Warm Up For Weightlifters


What does the very beginning of your daily weight training look like?

Do you come right in and grab a barbell and struggle through some creaky painful reps?

Do you try multiple different strategies and aren’t really sure what works the best?

A thorough proper warm up can really help you get the most out of those first few sets and basically get the most bang for your buck out of your time in the gym.
We have our 3 foundational categories of warm up to help you customize and strategize day by day.


  1. Sweat: A big chunk of us work in a sedentary world. Either standing relatively still or even worse sitting for the majority of the day. On the flip side those early birds have been sleeping for 8 hours lying still (hint, hint get some sleep) and are trying to jump into a workout routine. Both cases can highly benefit from blood flow and switching on the engines of energy transfer.

Simple easy aerobic warm up can start blood and lymphatic flow throughout the body. It also switches on the mechanisms for aerobic energy transfer and primes the nervous system that it’s time to move


  • It should be easy- choose a modality that you can jump on and just flow
  • 5-7 minutes – just a general time frame not long enough to gas out, but long enough that you get a sweat and the body can “switch on”
  • Non eccentric – Cycling / Rowing / Ski -Erg are mainly non eccentric so for those of us with joint pain this can be a great way to move without exacerbating any pain triggers


2. Stretch: Now that there is blood flow and neural activation the body is actually going to be more receptive to any specific mobilizations that are relevant to your body and your specific workout. The key here is to get the most bang for your buck and realize you don’t need to spend a ton of time on this one, we’re not going to want long term plastic changes prior to intensity.

  • Tips:
    • Slow to “Fast”: If you are a more rigid athlete and need some specific static stretching knock that out first.  Slow static stretching isn’t 100% specific to dynamic exercise so it’s a good practice to bridge static to dynamic
    • Fluid: Now we take it up a notch. Fluid dynamic warm up stretches or “flows” are a great way to start speeding up  and moving gently through some end range pieces. Check out our lunge flow piece as an example: Lunge Flow Sequence


3. Stiffen: This is what we like to refer to as the “Bridge” We spoke to our system with the aerobics, a gentle reminder that it’s “time to wake up”  We spoke to our connective tissue and nudged it to be comfortable with some end ranges that we plan to use in training. Now it’s time to really tap our nervous system and let it know that it’s GO TIME!  This is where we introduce loading patterns and strategies to get our body’s important protective systems ready for load;

  • Tips:
    • Static and dynamic: It’s a solid idea to blend 1-2 drills each of static and dynamic loading patterns. Getting your body to find static stiffness is a great way to proprioceptively tap into activation patterns for pieces that you struggle with. Dynamic loading may look a little more like your specific training like squatting or cleaning.
      • Examples
        • Static: RKC Plank / Dead Bug / Side Bridge Pictures


          • All of the above pictures are examples of static stiffening procedures to help improve anterior core activation.
        • Dynamic
          • Depth Jump  
            • The Depth jump is a great way to prime for squats. It forces you to react to your own bodyweight load and quickly produce force
          • Ball Slam
            • The ball slam is a great bridge exercise to go from static stiffness to expressing power in varied positions

We hope you can take this general framework and apply it to your next workout. Take 15 minutes and apply this continuum and see if you get a little better movement quality and less ache and pain during training.

If you want a specific warm up for your impairments and your specific workout or sport come see us at Impact Physical Therapy. Our staff can apply these principles to a wide range of activities and bodies to make it 100% applicable to your situation.

About Dr. Eric Hefferon

Dr. Eric Hefferon received his advanced doctorate degree in physical therapy from the innovative A.T. Still University. He has been practicing in the west valley for 6 years and has made strong ties to local gyms and medical practitioners. Dr. Hefferon started Impact Physical Therapy due to his passion for an individualized healthcare approach. He knew by creating a clinic that was out of network he could help give patients the results they deserve. His treatment style attracts patients from all over the valley and even out of state. People will travel to seek Dr. Hefferon’s solutions!

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