When I first started weight training in high school, our warm up consisted of jogging from where we took attendance to the weight room. And that was it.
Since then I've learned a lot about how to properly prepare the body for a strength training session. At times it can be daunting deciding what exercises to include in a warm up, so I'm going to share with you a strategy I learned call RAMP.
It stands for Raise, Activate & Mobilize, and Potentiate.
Raise - Increase muscle temperature, core temperature, blood flow, muscle elasticity and neural activation.
Activate – Engage the muscles in preparation for the upcoming session
Mobilize – Focus on movement patterns which will be used during the game.
Potentiate – Gradually increasing the stress on the body in preparation for the upcoming competition/session.
I love this protocol for three reasons. First, it's conducive to general, specific, or integrated warm ups. Second, it has space for individualized exercises that develop athletes for the long-term (LTAD). Third, and best of all, it's time efficient.
Below are examples of exercises for each section of the warm up.
Raise - low intensity movements like jogging, high knees, and mountain climbers.
Activate - "prehab" type of exercises like scarecrows, hip abduction, or miniband ankle dorsiflexion.
Mobilize - mobility drills or dynamic stretches like 90/90 hip internal rotation, standing pigeon, or spiderman with twists.
Potentiate - higher intensity exercises, which could be 75-90% runs, plyometric jumps, or warm up sets for a specific lift like squatting, deadlift, etc.
Here is a general warm up I made for a strength session. (Note: I didn't include a potentiation session because our warm up sets for our hang cleans served as our potentiated exercises at the time)
The RAMP protocol is an extremely time-efficient framework to create warm ups that are individualized for general, specific, or integrated purposes. So use the tools and examples provided to help you make your own!
Til next time.