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  • Anton Lippis

Supercharge Your Workout: The Principles of an Effective Warm-Up

Woman warming up on bike in gym

Are you ready to elevate your gym sessions, reduce your risk of injury, and maximise your performance? As we outlined in our previous blog post, one of the best ways to do all of these things is an effective warm-up. If you're looking for principles to guide you in putting together a good warm-up, look no further than the RAMP protocol. Developed by leading sports scientist Ian Jeffreys, RAMP stands for Raise, Activate, Mobilise, and Potentiate. It's a systematic approach that ensures your body is well prepared and primed for action. Let's break down the four principles of the RAMP system and look at how you can incorporate them into your workout routines.

1. Raise

The first step in the RAMP warm-up is to raise your heart rate and body temperature, increasing blood flow to your muscles. Start your routine with five or so minutes of medium intensity aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, slow jogging, or cycling. You should be working hard enough to increase your breathing rate, but should still be able to speak in full sentences. Gradually elevating your heart rate and body temperature helps prepare your body for the demands of your workout.

2. Activate

Once your heart rate is elevated, the next step is to focus on activating key muscles that will be utilized during your workout. This is going to vary depending on what exercises you have planned, but the idea is to prime your brain-to-muscle connection and ensure the correct muscles are firing during your workout. Movements here might include bodyweight squats or glute bridges to activate your quads and glutes, or banded pull-aparts to activate your upper back and shoulders. Do these movements slowly and with control!

3. Mobilise

Next, focus on mobilising the joints that will be involved in your workout and increase flexibility to optimise movement patterns. Avoid static stretching holds here—these can increase injury risk. Incorporate dynamic movements that target areas of tightness. Movements like arm circles, leg swings, or hip circles are all good options here.

4. Potentiate

The last step is to prepare your body for the specific demands of your workout. If the plan is to lift weights, this might involve doing a few sets with lighter weights, building up to your working weight. If you're planning on aerobic interval training, do a few short efforts to get your body used to the demands you're about to place on it. This phase is also a great opportunity to really focus on technique and form and rehearse the movement patterns you're going to be using during your workout.

Following the RAMP principles can help you build an effective warm-up, optimise your gym sessions, and take your performance to the next level. Incorporate these steps into your routine to enhance movement quality, improve muscle activation, and reduce risk of injury. If you feel you need some individualised guidance on your warm-up, come and speak to one of our friendly trainers here at Xpress Personal Training.

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