Movement prep is the cutting edge concept to getting the most out of your workout and reducing injury risk. Back in the day, walking on the treadmill passed as a warmup, and even accomplished some movement prep goals. But while walking on the treadmill elevates your heart rate, it doesn’t do much else to prepare for movement. And movement is why you’re in the gym, right?
In addition to elevating heart rate, movement prep also elevates core temperature, and increases blood flow to muscles.
A typical movement prep begins by using a foam roller to work out muscle adhesions. Focus on the muscle belly and stay away from joints. (Your shoulder blades are the only joint that is safe to foam roll.) If you find a hot spot, that’s a muscle adhesion. Lean into it for 20 seconds. The object is to break up bundled muscle fibers so they again align with the remaining muscle.
I prefer that clients foam roll their calves, quads, hip flexors, and shoulder blades.
After foam rolling, it’s time to get into movement. A good program can be thought of as additional sets of exercise. The first video shows two routines that I like for working in multiple planes. Many gym exercises are done in the sagittal plane; however, in life we move through multiple planes of motion. For both moves, remember to keep your core tight. For the toe touches, think of the You can progress these by standing on an Airex pad.
The three dimensional squat progression is another multi planar progression thanks to the great Michael Boyle. I like to hold a deep squat twice for 30 seconds: your thigh bones should be parallel to the ground or lower. Following, five lateral squats and five transverse plane squats on each side. For brevity, the video is going only in one direction.
Whether you’re about to lift weights in the gym, or you’re preparing for a team sport, or going for a run, good movement prep will wake up your body and improve your workout.