This post is about how to warm up for CrossFit so you can get the most out of your workout, maximize your gains and avoid getting injured.
CrossFit workouts are intense and challenge virtually every part of your body. They typically involve a huge range of motions and activate most muscle groups. Go into a WOD without doing suitable warm up exercises and you run the very real risk of pulling a muscle or tearing something.
Why You Need To Warm Up For CrossFit
Warming up increases your body temperature and your heart rate. It stretches muscles and activates biomechanical functions. It reduces the chances of injury and gets the muscles moving and stretched so you’re ready to give everything in your WOD.
How To Do CrossFit Warm Ups
Warm ups should be intense enough that they get the blood flowing and increase heart rate, but not so intense that you’re unable to perform your WOD straight after. Dedicate 10 minutes to a good warm up before you start CrossFit training and make sure you’re ready to go as soon as you finish warming up.
5 Of The Best CrossFit Warm Ups:
1. Resistance Band Glute Shuffle
Resistance band glute shuffles activate all the movement muscles around your glutes, hips and thighs. Because of the extra resistance from the band, this warm up makes a simple movement a lot harder and you’ll start to feel the burn pretty quickly.
Beginners use a low-resistance band around the knees. For intermediate level, you can move up to a medium-strength band around the ankles. For a really advanced workout, use two resistance bands – one around the ankles and the other around the knees.
2. Butt Kicks
Butt kicks, or butt kickers, are a good way to gradually increase your heart rate. They also stretch the muscles in your leg and can even help improve your running stride and improve your running speed. Start slowly, build up pace as you go, and if you find this exercise too easy-going, alternate with high knees to increase the intensity.
3. One Arm Kettlebell Press
One arm kettlebell presses start to work the deltoids, triceps, trapezius, and the rotator cuff. Use a lighter weight than you would use in other kettlebell exercises because this is only the warm up. And concentrate on form, making sure you extend the arm fully to get all the benefits. If your WOD starts out with kettlebell presses, you might want to substitute this exercise for a jump rope session.
4. Resistance Band Shoulder Warm Ups
Shoulders injure easily and you’re likely going to be using them a lot during your CrossFit workout. Try doing some of these resistance band exercises to loosen them up and get the muscles warmed up before you start. As ever, you can use different strengths of band to increase or decrease the intensity level. See also this workout for a more intense shoulder strength workout using bands.
5. Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching involves a series of stretches where you don’t hold the stretch position but rather keep moving constantly into the next position. This really fires up your muscles and gets them warmed up for CrossFit, as well as improving your flexibility and reducing the chance of injury. Done properly, the stretches should hit every muscle group so that you’re ready for any WOD exercise.
Final Word About Warming Up For CrossFit
CrossFit is intense, hard work, and is meant to push you to the limits. To ensure the best possible workout from your WOD, you need to be warmed up, your muscles limber, and your heart elevated. The exercises above will help you get your body, and your mind, ready for the intense workout ahead of you.
Check out these review guides to the best CrossFit workout gear:
- Pull Up Stands
- Jump Ropes
- Resistance Bands
- Knee Sleeves
- Hand Grips
- Gymnastic Rings
- Weight Vests
- Plyo Boxes
- Ab Rollers
Subscribe to our Instagram and YouTube channels for more workouts, fitness tips and exercise videos.