CrossFit warmups play an integral role in your overall success in the CrossFit gym. It is therefore important that every warmup you do be time efficient and targeted for the purpose ahead. There should be a general portion of the warmup and a session that is skill specific. Lastly, every warmup should help you establish an optimal body temperature. As a winning athlete, you undoubtedly are focused on performing at your best any given day while trying the much you can to prevent injury.
If not put in a proper perspective, warmups can become a monster leading to some performing excessive protocols which in the end harm them more than benefit.
Preparing for the Task to Come
By design, a warmup prepares you for what is to follow. For you to be effective, you must identify what you are preparing for. When you understand what is required, you can then structure a warmup that is targeted for that purpose. Major fitness competitions including CrossFit require athletes to perform at a very high intensity regarding work rate or load. Some of the CrossFit workouts are relatively short which means athletes must be prepared to execute the task right from the start.
For this reason, CrossFitters ought to pay particular attention to the warmup format so that they can perform immediately following its completion. Among the things athletes should consider include:
This is a primary priority during warmup. By enhancing muscle and core temperature, an athlete can elicit a wide array of responses which help in improving performance. For instance, an increase of 1-degree Celsius in muscle temperature is associated with about 4% increase in power output. The ideal temperature revolves around 37.5 degrees Celsius and anything beyond this can have detrimental effects.
Immediately you begin exercising, your cardiovascular system will start reacting. This reaction consists of constricting and dilating blood vessels to channel more blood to the muscles involved in the workout and lesser to the inactive muscles and organs. Through increases in heart rate, your blood supply, and cardiac output also improves.
Joint Mobility and Flexibility
Through activity and movement, the viscosity of the synovial fluid found in the joints reduces. To add to this, the stretching done during warmups promotes elasticity in your muscle fibers. Some people theorize that this helps in preparing the body muscles for rapid loading and enhanced ranges of motion during CrossFit workout. In turn, this lowers the possibilities of injuries.
An effective warmup will give you some post-activation potentiation (PAP) response. This is usually achieved through dynamic stretching and ballistic style movements. PAP refers to a theory where the contractile history of a body muscle largely influences its mechanical performance in the subsequent contractions. Before engaging in the movements and stretching, it is advisable to first do a basic temperature increase warmup which comprise jump type or progressive bounding movements. In turn, this increases the activity level in the nervous system which then allows for a better contractile function for your muscle.