How we prepare for a workout is vital. It’s the pre-battle ceremony…the ritual of warm-up….the commencement of ass-kick.

Excellent exercise prep gives our body AND mind the opportunity to fully embrace the shit-storm that is about to commence. It also maximizes our results. Our warm-up is as much a part of our development as our training block. It will help improve our tissue quality, mobility, posture, strength, AND durability. That’s a lot of winning in 7-9 minutes.

Movement prep like a BOSS is divvied up into three main categories:

  1. Myofacial Release (i.e. foam rolling)
  2. Dynamic Stretching
  3. Neutral activation

Let’s divide and conquer.

Myofacial Release

The funny thing about tension is that it has a way of continually reasserted itself…even when we’re sure it’s been abolished. Soft tissue work therefore is not a one-and-done kinda relationship. Think long term – we need to address our tissue quality on a continuous basis. That means the first thing we should do when you get to the gym is foam roll.

Intuitively we know what trigger points are. Rub your traps and you’ll feel areas of excess pain. These are trigger points – the physical manifestation of stress in the body.

What’s going on here, on a physiological level?

Quite literally, our muscles are knotted up. Actually, that’s a lie. There are no literal “knots”. Trigger points are small patches of tightly contracted muscles – an isolated spasm (not a whole-muscle spasm, like a cramp – just a tiny one.) This isolated spasm causes issues with circulation which, of course, makes the problem even worse.

Remember that our muscles are made up of spindles all bundled together, like steal cables. In order for muscles to work well, they have to slide. Knots, as you might imagine, are the enemy of slidage. Ergo, trigger points prevent muscles from working optimally. We CANNOT operate at full potential if we do not address our tissue quality.

Trigger points are also painful (sometimes extremely so):

  • Active trigger points actively refer pain. They hurt. Always.
  • Latent trigger points don’t refer pain when you’re just chilling, but will do so when pressure or strain is applied to the area.

Who wants pain? We don’t need that in our lives. We have to physically get in there and break up these fibrous adhesions. I love the analogy of the knot in the rubber band: stretch a rubber band with a knot in the middle and the knot just gets tighter. But go in there and remove the knot and the rubber band is longer and more elastic. That’s what this is all about.

There are numerous tools to help attack trigger points: foam rollers, tiger tails, baseballs, lacrosse balls, golf balls, barbells, and massage therapy. Each have unique benefits. Foam rolling is an excellent place to start because it’s simple, affordable, accessible, and can be done on the daily. Seek and destroy these trigger points with this foam rolling routine:

Wall Slides

After a few minutes on the foam roller, let’s quickly address our thoracic imbalance. Because we spend so much time in flexion and internal rotation (you’re probably there RIGHT NOW), we need to counterbalance this with extension and external rotation. 10 wall slides before every workout will put our shoulders through full-range & have a profound positive impact on our posture:

Boom. We’re rocking. We’re rolling. Let’s get mobile.

Stretching 101 tells us that static stretching will inhibit neural drive and dynamic stretching will activate it. The science: when we stretch and hold a muscle at end range, after 7-10 seconds we activate the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO). This is an organ, as you may have gathered, located in tendons, named after a dude named Golgi (an Italian physician – Camillo Golgi.) This magical injury-prevention mechanism says, “rut roh, there’s a lot of tensions going on here” and automatically “shuts off” the muscle by inhibiting muscle spindle activity. Yea. Pretty awesome. So generally speaking, we want our warm-up to tend towards dynamic stretches and our cool-down to tend towards static stretches (no need to shut off a muscle before a workout.) In other words, we should stretch with movement before we workout, stretch and hold after we workout. THAT SAID, common sense prevails. If we’re new to exercise, the benefits of pre-workout static stretching can out-weigh the detriments.

Address thoracic mobility and a lot of the big business lower body musculature with the aptly named World’s Greatest Stretch. Feel free to take it slow initially, then speed things up as you become more dialed:

From there let’s move into a little core activation. Our core is pivotal in so much of what we do in the weight room. Let’s make sure it’s alive:

Hell yea. We’re flying at this point. Last part of the warm up we head into the weight room and get after some movement-specific neutral activation. The idea is to lubricate the movement pattern and systematically work up to our prescribed intensity.

This is the part of the warm-up that is based very specifically on the workout. If we’re going for a run, doing some leg swings / marching / skipping would be a good idea. If we’re going to lift, doing a few sets of our first training block would be a good idea.

Our set and rep scheme will effect the specifics, but a basic template might be:

  • 5 reps @ 50% of working weight
  • 3 reps @ 75% of working weight
  • 2 reps @ 85% of working weight
  • 1 rep @ 90% of working weight

The idea is NOT to be fatigued going into the first set, but to be physiologically and neurologically AMPED. Some folks feel better with a slightly shorter exercise specific warm-up. I happen to feel better with a slightly longer exercise specific warm-up (hey…I’m getting old.) To thy own self be true.

This is the point at which I que up Eminem:

We’re gonna rock this house until we knock it down so turn the volume loud.

Pony up, cowboy. You’ve never been more ready to get yolked.

*This article was originally published on schwarzenegger.com on June 30th, 2014.

GAVE AWAY A FOAM ROLLER TO KELLY FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE CONVERSATION. WANT TO WIN FREE STEEZ? JOIN THE CLUB. NO, LITERALLY. GET ON THE #BANDANAARMY MAILING LIST.

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  • Phil300z

    Awesome tips for pre-workout stretching. Always looking for better ways to begin dynamically! Thanks, Rob!

    • BandanaTraining

      My pleasure. Thanks for reading, brotha.

  • Alex

    Can you a couple minutes of cardio prior to foam rolling in order to raise core temperature?

    • BandanaTraining

      Nah. No need. Rolling, stretching, and activation drills raise core temperature just as well.

  • Daniel Gubbay

    if you have a specific muscle that is very tight, prior to a run, would you still recommend dynamic stretching?

    • BandanaTraining

      What muscle?

  • Toni S.

    I’m a trainer and at Crunch we follow NASM guidelines. Would you still recommend dynamic stretching for clients who demonstrated muscle imbalances in an assessment? I personally prefer dynamic stuff but I’m not trying to kill people.

    And I need that foam roller. My quads need that foam roller.

    We need that foam roller.

    • BandanaTraining

      If a client has trouble with simple movements, I would never recommend forcing ’em through, say, a deep lunge thoracic rotation drill. Common sense prevails. What might be a dynamic warm up for an advanced athlete can be a legitimately challenging workout for someone at ground zero.

  • Bonesaw41

    Do u believe in static stretching tonic muscles in order to prevent them from taking over in certain movements?

    • BandanaTraining

      I believe in static stretching hypertonic muscles to prevent them from being hypertonic. Trigger point therapy / ART: both also solid options.

  • ClaytonMitte

    Foam rolling isnt the most attractive thing whilst doing it, but it sure does help you be attractive. I used to do Joe Defranco’s Agile 8 as my warm up before reading this article, great warm up nonetheless, but Bandana Training pulls out on top once again. This warm up gets me pumped and feeling it so much I lost the want/need for preworkout. Great job Rob, special shout out to the wall slides

    • BandanaTraining

      Perfection. Lovely to hear Clayton. Keep kicking ass, brotha.

  • Gerry R.

    When doing foam rolling, are you going for time or reps? Up and down a muscle would count as 1 rep. How about the speed of the roll? Lastly, is it true that if I don’t use it I lose it? Thanks, keep up the great work.

    • BandanaTraining

      Initially, I like to stick with time – easy, simple to manage, + keeps things moving. Eventually, as we get more advanced, I like to get into reps (for example: “divvie the calf into a “distal” and “proximal” section. 5 reps over the distal muscle fibers. 5 reps over the proximal muscle fibers. 5 cross fiber frictions over the distal. 5 cross fiber frictions over the proximal.” Something like that.

      • BandanaTraining

        Same things with speed of roll. Initially slow and meticulous. Eventually, I’m cool playing around with the tempo a bit.

  • A-dub

    What kind of dynamic stretches do you recommend for the “Big 3”?

    • BandanaTraining

      Some of these are stretches, some are activation drills, but all of them are awesome:

      Bench: YTW’s, scap activation drills, band pull aparts, seated external rotation
      Squat: power rack lat stretch, distraction drills with the band (ankle/hip), thoracic extensions, world’s greatest
      Dead: half kneeling hip flexor stretch, lateral lunge, glute activation, world’s greatest

      Then I would do some neutral activation drills (i.e….box jumps/med ball chest pass) then get into my movement specific warm-up. Cool?

  • Dev

    Cardio before or after a weight training session? (Want to sweat.. ALOT, but still gain/maintain muscle) #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      @disqus_7OIUxUo7Sn:disqus – cardio after. Prioritize resistance training to optimize body comp.

      • Dev

        Thanks! Is there a certain amount of time recommended?? I’ve been reading up on cortisol, and most blogs/post recommend around 45 minutes, while others say to not go over an hour in total if combining with resistance training? Any thoughts?

        • BandanaTraining

          Well, if you don’t mind me asking…why do you want to sweat so much?

          • Dev

            Well maybe I’m addicted! Actually I’m a runner, but also do quite a bit of lifting, and have been told to limit my cardio if I want to gain muscle… (I don’t really have a hard time keeping it on) however it is hard to scale down when training for races. Mainly wondering if running/spinning is counter-acting my lifting, if I am doing it alongside my weight training 3-4 times a week? I usually knock them both out at one time… so I go for roughly 1.5 to 2 hours a day on lifting and cardio days… hard for me to split them up!

          • BandanaTraining

            Hey…if you love to run, you love to run. Don’t let anyone yuck your yum. That said, too much cardio will prevent you from gaining mass. Absolutely. I say, decide what you want from your routine and then prioritize accordingly.

  • Tyler Carney

    Dear Bandana,

    First of all, I love your stuff. Please keep it coming.
    My pre-workout question is:
    How can I optimize the down regulation of my body’s production of myostatin right before my workout? I’d really like to prevent that whole myogenesis inhibition thing. #BandanaArmy

    Get to da choppah,

    Tyler

    • BandanaTraining

      Yo Tyler,

      Creatine.

  • Joe Harris

    If your warm-up was an automobile, what would it be and why?

    • BandanaTraining

      This thug-mobile….

      • BandanaTraining

        compact, efficient, and entirely badass.

  • Angie Pingley

    Huge fan of the wall slides. I’ve been doing those with clients prior to lifting to open the shoulder complex and bring fluid to the area as well. …but!! I didn’t have a name for them. #wallslides

    • BandanaTraining

      Boom. This is like the garden of Eden – we be NAMING things. =)

  • Krista

    Thanks for the reminder email! I’ve been lazy about rolling this summer :/ Really could use a foamy at home… The ones at the gym are…uh…sticky…

    • BandanaTraining

      Ain’t nobody got time for a sticky foamy.

  • Dani

    Been having a lot of issues with calf soreness from running (not an injury). Although I am an avid weightliftress what are some isolation exercises you would recommend to strengthen calves that are not calf raises? #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      I’d pound the calves with a lacrosse ball or a dumbbell. I’ve worked through some calf issues in the past and it’s been more of a mobilization / tissue quality issue…not a strength issue. See what that does for ya, cool?

  • Michael

    What’s the best way to mobilize your posterior chain before workouts and for life?!

    • BandanaTraining

      Get your butt and hammie on a foam roller or ball and clean up some of that stick. Pay special attention to the superior lateral fibers of the glute (glute med/min) and the adductor/semi-tend hiatus where I tend to notice a lot of trigger points.

  • Dan

    What is your opinion on carb intake in each of the three peri-workout periods (pre-, intra-, post-)? Not looking for a yea or nay, just your take on it. #bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Our relationship to carbs in unique to our goals, our progress, and our genetics. A lot of folks shouldn’t even LICK a prune. Some folks need to amp up carb intake post or peri. Duration athletes needs to match carb intake to energy requirements which means significant pre, intra, and post. There’s not one answer, except that carbs are not evil. They’re fuel. The question is, “are you getting enough?” or “are you getting too much?”

  • Juan Flores

    What are the best ways to burn fat when trying to maintain muscle mass #BandanaArmy

  • Guilherme Gonzatti

    Rob, I’ve been following your advice for some months and having terrific results!
    The posts are amazing and it’s great the way you write.
    Also, as a Chemist, I must say your explanations are very clear and precise (and not full of mumbo-jumbo bullshit, that is so common on the web).
    Keep up the good work!

    • BandanaTraining

      Really appreciate the kind words. You promise to keep kicking ass and I’ll promise to keep excluding the mumbo-jumbo bullshit. Deal? Deal. =)

  • Mannzilla

    Busy 38 y.o. father of 4, how can I start getting fitter in less than 45 minutes.? #bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Make a plan. GOTTA have a plan. Write that shit down. M/W/F hit a few big-business lifts with a metabolic circuit afterwards. Really try to focus on how you FEEL after your workout – that’ll give you some immediate satisfaction to hold onto. Also, start a food journal – it’s usually pretty illuminating. Boom…you’re already off and running.

  • Hey, nice article. I use my bike to get around, and therefore the question is: Should I warm up before going for the gym or at the gym? Furthermore how on the way back home?

    • BandanaTraining

      Go halfsies. Do your soft tissue work and dynamic stretches at home, hop on your bike, then get into your neutral activation + movement specific warm up at the gym. Cool?

      • Very cool. And damn you’re a fast guy at the keyboard huh?
        Thanks for your brillant site.

        • BandanaTraining

          Thanks for reading. Yep. They call me Lightning Keys McGee. Just kidding. Nobody has ever called me that, ever.

  • What about bikram yoga? Is it as effective in terms of muscle recovery and relieving muscle tension as foam rolling?

    • BandanaTraining

      Bikram is awesome – I’m a fan. But think of it as a supplement to foam rolling, not an either/or.

  • Juan Flores

    Ok I have another question. How should I approach weight loss? I have been lifting for over a year and a half but very low cardio and poor dieting I cannot lie about that. But I have have grown some muscle I can tell with my upper body/ lower body. But want to get rid of the fat surrounding my med section and every were else. Should I do 30 minutes of short sprint intervals or what do you believe would benefit me ? Ohhhhh and I weigh 259. And would like to weight 185

    • BandanaTraining

      Keep the lifting. Lift more. Lift heavier. But you GOTTA get your nutrition in check. That’s the magic bullet. Don’t think about eating less…think about eating BETTER. Delicious, wholesome, from-the-earth super foods. This article is a great place to start..Eat Like You Give a Fuck: The First 4 Steps to a Better Diet – http://www.bandanatraining.com/redefine-your-relationship-to-food/

  • Lincoln

    Pre-workout supplements- Are they all show and no go?

    • BandanaTraining

      As with most supplements – a lot of them are garbage, but a few of them are magic. Caffeine is safe, effective, and delightful. Same goes for BCAA’s.

  • David Medina

    I s breakfast a must before your morning routine or a cup java and strong ambitions enough? Why?

    • BandanaTraining

      No breakfast. Because it’s uncomfortable, inefficient, and unnecessary to put a lot of food in your system right before a workout. Post workout shake + breakfast a few hours later.

      • David Medina

        thank you

  • Missy

    I love this post, I’ve been trying to learn the dynamic stretches and I make sure to foam roll before my workouts, and then whenever I feel I want to because it just makes my body feel great afterwards. (afterwards, key word). I have even taught the foam rolling routine to my husband, which was very painful for him but, afterwards, he felt ahhhhmazing:) You’re awesome Rob, I can’t wait to have my own amazing blog and youtube channel like you!

    • BandanaTraining

      Great stuff Missy. Glad you’re getting to this stuff – the world need more future fitness badasses like you. Best of luck. Keep on rockin. =)

  • James

    Hey Rob, What would be the best way to train to achieve the “Brad Pitt Fight Club look” currently 14% bf, have heard some people say low reps to avoid gaining size whilst others saying to go higher rep.

    Keep up the bad-ass work!

    First rule of the Bandana Army – Train like a badass Bandana-Mofo!!
    #BandanaArmy #BandanaRulez

    • BandanaTraining

      So, ridiculous fat loss with minimal hypertrophy? No prob. I gotchu: http://www.bandanatraining.com/metcon/

      But as you get your workouts dialed in, you’ve gotta get your nutrition is check too. Some people like to say that nutrition is 70% of the game. That’s silly. I say, exercise is 100% of the game AND nutrition is 100% of the game…boom 200% more badass. #MATH

  • Helena

    Did the foam roller giveaway end? If not, please count this comment for an entry. 🙂

    • BandanaTraining

      Still going strong. Consider yourself entered.

  • Chris

    I’ve heard that you should only roll towards your heart, with legs (back okay to roll both ways). Any truth to this? Apparently there are little valves that only go towards your heart in your veins. Thoughts?

  • Howdy! This blog post couldn’t bbe written much better!
    Reading through this post reminds mee of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will
    send this post to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a
    very good read. I appreciate you foor sharing!

  • warm-up is like preparing yourself into battle. Too many people don’t take it serious enough. For me, soft tissue has been key. My wife gets jealous that I snuggle with the foam roller more than with her. haha..

    • BandanaTraining

      Perhaps you, the wifey, and the foam roller could all spend more time together? No need for jealously when you can have a little ménage à trios. 😉

      • Very true! But my wife doesn’t like to share. Haha. Aloha my Braddah!

  • I was warming up at my local gym today and was interrupted mid ‘roll’ by the gym instructor who claimed that because I was rolling back and forth and not just one way on the roller, I run the risk of varicose veins… Any truth to this? I understand where they are coming from due to pressure in areas such as behind the knee and inside the elbow but surely a foam roller would alleviate any pressure?

    • BandanaTraining

      I just really LOVE when floor trainers interrupt people mid-workout to provide misleading information that does nothing but perpetuate the idea that “you don’t understand the secrets of exercise and if you don’t hire me, you’re going to mess everything up.”

      I love them so much I want to dumbbell them in the larynx.

  • Joe Byrne

    My pre work out was pretty weak, thanks for the advise going to rock the hell out of it today!!

    • BandanaTraining

      that’s what I like to hear. Happy it helped.

  • Nancy Thompson

    Mr. Rob, thank you for these moves. Excellent help with the foam roller, that’s going to start every work out. I’m not there yet with all the moves, but that’s not going to stop me trying. You = Best!

    • BandanaTraining

      Heck yea Nancy. Happy to help. Keep at it.

  • Nice work! When you run through the foam roller work – when do you decide to stop, camp out a bit, and really focus on the trigger point releasing instead of just rolling over it?

    I’ve take the approach of blocking off more time for this type of deep tissue work, but thought that maybe there would be instances where it would be necessary during a workout prep regime.

  • Joshua Tibbetts

    So this never actually reached 75 comments….

  • Joshua Tibbetts

    Until now, that is. I’m looking forward to getting that foam roller Coach!

  • Jessie Sherman

    Great article. I’m actually studying for my CSCS and was able to follow along in a fun way. Thanks again for the article. You rock!

    • BandanaTraining

      Tough exam. Glad it all made sense. Thanks for joining the party.

      • Jessie Sherman

        Thanks for the kind words. I passed both parts of the exam yesterday! Yay!

  • Harry Ford

    Thank you for the videos and the information. Knowledge is power. Power is Strength. Strength is Freedom! #bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Yes. Yes. Yes. #FREEEEEEDOM

  • Jackie Pearce

    #BandanaArmy !! But seriously thank you for the wall slides stretch! I’m adding that to my list to do before each workout. My foam roller is just about dead, so no matter what I’m ordering a new one this month! That combined with my lacrosse ball makes me cry in the good way.

    • BandanaTraining

      Tears of movement prep joy.

  • David Nicholas Salzl

    Love a foam roller it´s like having a massage therapist in your back pocket!! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      You can fit a foam roller in your back pocket? I’m impressed.

  • nico

    what a great way to offer relief to our muscle spindles. 🙂 #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      #MuscleSpindleLove

  • Justin Castillo

    Impressive article #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Why thank you Justin.

  • Tyler Swezey

    Stretching is something I always overlooked before working out. Thanks for the advice!

    • BandanaTraining

      Boom. Mission accomplished.

  • RB

    Thanks for the great article.

    • BandanaTraining

      My pleasure. Thanks for reading.

  • Juan

    Great article, can foam rolling also be used as an active recovery workout? I don’t have any experience with foam rolling so this article was very helpful.
    Thanks

    • BandanaTraining

      Absolutely. A solid soft tissue sesh is an excellent way to encourage a little extra circulation, address tension, and gets that body primed for the next workout.

  • A-dub

    My warmup routine is very similar. Foam rolling, dynamic stretching, and warm up reps before each lift. My form is better and I can lift more because of this. Literally can’t be beat! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      hell yea.

  • Greg

    Nice read I appreciate the bro – ism. This routine felt better then my usual 5 minute treadmill warm up. #bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      YES. Lovely to hear, Greg. #BandanaArmy

  • Adam Owens

    being in my mid 30’s I have learned the importance of stretching. It has become a vital part of my daily workout, and I notice a huge difference when I miss it. Thanks for the great article Rob! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      As a younger man, I too could get away with an insufficient warm-up. But no need to wait until something bad happens to change our ways, right?

      • Adam Owens

        Exactly!! Get ahead now so so that when your old rickety man in your 30’s you’re not falling apart. Ha.

  • Stefan

    I got introduced to foam rolling last year and swear by it now. LOVE warming up that way. And I always encourage other to do it too.

    • BandanaTraining

      Excellent. Keep fighting the good fight.

  • Skyler Earley Stonearrow

    One of the most underrated parts of the workout, definitely a much needed article! Thanks Lightning Keys McGhee! (Yes, that just nullified a comment you made 5 months ago) #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Haha. Lightning Keys McGhee? Did I say that??

      • Skyler Earley Stonearrow

        “BandanaTraining
        5 months ago
        Thanks for reading. Yep. They call me Lightning Keys McGee. Just kidding. Nobody has ever called me that, ever.”

  • Josh Fletcher

    #bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      You’re a man of many words, Josh.

      • Josh Fletcher

        Well when you have a clear and strong message like yours what more is there to be said?

  • Steven Hill

    Foam rollers. Not the hero we want but the hero we need. #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Dawn is darkest right before the myofascial release?

      …No? I tried.

  • Dane

    Had to favorite this page. I’ll be honest – warm-up is a bit overlooked in my routine. Thanks for the videos! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Glad you did. My pleasure – thanks for watching Dane.

  • Steve Shields

    I remember watching the foam roll out video a few months back and wished I had a foam roller to try this out with. Great write up! I’m guilty of little to no warm up, time to rethink this strategy. Win Lose or Draw I’ll be investing in one of these bad boys #Bringthepaint! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Make it happen. #WorthIt

  • Josh

    Foam rollers make the body go mmmm! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Mmmmmm hmmmm.

  • onlytemporary

    Thank you! Foam rollers are my IT bands’ best friend and now thanks to this article they’re my best friend too! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Friendships for everyone.

  • domenique Faulkenberry

    Completely agree warming up is very important! Good informative article. Love the intro!

    • BandanaTraining

      Why thank you. Appreciate you checking it out Domenique.

  • Douglas Davis

    I just started a new job at work and I am now at my desk a lot. I try and get up and move around when I can. Would doing this benefit me while at work, say on lunch or break?

    • BandanaTraining

      Without question. Try it and report back…lemme know how it goes.

  • Chris Droesch

    Another well-written, informative article, but the video demonstrations are what make this one so great. Thanks! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Why thank you Chris. Glad you had a chance to check it out.

  • Fred Swink

    I have never heard of any of this before, but I am a relative new comer. Its worth a shot. #BandanaArmy .

    • BandanaTraining

      Try it out. Lemme know how it goes. Deal?

      • Fred Swink

        Absolutely!

  • Ragga Roja

    I love foam rolling- it’s sort of like a mean boyfriend, and your foam roller is better than my ‘ol cumbersome one! #bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      haha. Foam roller > boyfriend ?

  • Anel Kadiric

    I can see myself rollin’ up to the gym with one of those, while I roll up to the gym, just rollin’, using a roller. Ya dig? How are the baby cabbages? Sweet article, much love. #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Your comment inspired this…

      **Thrift Shop Remix**

      Walk into the gym like what up? I got a big roll
      I’m just releasing off some knotted myofacial
      Pre-workout from the fringe is so damn frosty
      The people like “Damn, that’s a strong-ass donky”
      Rolling in hella deep, headed to the squat machine
      Dressed in bandana swag, oiled 6-pack glistening…

      • Anel Kadiric

        Dressed in all Nike, ‘cept my Nike shoes, those are Nike
        Drenched in a cost of sweat, girls runnin’ away from me
        Probably shoulda washed my Nike tights, smells like Arnold Schwarznegger’s sheets
        (Ccchhhampion)
        But poop, it was free because I’m a Nike Athlete!
        Rollin’ it, warmin’ it, ’bout to go and hit some squats
        Passin’ up on those sneakers someone else’s been plyoing in…

  • Kyle

    Love the warm up routine with myofacial release, the worlds greatest and inch worm! Now do I win the roller? #BandanaArmy #Beachfit #Bossfit

    • BandanaTraining

      I have to admit…your hashtag game is strong.

  • Mike S

    Love foam rolln’! Helps with tightness in my back. Will definitely try this warm up.
    #bandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Great to hear. Lemme know how it goes Mike.

  • Jesse Grund

    I started doing these three a while ago. Read it from you too. Try to dynamic stretch in all three planes but my neural activation is usually compound with a bit of balance for my general health clients especially over the age of forty. I know the OBP model by NASM calls for an entire programmed period of balance based activities but I am curious your thought on balance based movements (BOSU squats, single leg deadlifts empty or light, pvc pass throughs on one foot, etc.) usually my sequence is smfr, dynamic stretch, then balance based activity. Thoughts? Appreciate the input. #brohugz

    • BandanaTraining

      Great question Jesse. I very rarely use balanced based training. In the simplest of terms: the best way to make an athlete more balanced is to make ’em stronger and the best way to make ’em stronger is to keep their feet off the BOSU ball. Unstable surface training mitigates force production and who the hell wants to mitigate force production?

      • Jesse Grund

        I am not a big user of the BOSU but I see what you mean about force integration. Whether it be CrossFit, trx or traditional fitness modalities, I haven’t seen a direct correlation between strength gains and balance. Unless the programming is heavy in unilateral movements then just closed chain exercise (especially with people who have asymmetrical weight shifts and no kinesithetic awareness) don’t recruit the cns and musculature the same way as narrowing the base like standing on one foot. I defer to you Obi wan because what I know is just my experience and your knowledge base and experience trump mine. I am not a big fan of NASMs OBP model either. What do you think? would love more insight from the mind of a top 100 fitness mind. #brohugz #bandanaarmy

  • Daniel Vielhaber

    I do use this movement prep routine regularly. Thanks for the great information, brotha! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Excellent to hear. Keep up the solid work.

  • Adam Christopher

    definitely need to incorporate more dynamic stretches in my life

    • BandanaTraining

      Yep.

  • Jeremy

    #Noknots

    • BandanaTraining

      #SeekAndDestroy

  • I totally need that form roller! I am still getting used to the form roller ideal itself, I’m still trying to maintain a good balance while rolling. Should I also use the form roller everyday or days I trained? #bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Everyday is totally fine. You’re not going to “overdo” soft tissue work.

  • Michael Sylvester

    I would like happy muscles. and yes your warmup is great #Bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      happy = healthy = awesome.

  • Nancy Thompson

    Great guidance, with a stretching practice. YOU=BEST! Thank you. #Bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      oh stop it. You’re too kind, Nancy.

  • Surya

    WOW. Excellent article Rob. You have a way of making science sensical and good sense of science. Foam rollers have saved my butt often and literally. Thanks for sharing your brains within your braun. 🙂

    • BandanaTraining

      Ha. Thanks for the kind words Surya. Keep up the good work.

  • Kelly Colgan

    Thanks for breaking this down AND providing visuals of the ststretcs and moves that can mamaximizthe gym sesh. I always grunt and groan and try and get out of stretching. Putting some facts and science about what’s actually going on with the tissue really helps me realize it should be a priority. Thanks, bro! #brohugz #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      ‘Ats exactly what I try to do. Glad it’s working. Keep fighting the good fight Kelly.

    • BandanaTraining

      Yo Kelly. CONGRATS. You just won a free foam roller. Hit me up on Facebook with your mailing address so I can get it off to you.

      Stay strong. Stay motivated. Stay awesome. Deal?

      • Kelly Colgan

        Ummmmm, yes! This is AMAZING! Thank you so very much!! #BandanaArmy

  • Kay Grinbergs

    Excellent explanations! I have a love/hate relationship with foam rolling. I hate finding really painful triggers but love how much better I feel when it’s over. I am definitely going to try the world’s greatest stretch next time too! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Good to hear Kay. Thanks for reading.

  • Joe Byrne

    Since reading this article I have seen a major increase of my over all ass kicking during my work outs. I have been able to step it up with giving myself a good warm up although I still haven’t mastered that bad ass push up of yours rob! One day lol #bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Baby steps. Keep kicking ass Joe. #BandanaArmy

  • Gerry

    Great read and the videos were very helpful. Now I know what to foam roll and how to stretch properly. Thanks a lot Rob!

    • BandanaTraining

      My pleasure Gerry.

  • Colin Hurd

    good stuff. I do love to roll, even when it makes everyone else uncomfortable as I openly weep while I roll out my legs 24-48h after squats…

    • BandanaTraining

      #ManTears

  • Mathias Borryd

    Great article! I am definitely going to try this out before every workout.

    • BandanaTraining

      great to hear Mathias. Thanks for reading + watching.

  • Celia

    That rolling rolling rolling has started healing a ski injury from 2008! Now I’m jumping, squating and lunging stronger each day!!! #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Boom-shaka-lacka. Glad it’s making a difference Celia.

  • James

    Awesome 🙂 I’m 37 and like to go to the gym most week days if I can. The stuff you talk about above basically means the difference between making it to the gym the next day or barely gettin outta bed 😉

    • BandanaTraining

      Exactly James – if consistency is key, then a proper warm-up is gold.

  • michael

    This is the year I stop waiting for the perfect time to change, and just do it.

    • BandanaTraining

      #Nike

  • PaulS

    More AWESOMENESS!!! I’m what would call the “Chronically Stiff.” I’m always looking for new/More efficient ways to warm/loosen up pre and post workout. Once again you nailed IT! Thanks Rob… Keep on ROCKING IT OUT!!

    #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Hell yea. Great to hear Paul. Happy this helped.

  • Jody Reid

    Always useful stuff! Since I started rolling and dynamic stretching before and after workouts at the gym about 6 months ago and have noticed a huge improvement in my workouts and recovery!#BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Beautiful. People need to hear this. Thanks for sharing Jody.

  • Dan

    Great articles and website! #bandanaarmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Thanks Dan. Stay classy.

  • TR-WA

    What is a good resource for learning about how to use a roller correctly? #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Check out Kelly Starrett and his blog MobilityWOD. Extremely smart dude with tons of top-notch info.

  • Taylor Spivey

    I completely agree with this. I used to foam roll all the time whenever i was offered one. I can’t tell you how many injuries (ITBFS) it prevented for me. Also, I actually incorporated your wall slides into my workouts and the kids in my College’s rec center stare at me awkwardly.. but its worth it. #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Totally worth it. Keep crushing Taylor.

      • Taylor Spivey

        you ever use a barbell for roll outs?

        • BandanaTraining

          yea. it sucks so good.

  • Tom002

    Great article! Definitely trying this out tomorrow. #BandanaArmy

    • BandanaTraining

      Good to hear. Lemme know how it goes.

  • BandanaTraining

    Congrats to Kelly Colgan on winning that foam roller. If you see her at the gym, make sure you let her know. Cool? Cool.

  • Ro

    Inchworms at x2 speed… Am I the only one? En-ter-tainment.

  • Kelly Denford

    I love this warm up…in regards to the foam roller…i have a winged scapula as a result of a car accident and when doing push ups etc i get numbness and pins n needles down my arm…could using my foam roller help with that?

    • BandanaTraining

      Hey Kelly. Thanks for reading. Sounds like your scap has been through a lot. Foam rolling should help. You might also considering using a lacrosse ball to address the tissue around the scapula (especially the medial border – closer to your spine). Should feel pretty good and will help alleviate any excess tension you might be carrying from your accident.

  • GeeJay Ohh

    Thank you for this great post!!! I’ll be doing this from here on out!!!

    • BandanaTraining

      Excellent to hear and thanks for reading GeeJay!