the die-namic warmup
the warm up for cold corpses...
Spoiler alert: I’m about to break the warm up, the hell down, for you. If you don’t care about that or the reasoning behind the prescribed dynamic warm up and don’t want to learn more about how to personalize this shit to you specifically, then whole heartedly throw me some middle fingers and skip right to the concluding paragraph, where the warm up can be found in all its glory. But, if you’re in intellectual vampire… like a good, classic one, read on.
A true warm up is defined as: “to optimize performance while decreasing risk of injury during practice and competition. “
Traditionally though of as low intensity aerobics ala the 5 min treadmill warm up, static stretching of the specific muscles you’re going to work ala toe touches before a run, or general skill rehearsal with a light or no weight. Supposedly to increase body temperature- during a WARM UP haha! No shit! Also, the idea behind the stretching is to increase flexibility and decrease muscular stiffness/rigor mortis, and increase muscular post-activation enhancement, for performance enhancement. And not THAT kind of performance enhancement, cmon. Get ya head outta the grave for the last time, kids!
…does that all work? YES AND NO. There is absolutely a benefit in the light aerobic activity and skill rehearsal before a workout to get all that blood you drink also flowing through your body and loosening up your dead creaky joints and such.. which you all shouldn’t have if you follow a good diet and workout routine SUCH TO BE FOUND RIGHT HERE ON DEATHCOMESLIFTING.COM BUT WHAT DO I KNOW. Back to the goddamn warm up… Does static stretching have its benefit? I don’t know about you but when I think of static stretching I think of homeboy in a matching warm up suit, head band, walkman, doing his hurdler stretches and all kinds of monkey business. He holds his stretches for what seems like the length of an entire Sleep record, but mentally prepares with some Duran Duran to annihilate the coming light-weight-high-rep-full-body-cable-circuit workout, only after going for a 7 mile a day jog. As beneficial as that sounds is about as beneficial as static stretching as part of your warmup.
Without trying to sound too smart on ya, static stretching activates a mechanism in our muscles known as autogenic inhibition, which basically means if you hold a muscle in a stretched position for greater than 10 sends (static stretching) it causes the spindles in the muscle to be inhibited / deactivated / relaxed temporarily; which allows you to stretch the muscle further. That is great and all for flexibility but not so much for a warm up. We want to blow those bad boys up like Rambo, not have them resting eternally like Count Draucla’s vampire brides. Therefore, we want to just dig that grave and throw static stretching and its autogenic inhibition igniting ass 6 feet deep, and bury it for the remained of the warm up. Only late a night, when the when the moon is full and bright, may we resurrect it in the COOL DOWN or on a recovery day. Now that that’s taken care of.. ladies and gentlemen, what you came here to see, I present to you my latest monstrous creation: DYNAMIC STRETCHING…
Remember the autogenic inhibition we hated on in the static age (would it really be a proper DCL entry without a Misfits reference? Think not, kids.) ? Well, Dynamic Stretching activates a similar mechanism, be it autogenic inhibition’s evil twin, reciprocal inhibition. And, obviously, we like the evil twin more over here. What reciprocal inhibition does is just the opposite of autogenic inhibition, being it activates the muscle instead of relaxing it, known as the almighty stretch reflex, ya feel me? So, for the sake of making it simple, lets go back to our homeboy getting ready for his jog. Maybe at this point the Duran Duran has changed to Sade but his warm up and workout are going to stay the same. Say, instead of holding his toe touch hamstring stretch for 120 seconds, he did 3 sets of 10 toe touches, maybe holding it for 1.5 seconds at the bottom, did some jumping jacks, hip circles, and is on his way. What warm up is going to produce a better result? That’s right, Duran Duran or not, door number 2 is the correct answer. So instead of relaxing his hamstring muscles with the toe touch holds and whatever else he’s holding, he activated his hamstring muscles by actively warming them up, contracting them which consequently relates the antagonist muscle group (quads) before his run. Thrown together with some light aerobic activity and / or skill rehearsal, my man is even more golden than he was before, as if that were possible. Now that was just a grossly overgeneralized and completely unnecessarily judgmentally and stigmatized example of warm-up comparison, but I had fun doing it and hopefully you get my point. Now, if I were prepping an athlete for a full body weight training and agility session, say, the dynamic warm up would get a fuck ton more complicated than toe touches, but its the same principle. Lets explore a little more creatures of evil…
So now we now dynamic stretching improves performance (mentally and physically) and activates our muscle fibers properly, lets get into how we can use it for ourselves in our high octane undead training programs.. Dynamic stretching will allow you to employ movement specificity, direction, coordination, velocity, and force, all being factors that do not contribute to a static warmup environment.
So as a traditional warm up is relying on the definition basically just to physically warm up ones body generally before physical activity, lets get weird. A proper definition our newly revamped (shout of to Dracula and his brides). A proper, movement preparation, dynamic warm up should be though of as:
An integrated approach to prepare the athlete physically and mentally for the demands of training and competition through a progressive and specific preparation period.
Broken down into parts. Punch. That. Shit.
2. Hip Activation
3. Dynamic Stretching
4. Movement Integration
5. Neural Activation
DAMN. SON. Sounds more complicated and like it takes way more time than it actually does. In all reality, 10-15 minutes should suffice for a proper warm up. If you’re insane like me, I feel like I spend more time worried about the warm up than the workout, just because it works so well and Maes you feel like a goddamn undead ninja. So trust me. Do this shit.
Break it down
1.General Movement - this is our boy on the treadmill for a few before he hits the iron, or jumping jacks before the marathon. Thats all well and good, anything to get you moving, really. But I would like to challenge you to more movement specific exercises and something a tad more challenging on your corpse. Instead of a 5 minute incline treadmill walk. How bout some overhead walking lunges, rowing machine, practicing jump rope skillzz, or hitting the punching bag? Change it up. Don’t completely tax your system, just integrate your core and whole body into this, your functional strength and mobility will not be mad!! Don’t overthink it, though, freaks.
2. HIP ACTIVATION - even if you’re just BENCHING today, bro??? Yeah, motherfucker. You bet your goddamn ass. Because no matter what you do, your hips are involved. Even if you’re bending down to change the pin on the preacher curl machine to lighter weight to get a few more “pump” reps at the end of your set, you used your hips for that. And you use your hips so much in every day life, it’s vital to address the ‘ol hip musculature in the warm up. Obviously, you should focus a little more time here if you are prepping for a squat session, rather than a tricep and core session, sure. Just play with the factors a little bit. This can range from hip circles, gate swings, etc.. to strapping a mini band around your knees and and walking either linear or lateral, etc… depends on the work ahead how difficult and what direction it should be. Specific exercises located below. Below on this page as well as in the underworld, just to clarify.
3. Dynamic Stretching - the cu da gras. The stealer of shows and souls. My favorite trick in my fitness trick or treating bag, the DS’ing; MF’ers. Our considerations are the same, think of your training session ahead and move adequately. Should our movement be initiated in a lineral, lateral, or rational direction? Ideally, all of the above, but what is the focus? How hard should it be? What should we start with? Aside from following the general guide on the NEXT PAGE, to make this more specific to you, think about your workout and follow suit. That comes with time and practice, knowing your body and knowing which areas give ya some trouble, and hit those right out the gate. From beyond. Great flick.. examples include.. superman’s for shoulder/scapula stability and mobility, lunge or squat variations for the hip/ankle or hamstring complex, walking quad stretches, etc. No matter what we do, the integrate our whole body and gets us moving, activated muscle fibers and mentally prepares us better. Its a good day to be dead.
4. Movement integration -
This is more on the athletic side of things. I gotta be honest, if your are a meathead bro type lifter (guilty… sometimes) this step in the next step may not be QUITE as important for you, so if you don’t have time, I ain’t mad at cha, as Tupac says. But definitely still try to do this shit sometimes, its just really good for you. Gets the body and ming in synch, and it never hurts anything you’re trying to do to move more efficiently, it literally can’t hurt. And I want you all to feel good and live happy and healthy as FUCK. Conversely, if you are training for a sports specific activity or just want to be a functional ninja zombie from the worlds below, this is very important. So these are gonna require some space in which we will march, skip, hop, and lunge around a little bit. An agility ladder is a great option here. That kind of combines this and the next step, as 2 kill two birds with one fitness gem ( ;) ) again, if you are just lifting some weights, getting sexy, and calling it a day.. I would recommend just 1 or 2 sets of linear and lateral marching movement through a ladder or otherwise. If you are more advanced or in a different realm of movement, we can get a little weird. More on specifics on the next page, if this does not make sense, it will.
5. Neural Activation
Very similar to the step above, therefore same instructions apply for our lifting dead friends. This is going to be fast, short, specific movement to get our bodies fired ups as well as our minds. Patter recognition and reaction skills are brought to life. This all use through stuff like, hurdles, ladders, cones, etc.. Hurdles, Ladders, Cone Drills, rotation, etc. all can be thrown in here. Very athletic type terminator shit. Very cool and
beneficial to your corpses, my friends.
PROGRAMMING MOVEMENT PREP!!! Finally!! Shut the fuck up and tell me just what too do.. HEY! I warned you. DO NOT make me do it again.
I will have to be vague here for yet another generalization, the warm up length, volume, and difficulty should be dependent entirely upon the sessions inequity, and your individual capacity and needs.