Ask The Experts: Healthy Warmups and Fat Burning Techniques

What is a good warmup routine to do before you start lifting?

MY ANSWER: I believe that a good warmup involves preparing the mind and the body. I personally have to put myself into a calm and positive mindset before I decided to start and get to work warming up and working out/lifting. I always, always stretch before any kind of workout or lifting session because it helps you avoid injury and pain later on. I spend about 10-15 minutes preparing my body and making sure that I feel stretched out enough and ready to perform a more intense workout or lifting session.

“When warming up before a workout I don’t just warm up according to the exercises I’m about to perform but I also warm up the mind. I get the right kind of music playing that gets me fired up. I remind myself WHY I train to be Stronger, Tougher, Faster and Healthier. I get the blood flowing full body with some bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, recline rows and push ups. I will add band pull-aparts to warm up the shoulders, PVC pipe dislocators and some ab work. If I’m working lower body I’ll hit a few sets of sleds and some jump variations such as box jumps or hurdle jumps. For upper body I’ll throw a light medicine ball from various angles and perform a few low rep sets of explosive plyo push ups, speed pull ups and of course then it’s time to perform a few lighter sets of the exercise before going full force. Never rush your warm up, even when you’re short on time.” | Twitter: @zevenesh

“I always recommend some dynamic stretches, focus on moving the muscles you intend of using, pick a song and give yourself 5 minutes, or pop on a piece of cardio equipment and slowly warm yourself up. Treat all exercises as you would yoga, there are always going to be exercises you cannot perform perfectly, fitness is all about form and progression, there is no finished product as there is always something to improve, change or adapt. A healthy body is all about balance, mix strength with endurance and hypertrophy, work on your flexibility and spend time researching what you should be doing in the kitchen, it’s a journey, not a destination.” | Twitter: @CarlyRowena

“Well, I do it this way. First of all, I perform light mobility exercises for all the links in the body: neck; shoulders; wrists; elbows; lower back; knees; ankles. This warms up all the areas that are prone to injury the most. The exercises I use are simple. Something like arm circles and bodyweight squats. Additionally, I do some drills for my upper back too because it is my weak spot injury-wise. If I don’t warm up it thoroughly, I most likely will get injured at the one-arm chin-up or front lever work. Then I move to the big compound exercise for that day. I go from easy weight for 6-10 reps to heavy for 3-6 (depending on my goal) in 2-3 sets. That’s it. I wouldn’t warm up at all for isolation work. The biggest mistake I see in warm up routines is going to failure.” | Twitter: @roughstrength

“I personally like something that resembles the following: A. 10min of low intensity cardio such as a bike, jogging, rowing. Anything to get the heart rate up.

B. Open up thoracic spine and ankles using MobilityWOD techniques. My hips tend to be okay otherwise I may spend time there as well. These are the 3 main areas of mobility needed for a weightlifter. Any stiffness in these regions will express itself in movement during training. I’ll also smash the quads out to develop better tissue quality. Stiff muscles have difficulty being explosive so improving this area will give the lifter a better opportunity to develop power and transfer the force.

C. Barbell work to prime training for the day. For example, light-medium intensity snatch balances using sets of 5-6 repetitions to develop timing, tempo, rhythm and support for the day’s work. This might seem lengthy, but it’s an investment into the day’s training. By spending this 20-30min up front, it greatly improves the overall quality of the remainder of the session.” | Instagram: @dianefu

“It really depends what I’m training… I warm up the major muscle group(s) being trained with compound movements. [For leg or cardio day specifically] I warm up with squats.” — Submitted via Twitter | | Twitter: @muscleforlife

What are ways to burn more fat, either in your workout or during your daily routine?

MY ANSWER: If you want to burn more fat, I would advise getting your workouts in the morning because I believe that is the best time to get yourself in gear and make your body work harder. I also think it’s very important to give yourself variety and mix up the way you workout. Doing the same workout everyday and not switching anything up won’t help you burn fat or see changes and results.

“This question totally ignores the real crux of the issue, that energy balance, not any temporary increases in heart rate or exertion, is the single most important factor in weight loss or gain.” | Instagram: @bryce_tsa

“For maximum fat-burning, body-sculpting results, forget steady types of exercise that you can maintain for long periods. You need varied, intense workouts that leave you totally spent–ideally in less than an hour. My motto is “go harder, no longer”. When people are used to long training sessions it can take a while for them to learn to really go all-out for shorter durations, they’re so used to holding back so they can keep going. But with practice they find that extra gear and start to build more explosive fitness, which does amazing things for their bodies. Also, don’t just repeat the same workout or do the same type of exercise every time you train. You need to vary your training. This helps keep boredom at bay and reduces your risk of injuries which are often caused by too much repetition of the same movements. This maximizes results by ensuring all your different muscles get fired up and that your body doesn’t get comfortable with one type of exercise.” | Twitter: @Julia_B

“Metabolic Finishers are a great implement to help burn that unwanted fat. Basically they are a circuit of exercises that are designed to raise your heart rate and gain lean mass. They are called finishers because they are completed at the end of your workout. We like to use these because they are more exciting than your basic static cardio. You can do the finishers many different ways. They can be body weight, dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, sleds, tires, battle ropes, etc. The list goes on, so you can get creative with them.” | Twitter: @merrickcraig

Here are some of the Metabolic Finishers that Craig uses at MADE:

(1) DB Farmers Walk 30 yards, set the DB’s down, do 10 Push-ups, pick the DB’s back walk 30 yards, and do 5 Burpees. Repeat 3 times and that is 1 set. Rest 2 minutes and do 3-5 sets.

(2) Prowler Sled Pushes: Push sled 30 yards rest 30-60 seconds & return. Continue to this for 10-15 minutes.

(3) 10-1 Goblet Squats/1-10 Push-ups: Do 10 Goblet Squats, then 1 Push-up, then 9 Goblet Squats, 2 push-ups, 8 Goblet Squats, 3 Push-ups, etc. Your Last set should be 1 Goblet Squat, and 10 Push-ups

(4) A real quick easy one that doesn’t require equipment is the 300 yard Shuttle. Run 25 yards up and back 12 times. Rest 3 minutes and repeat 2-4 times.

10 Habits of Healthy and Fit People:

“I am all about creating habits that can last long term when it comes to burning fat, building muscle and sustaining this over a period of time. Below are my top 10 habits of healthy and fit people.”

10 Habits of Healthy and Fit People

1.They primarily drink water.

2.They make exercise a part of their life for the long-term.

3.They eat an adequate amount of fruit and vegetables.

4.They make getting stronger a priority.

5.They eat more foods on the higher quality end of the continuum.

6.They don’t eat perfect.

7.They skip workouts, but never totally get out of it. They maintain repeatable workouts that they can do for the rest of their life. They don’t go to the extreme all of the time. Remember the 9/2/1 rule?

8.They get adequate sleep each night.

9.They eat an adequate amount of protein.

10.They develop habits, don’t diet, and don’t try every “next best” workout or supplement every time something hits the mainstream.

“Healthy and fit people are not perfect. They just create habits that they can maintain for a lifetime.” | Twitter: @JustinGrinnell4

What’s the smallest change you’ve made in your life that gave you the best results?

“Getting a resistance band. 3 x 10 pullaparts, 5 dislocates while you’re watching TV does a lot for shoulder health/Oly lifts.” — Submitted via Twitter | Twitter: @JoelSnape

One of our awesome devoted followers on Twitter had this to say about lifestyle changes: “My hips are real stiff all the time. It’s a struggle to put socks on… knees have always been bad but lately worse with football. Might go lighter on extensions and do a much longer warm-up/pre-exhaust leg routine from now on. Stretch more, etc.” — Submitted via Twitter

Twitter: @mattpardy21

When it comes to simple things that changed his lifestyle for the better, Stainthorpe simply says that “drinking more water…” will make a drastic difference. — Submitted via Twitter | Twitter: @FatherFitness