Warm Up Worries

Its been over 3 years since I started my fitness brand, Fitness with Maria, and I couldn’t be happier with the progress so far.  Part of my mission to conquer the fitness industry is to do it the RIGHT way. I do not believe in using fitness as a way to take vulnerable people looking to get healthy and steer them in the wrong direction. Lets be real, these 21-day fixes requiring you to drink disgusting shakes 6 times a day for ‘optimal’ results, or the treadmill running workouts with 3 minute warm ups, and the high intensity heavy jumping home workout videos with the fittest male species instructing are not the most effective way towards a healthy lifestyle. Sure, you may lose 10 pounds in 10 days, but your health is way more important than 10 days. My goals of The Maria Method are to provide safe and effective program designs to steadily improve quality of living.

As a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Fitness Instructor, I’ve noticed a common trend in the fitness industry: A poor connection and understanding of an effective and proper warm up.  If you have ever taken one of my classes, you know I take pride on my warm up designs.  With group fitness continuing to boom, I have seen far too many injures directly related to poor warm up designs that make me extra extra cautious when designing my online fitness warm ups.

My Top 3 Failed Warm Up Trends:

  1. No warm up at all, or its way too short.  When I design my playlist for my classes I always pick 2-3 upbeat mid-tempo EDM songs with little lyrics to use for the warm up. No joke I’ll be up at midnight searching for the right song choices just for the warm up portion. According to Athletics and Fitness Association of American (AFAA), group fitness warm ups should be a minimum of 8 minutes. So if it only takes one song before you are sprinting away on a treadmill, then you are asking for an eventual injury.
  2. Lack of preparation of the actual workout itself. If you want to do weighted squats or deadlifts, then your warm up should focus on doing a ton of bodyweight squats and hip hinging movements to prepare the body for the stress its about to encounter.  Even a simple jog needs a multiplanar dynamic warmup, because although running seems like a simple “movement” its a lot more complicated than you think.  Remember too, a warm up isn’t only a physical preparation, but more importantly, its mental. Your brain tells your muscles and joints how to work, so without mentally preparing, we are now at a higher risk of failure.
  3. We are still static stretching?! Really! Even with all the resources, research, and YouTube videos, there are still trainers and instructors using static stretching to warm up. If we are preparing to move the body, we must it keep it dynamic with a continuous body movement, not stillness!!

Check out my video feature for my sponsor RSP Nutrition of my 60 Day Fitness Challenge: 6 Ways to Prevent Injury with The Maria Method. Help me solve my warm up worries by sharing it to EVERYONE so we can start preventing injury and performing better! Join The Maria Method movement to get healthier, prevent injury, and improve quality of life!