If you've been reading the WLC System, you'll know how important warm-ups and the right warm-up exercises are before your weight lifting workouts.
You need to be doing the pre-workout warm-up routine that you'll find within the WLC System before EACH and EVERY weight lifting workout.
I want to go over that pre-workout warm-up routine again so you know EXACTLY what you should be doing.
I will provide you with warm-up exercise videos too that are not included within the WLC System Manual just because I can't add videos there.
Here's the Layout of Your Pre-Workout Warm-Up Routine
Please make sure you follow this exactly as you need every exercise given here to properly warm-up for your weightlifting workout.
1. Five minutes of light cardiovascular exercise
You can go for a light jog or use any cardio machine that allows you to do some light activity. You can slowly increase the intensity over the 5 minutes, but don't do anything too intense.
Remember, the purpose of a warm up is to warm up and not add fatigue to your body. You need everything you have for the weight lifting portion of the workout.
During those 5 minutes of light cardiovascular activity, I want you to visualize your upcoming workout. Visualize yourself doing each exercise in order.
Imagine the feelings you will have and how you will fight through the signal your mind sends to stop the set early. Your mind needs to know that you are in control during this workout.
Visualize yourself doing heavier weight than ever before. Watch yourself doing the exercises with perfect form and technique. Use these 5 minutes to get your mind ready for a tough workout.
2. Perform 15 front to back leg swings on each leg
Getting your legs warmed up and ready is first up in the pre workout warm up. Do 15 front to back leg swings on one leg while trying to increase the range of motion on each rep. Then do 15 on the other leg.
Focus on getting more range of motion each rep.
It's perfectly fine to bend your knee on the way back. It actually gives you a good stretch in your quadriceps if you bend you knee. Start out slow and focus on getting an increased range of motion.
3. Perform 15 side to side leg swings on each leg
Now you're going to get some side to side movement going in your hips and legs. Do 15 on one leg and then 15 on the other.
You need to start out with minimal range of motion and then increase as your legs and joints get warmed up.
Try to get your leg higher and higher off the ground and especially as the weeks of weight lifting workouts continue. This really stretches you out and will help keep your knees healthy as well as your entire body.
Keep in mind that your entire body works as a system. If you have trouble with one part of that system, it will affect other parts of that system.
4. Perform 5 crab stretches on each leg alternating
Alternate between legs. Step forward and lift one leg into a crab position. Then step forward and lift the other leg into a crab position.
These stretches are very important so pull up on your leg and try to get a great stretch each rep.
If squats are your first exercise like most programs at WLC, these stretches will help you perform better and decrease chance of injury on squats.
The above video isn't exactly what I'm looking for… I simply want you to stand up straight and grab one foot at a time out in front of you and pull upwards. Similar to the movement in the video but without the prop and without bending over.
5. Perform 5 pull back leg stretches on each leg alternating
Now I want you to focus on getting a good stretch in each quadriceps muscle. Alternate legs.
Make sure you get 5 good stretches in on each leg. Feel the stretch by pulling your foot against your butt as far as possible.
Then kick your leg down and forward and repeat with the other leg.
Really focus on getting a really good stretch in your quadriceps.
6. Perform 20 arm circles with palms facing downwards followed by 20 arm circles with palms facing upwards followed by 5 broomstick dislocations
Do 20 arm circles with your palms facing downwards. Make sure to get as much movement behind your body as possible.
Start with minimal range of motion and then increase the circle size as you increase reps. Once you've done palms down, switch immediately to palms up. Do the same thing. Attempt to get as much backwards movement as possible.
Change directions during the arm circles too. Remember, palms up and palms down. Do both.
Follow those with broomstick dislocations as shown in the video below:
Start out slow and easy with these. You will be able to do them faster as the video shows once you get accustomed to the movement.
7. Perform 20 jumping jacks followed by 5 body weight squats and some easy push ups
Jumping jacks are an amazing warm up exercise to do right before a weight lifting workout. Jumping jacks will raise your alertness and heart rate.
When you are finished with the jumping jacks, you will be ready to lift some heavy weights. Jumping jacks will bring out the aggressiveness you need before you start lifting weights. Turn that muscle building switch on high.
Make sure you do jumping jacks and not some half-effort version. Get your hands above your head. Clap your hands.
Go straight into the 5 body weight squats after you finish your jumping jacks. The body weight squats are a great overall exercise and will advance you towards the intensity you'll need during your workout.
Finish off the pre-workout warm up by giving your upper body some direct stimulation.
Do 5 to 10 easy push-ups. If push-ups are too hard for you, do push-ups with your knees on the ground. Again, don't wear yourself out. You are not doing this to add fatigue.
You don't need any rest between steps. Just keep going until you are finished.
That's It for the Pre-Workout Warm-Up Exercises
This is how you should start EVERY weight lifting workout.
If you feel like you need more stretching and need to become more mobile, you can repeat this routine after your weight lifting workout OR you can add a different mobility exercise routine after your workout.
I HIGHLY recommend mobility exercises and dynamic stretching. I do because they have helped me so much.
I had very bad knee pain in the past. I never stretched very much and just lifted heavy weights. That 100% will lead to issues! I had to STOP doing squats for a period of time until I implemented dynamic stretching and mobility exercises.
Please don't skip this pre-workout warm-up routine!
Warming up in this manner is VITAL to your success and longevity with weight training.
You can even make changes to this warm-up routine based on your individual needs as you become more experienced. If you're a beginner, stick to this AND you can learn as you go.
If you have any questions about warming up or this routine in particular, please leave your questions and comments below.