Why Coach Led Warm-Ups?

At StoneCutter, warmups, preparation, and mobility are a key component of everything we do.

There are a few key concepts that are important to incorporate in every warm up in our group classes. A good warm up will increase the core temperature and prime the body’s systems for high intensity work. During an effective warm up, we want to prepare connective tissues and muscles for movement. It is also essential to review the mechanics of the more complicated movements in the workout.

There are several components that we, at StoneCutter, will use to get our athletes ready, and we generally start by working on mobility or movement drills. This can be something specific for the workout, banded stretches, lacrosse balls, foam rolling, mashing, and flossing as well as dynamic movement supporting what we will be doing in the workout. The primary goal here is to get the major muscle groups that are going to be utilized in the workout ready and nimble.

Next, we’ll start doing some dynamic drills, such as perfect stretch, reverse lunges with a twist, and lateral lunges, followed by some quicker drills that focus on increasing the heart rate. We want to prime the muscles and joints for the work that is demanded of them. Dynamic stretching will be targeted towards the movements we will see in the workout. For example, if we are doing squats in the workout, you can expect to see a variation of lunges to get the hips nice and open; if we have a pressing motion, then we will target the shoulders.

Implementation of a warm up is also going to be dependent upon the time and needs of the class. If we have a longer workout, the warm up is going to be shorter, whereas the opposite will also be true.

We find it important to review the movements in the workout as part of our warm up; this is a great time to spend on technique. Most of our workouts are less than 20 minutes, which allows us to fill the rest of the hour with time to address weaknesses and/or focus on more complex movements such as the Olympic Lifts, HSPU technique, etc.

It is also important to also demonstrate the movements, so that our members can have a point of reference for good movement. It’s also a great time to discuss some of the common faults (in lifting) that we could potentially see during class. In our warm up, its essential to cover the key concepts and even have the clients go through the movements, even if it’s just with a PVC pipe. You should also include any skill transfer exercises, which will focus on the mechanics of the movements and hopefully make our members more comfortable with the more complex movements.

When you come into one of our group classes, you will be coached from the beginning to the end of the class – and we take our warm ups seriously. This is a big opportunity for the coaches to assess how members are moving and what adjustments we might need to make when it comes to the workout. Typically, our warm up will begin with some mobility work and then some dynamic stretching followed by dynamic drills, which look to increase your body temperature to get you ready to move well. We will then review the movements and explain the workout and get you ready to rock and roll!