A Better Warmup…

Posted by Brian PCF
Oct 06 2009

I’ve been looking for a better warmup for a while now.  I did the Crossfit Warm-up every time I worked out for about the first two years I trained.  I’m strong at most of those movements now, so I need to change it up.  I also hate warming up, so I need something that I can stand.  Here’s the general goals:

a) Increase performance during the WOD.
b) Decrease incidence of strain or injury.
c) Improve my weaknesses.

I did a lot of thinking about this over the weekend at the Crossfit Olympic Lifting Cert with Coach Mike Burgener. Coach B encouraged us to hit the Burgener Warmup every day. His proposition was that this would allow us to dramatically improve our technique in the olympic lifts.

I buy this and I’ve always been a fan of the Burgener Warmup.  I also need to work on some weaknesses though, and I have plenty.  So my new warmup will include components of each of the three modalities listed in the Theoretical Template for Crossfit Programming:

Weightlifting Component
Gymnastics Component
Monostructural Component

Within each of these, I’m going to focus on the stuff I’m weakest at. So no (or little) Pullups and Double Unders, but plenty of Handstand Pushups, Running, etc.

I could do multiple warmups on different days, each addressing some weakness of mine and preparing me for the specific WOD that day, but I tend to do better with a good baseline that I can tweak if and when I need to.

Brian’s Crossfit Warmup Baseline:
3 Rounds
Weightlifting Component:
Burgener Warmup
Monostructural Component:
Pose Drills:
10 Wall Drill (out)
10 Wall Drill (in)
10 Hop Drill
10 Single Leg Pull
Gymnastics Component
10 x Handstand Pushups (HSPU)
10 x Muscle Up Transitions


Obviously on some days, I’m going to want to change up the reps or the movements so as not to wear me out too much for the WOD. So here’s some common substitutions and additional weaknesses that I can plug in:

Weightlifting Component:
Split Jerk
Split Jerk Balance
Split Jerk behind the neck
Push Jerk behind the neck
Snatch Grip Push Press
Overhead Squat with feet and hands together
Pressing Snatch Balance
Heaving Snatch Balance
Snatch Balance
Tall Snatch
Tall Clean
(for more Weightlifting Drills and Skills check out Coach Burgener’s web page here).

Gymnastic Components:
Deadhang Pullups
Deadhang Ring Dips
GHD Situps
Back Extension

Monostructural Component:
Rowing Drills
Jumprope Drills (not Double Unders)

Ideally I’d have a baseline that I can measure before I implement this and after. However, I’ve been working pretty hard on Handstand Pushups for a while and have hit the Muscle Up hard the last few days as well. Currently, I can string together 6 strict HSPU. As far as the Muscle Up, I can’t do any strict Muscle Ups, but I can usually do several singles and on some days string together 3-4. I can’t do these to full lockout however.

So going to work this for the next six weeks and then reassess. I’ll let you guys know how it pans out.

Any suggestions here? Anybody do anything similar?

PS. As a sidenote, this was posted on the Affiliate Blog a few days ago:

A Better Warmup by CF Evolution

PPS. As I develop on the HSPU and MU, I want to transition to some more advanced gymnastic movements which I’ll get off Drills and Skills and Gymnastics Bodies.

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