Thoughts on warmup: A new core complex

In Vienna, while doing our 5×5 program, Chris and I usually incorporate the exercises Chad Waterbury presented in his article HERE.

We usually start our sessions with an hour of padwork and/or sparring. Therefore, we’re not doing the core exercises in a circle before the workout, as Chad suggests – that would prolong the whole thing too much. Also, the core’s already pretty active due to all those kicks and punches. Hence, we stick to doing the pallof press and stir the pot in between our heavy sets. Personally I feel that it’s those two exercise that offer the biggest benefit in terms of core stabilization.

Now in the Gym in Dabki where I’ve been working out for the last two weeks, the cable station is pretty crappy (no adjustable heights, just the to and bottom position), so the pallof press was really inconvenient. Also, there were so balls whatsoever to stir the pot (insert your own bad joke here – I’m too tired to think of one). So, the core work I usually do was just not an option.
Being a fighter and all, I took the challenge to create my own warmup-complex.

Here we go:

  1. One-legged deadlifts: Those will prime the nervous system and wake up all those local stabilizers in the hip, knee and ankle. The spinal erectors prevent dorsal flexion (anti-flex, in Michael Boyle’s words). Also, the obliques are activated with anti-roation work.
  2. One-armed military dumbbell press: Wake up those shoulders; activate the nervous system by explosively cleaning the bell into position. Again, we’re looking at anti-rotation, core-wise.
  3. High Windmill: After waking up the obliques, we do some lateral flexion for dynamic warmup.
  4. Hanging knee raises / Hanging leg raises: Dynamically activate the hip flexors as well as the rectus abdominis at different intensities.
  5. Russian twists: Warm up with some core rotation.

There it is: Anti-flexion, Anti-rotation, Lateral flexion, Dorsal Flextion, Rotation, all in one big complex. Although I’m totally aware of the fact this is not the be-all end-all warmup, it’s definately worth a try if you’re looking for a change of pace. When things become too easy for you, or you want to change this complex into a training session on its own, you can either do more sets (I did three, that was enough for a good warmup) or do the whole thing for time.
Here’s the video for you to enjoy:

Give it a try and post your experiences in the comments below!
So long,

take care

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