It’s so important and yet it’s often overlooked. I’ll admit that I haven’t always been the best at prioritizing it, but I’ve made a conscious effort to include it and it’s made a world of difference.
So what is movement prep?
Movement prep is another word for warm-up. It’s a series of movements that prepare your body for your training. It can include mobility work, dynamic stretches, prehab exercises, and anything else you need to get ready for the specific movements you’re doing that day.
Why is it so important?
Movement prep helps to warm up and activate the muscles you’re about to work. It helps to prevent injuries by properly warming up. And it’s also a great way to check in and see where your body’s at before doing any loaded exercises. Case in point: I was supposed to be doing heavy squats today, I knew I was tired but I figured I’d still give it a go. As I was warming up I realized that my body was exhausted. Everything ached. Bodyweight squats felt awful; my back started tightening up and my legs were tired and achy. Not a good sign when you’re supposed to squat with 206lbs. on your back! As a result, I decided that heavy squats were a bad idea today and instead took it easy and did some very light accessory work. I’m really glad I did because twenty or so minutes of that and I was beat.
I’m not sure why everything felt so difficult today, but clearly, my body was telling me to take it easy. Had I not taken the time to do my movement prep, I would have just jumped into squats and probably would have pushed myself harder than I should. I doubt I would have worked up to my planned weight but I still would have been setting myself up for a pretty crappy workout at best and an injury at worst.
So take the time to properly warm up, especially before doing any big lifts. It shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes; you don’t want to fatigue yourself before your workout.
If you’re not already, add some movement prep into your next lifting session and see if it makes a difference. I’d love to hear your experience. And if you’re not sure where to start comment below or send me a message. I’m happy to help!