned work session. So if I'm working push jerks, I'll warm up with some handstand holds and L-sits, to get the shoulders and core firing. Or I'll work light front squats and tall cleans before a 3x5 squat clean drill. And I love doing unilateral kettlebell moves before taxing the posterior chain with deadlifts - windmills, suitcase DLs and light renegade rows.

    The key is to (a) get moving, and (b) don't smoke yourself. To that extent, I think the CFWU is often overworked. If you can't comfortably do 20 consecutive pull-ups, then I think it's a mistake for you to shoot for a few rounds of 10 in your warm-up.

    Hope this helps!

    Melissa Byers

  2. Thanks Melissa! I think the concept of using similar muscle movements is paramount in the warm up, as well as looking at the energy pathway that will be utilized.

    Ultimately, I'd like to compile enough warm up routine "vocabulary" to almost have a database - i.e, thrusters = a, b and c; push jerks = a, c, d and f. And so on.


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