Pre-Workout Warm Ups

What does it take to get someone ready for a workout? That is a great question and the answer may differ for each person. I am beginning to understand this better each day as I get older – or should I say, wiser. Or maybe just more experienced. When I was in my 30’s, I could roll into the gym and start a workout immediately with no problem. Now, in my 40’s….it’s a different story.

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 CrossFit Hard, will use to get our athletes ready, and we generally start by working on mobility drills. This can be something from Mobility WOD, banded stretches, lacrosse balls, foam rolling, mashing, and voodoo flossing. 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, butterfly pull-ups, etc.

If there’s Olympic weightlifting involved in the workout, its important to also demonstrate the movements, so that the clients 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 clients more comfortable with the more complex movements.

Warm ups are also a time for having some fun – including playing games such as med-ball musical chairs, waiter tag, or tick tack toe with the med balls. This allows us to play and as adults, some of us lose that component in our lives. It also helps to bring our community together. These icebreakers are a great way for our members to build camaraderie and have some fun.

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 the clients 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!

Coach Graham


WOD 021617

What is your favorite stretch?

Dynamic Linear Warm-up

Walking Knee Hugs
High Knees
Butt Kicks
Side Shuffle l/r
Shuffle Squat l/r
Lateral Plank walk l/r
One leg toe touch – step


Toes-To-Bar: 10 Minute EMOTM
Use this as a skill session to work on your kipping movements.

If you have good toes-to-bar, complete 8-10 reps unbroken EMOTM


Handstands: 10 Minutes Practice
Work on any facet of getting upside down.

Metcon (Time)

 3 Rounds For Time:
10 Alternating Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch
20 Wall Balls 20/14

RX+: DB-50/35 & WB- 30/20
Rx: DB-35/25 & WB-20/14
Scale: As needed

Cash Out

200 double Unders or 50 double attempts or 300 singles

Out of Town WOD

8 sets
250m Row
10 Dumbbell Snatch
2 min rest


CrossFit Journal: The Performance-Based Lifestyle Resource