Warming Up: How to Do it Like an Elite Athlete, Part 1

I’ve gotten a few people asking me lately about what I like to do and what I have my athletes do for a warmup before they train.  So I decided it would be a good idea to share that with you.  If you have ever trained w/ me before, you know how much emphasis I put on our warmup.  When people ask me why we should warm up, the analogy I usually use is:

“Well, you wouldn’t just start your car, floor it, and speed out the driveway right?”

Even though some of you crazy Arizona drivers may have answered yes to that question, you get the point.  A comprehensive and progressive warmup routine is crucial….here’s part 1 of mine.


Before we get into the warmup, we need to establish the proper mentality.  The warm up sets the town for the rest of the workout, so getting focused here is key. Warming up may seem tedious and time consuming, but once you get it down, it only takes about 10 minutes.  Here are some other quick notes:

  • Order Matters– following the order of the warm up allows for the best results
  • No Cardio– You’ll prob notice I didn’t put cardio in this warmup.  There are several reasons for that, but one is that it’s not necessary due to the intensity of the warmup.  You’ll find that out more in part 2

Today we will be covering foam rolling and mobility/activation.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a very important tool in prepping for your workout.  Foam rolling increases range of motion, gets rid of trigger points, and reduces risk of injury.  You really want to focus on areas that are more tight, and cause more pain.


– Increasing range of motion (ROM)
– Decreasing Facial Knots
– Improving tissue quality

30″- 60″ per body part

Here is a link to my personal foam roll routine.


This next phase of the warmup is designed to activate specific muscle groups and increase joint ROM.

Hip CARS/Circles

The “CARS” part in this exercise stands for Controlled Articular Rotations.  The purpose of this exercise is take SLOWLY take your hip though a wide range of motion.   The hip joint responds well to movement, and this one covers a lot of it.

Start on all fours w/ your toes flexed, and slowly bring your hip in a circle.  Go clockwise, and counter clockwise.

– 5 reps ea side, ea direction
-keep core tight and back flat

Mason Hip CARS.JPG

Single Leg Glute Bridges

The glutes are one of the biggest and most important muscle groups for power, strength, and overall function.  Warming them up is key, especially if you are squatting, dead lifting, or doing any other lower body intensive exercise.

– 5 reps , hold 5″
– Keep core tight
-Push through the heel
– lift, and squeeze glutes


I’s, T’s, W’s

Whether you are doing upper or lower body, properly activating the shoulders are important.  For example, think about how much the shoulders work during a back squat. This series of exercises activate muscles like the lower traps and rhomboids, which ensures proper firing patterns and decreases risk of injury

– 5 reps, hold each 5″
– Keep chin tucked
-Squeeze scaps down



By now, we all know how important your core is.  Your core is where everything begins, and you always want to make sure that your core is activated before you start working out.

– Hold for 30″- 60″
-Keep core tight and back flat


So that concludes part 1 of the warmup. In part 2, we will be covering the dynamic warmup and skipping, and CNS prep (all sounds fancy, but it really isn’t).

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