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Fit and fine: Warm-up vs ramp-up

What makes Ramp the new pre-workout essential

Updated: Apr 21, 2019 00:04 IST

By Kamal Singh, Hindustan Times

Include cradle walks as part of your Ramp warm up for lifting weights (Shutterstock)

I see this all the time in the gym. People walk in, swing their arms a bit, may be walk on the treadmill for a few minutes, do some half-hearted static stretches with cold muscles and then start hitting the weights. It’s even worse if they are into running. Then its just lace up, static stretch their cold muscles and then start running. Good way to have a sub standard workout or run, may be even set yourself up for an injury! It should be pretty obvious that if you want to rev up your body for your workout/run, you need to do activities, which closely resemble your workout.

What is a warm up?

The purpose of the warm up is to gently raise the temperature of the body, so that you are lightly sweating as well as switch on the neuromuscular system. Most trainees, who lift weights find walking on the treadmill or using the exercise-cycle boring and I agree with them! But raising the core temperature so as to break a light sweat is necessary as it has several beneficial effects. But your warm up should not end with just doing that. Let me introduce a protocol, which comes with its own acronym – Ramp.

Ramp is the new warm up

•R – Raise the core temperature, so that the muscles and tendons become more extensible. Jog, row, cross train or bike for five to 10 minutes till your heart rate is raised and you are lightly sweating.

•A – Activate the muscles of the core. Waking up your core muscles leads to good stiffness and helps in lifting more or producing more force. Planks, bird dogs, glute bridges can be done here. Please remember this is preparation for the workout to follow.

•M – Mobilise the joints to have a better range of motion. Use dynamic movements and not static stretches. So instead for touching your toes to stretch the hamstrings, do leg swings.

•P – Potentiate. The idea is to wake up the neuro-muscular system and get it ready to apply force. If you plan to lift weights, then using light weights to practice the lift is a good way to potentiate. If you are a runner, then doing double leg hops, single leg hops for three to four sets is the appropriate way to potentiate for your run.

This is what your Ramp warm up would be for lifting weights:

•Five minutes of cardio keeping the heart rate between 120 - 150 beats per minute.

• Two sets of 30 seconds – front plank, side plank, single leg glute bridge. Two sets of band pull aparts, 15 reps each.

Do two sets of 30 seconds front planks ( Shutterstock )

Do two sets of 30 seconds single leg glute bridge ( Shutterstock )

•Leg swings – front and side, cradle walks, shoulder dislocates and spidermans. All done for 10 reps each.

Shoulder dislocates must also be done as part of Ramp warm up ( Shutterstock )

Do 10 reps of Spiderman ( Shutterstock )

•For the first lift of the workout, start with just the bar and slowly increase the load over two to three sets.

•For a run, do 100 reps of standing high knee running, hop for 10-15 meters. Then start running.

Hop for 10 to 15 meters ( Shutterstock )

•Please remember the warm up should not take more than 10 to 12 minutes.

Now go out and try the Ramp and get back to me.

(A strength and conditioning coach for the last 15 years, Kamal Singh, CSCS, specialises in post rehabilitation training and functional training.)

This is a fortnightly column. The next one will appear on May 12.

Follow @KamalSinghCSCS on Twitter

From HT Brunch, April 21 , 2019

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