WARMUP

Freeletics dynamic warm up – essential or just a huge pain in the arse?

That’s a hell of a post title, right there. I should be writing for Men’s Health or something. I’m wasted on this blog. WASTED.

Anyway, I’m a bit out of sync with my witterings on here. I’m halfway through a week of damage-limitation workouts that I’ll post about on Monday, but I’ve been thinking about this subject a bit so I thought I’d vomit some thoughts into your eyes while the mood takes me. It was prompted by one of the commenters here, a fine, upstanding gentleman by the name of Ben. Pillar of the community (probably), kind to children to and animals (I daresay), does a lot of charity work (bought The Big Issue once in 1998).

Anyway, Ben was unfortunate enough to injure himself recently, resulting in a layoff from Freeletics. And to LITERALLY add insult to injury, it happened during his warm up.

Now here’s the thing. I know I should warm up. But I don’t. I never have. Back when I used to play rugby, the warm up basically consisted of waving your arms about a bit and putting a bit of Vaseline on your knees. But it’s funny what the passing of a couple of decades can do to your body. Last summer, just when I was starting to really get into Freeletics, I hurt myself by straining a muscle in my chest. Although I can’t be 100% certain, I’m pretty sure that my complete absence of warm up was a contributory factor. So after I got myself better and started Freeletics again, I began to incorporate the warm up into my regular routine. Right? Er… No.

Here’s what the Freeletics team has to say about their Dynamic Warm Up:

The most important in advance: A warm-up prevents injuries. Quite similar to a cold start potentially causing severe damage to your car, a cold start into your workout can harm your muscles, tendons and ligaments. Sudden, unexpected movements cause strong tension inside concerned body parts. Pulled muscles and muscle ruptures can occur – which ultimately leads to involuntary training breaks. So just do not let it come to that in the first place and take your warm-up as serious as your workout.

You can (and probably should) read the whole thing here: https://knowledge.freeletics.com/en/dynamic-warm-boost-performance/

So what exactly is my bloody problem with warming up? Part of it is time. One of the things that really attracted me to Freeletics was being able to complete workouts in a relatively short period. I’ll be honest, I’ve never even attempted the Freeletics Dynamic Warm Up so I don’t know how long it takes. But… I don’t know… It’s got to add another ten minutes at least, right?

So, given that I don’t actually know how much time it adds on, what is the real reason? Is it indicative of how seriously I am (or am not) taking Freeletics? Have I just conditioned myself to the notion that somehow I don’t need to warm up?

Listen, I haven’t got a bloody clue to be honest. But I’ve posted this because I want to find out what you lot do and, if necessary, call me a bloody idiot for not using the warm up as part of my routine.

Hit me with it: is warming up essential or just a huge pain in the arse?

PS. Hope you’re back’s feeling better Ben!

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  • Mateo

    “Is warming up essential or just a huge pain in the arse?” BOTH!!! ;))
    I used to be a professional hockey player, and we use to warm up almost an hour before a match and 15-25 minutes before training sessions. It was boring but…
    With freeletics I started not warming up also, but after 2 bits of sudden muscle pain that scared the shit out of me(one in the pectoral by the way). I realised that I was an unfit fat guy that needed to warm up.
    The specific freeletics dynamic warm up is pretty good and short, sometimes too short if its too cold outside. But I usually also go to the park jogging before the session.

    • Shaun

      I think if I had someone actually physically in the room with me telling me to warm up, I’d do it. But for some reason, and knowing that I got hurt last year because I didn’t, I still don’t. I think I’m going to take the easy way out and just start with a gentle 2K before my workouts. Interested to know how long the dynamic warm up take you to do?

      • Mateo

        Hey Shaun, It takes me around 4-5 minutes. I think It’s quite a sensible warm up, you start with the jumping jacks pumping some blood to the limbs, then move your core(lats and abs with 2 & 3), shoulders and chest with 4, back with 5 and you end up with 6 & 7 with the legs and elevating your heart rate again ready to begin.
        Nevertheless, If someone was a couch potato for 5 years and starts freeletics right away, I’ll recommend a little more warm up and stretching.

        By the way, from your barefoot running perspective what you think about the non-stretching current I read about? (on sock doc I think)

        • Shaun

          Ok, you’ve convinced me. I’m going to give it a try. It’s ridiculous that I can manage to stay committed to Freeletics yet can’t be bothered to do a proper warm up first…

          I haven’t seen that article on Sock-Doc, but I’ll try and find it. There’s so much conflicting information out there, but again, I’ve never done any stretching before or after running. If it turns out I was doing the right thing, it’s a happy coincidence! But I’m just reading that article now and it makes a lot of sense with regard to static stretching.

  • Nat

    Hi Shaun, my take on the warm up is that it’s a neat limber up to get the old bones eased and muscles stretched but also that it’s i extra points in the bag. For example you do 50 jumping jacks as a loosener which over a week is 200 added to all the other madness you are subjecting your body too!
    Anyway, I’ve got another question for you seeing as you are a Freeathlete of some ten months standing.
    Basically I’m coming to the end of the 15 weeks and will definitely be carrying on. As my other half says ‘you’re obsessed!”
    Anyway my question is do you think it’s good to take a week or two’s break after completing the 15 weeks just to give the old body a chance to put its feet up and have a well deserved rest?
    Cheers, keep up the great blog.
    ps i read your piece on nutrition guide – i don’t suppose fish and chips, choc cake and double cream were in there were they? That was my day two treat in Hell Week 🙂

    • Shaun

      Hello mate! I wouldn’t bother taking a break. When I had to stop the coach app due to being injured, I was out for about 6-8 weeks. I started training again under my own steam, but with nothing like the same intensity. So I was hoping that when I started the coach again, it would ease me in gently. It didn’t. It basically treated me as someone who’d been doing Freeletics for 8 weeks and chucked my in at the deep end. If you’ve managed to build up a certain level of strength and fitness over your 15 weeks, it’s going to make it harder for you at first when you start again.

      There is obviously a good chance that I’m talking out of my arse, though.

      As for the nutrition guide, no, they are disappointingly short on good old fashioned grub! I’m going to start experimenting with some of it today. Can’t say I’m massively looking forward to it.

      And well done for doing the full 15 weeks! One thing I’ve found from doing this blog is that there’s a pretty big drop-out rate from the coach app. Takes some commitment to see it through.

      • Nat

        Cheers Shaun, sound advice. One other thing, if you do three sessions rather than four sessions a week, do you know if Coach bumps up the workload on the three sessions?

        • Shaun

          I think it does Nat, yeah. My wife switched to a three day schedule during a busy work week and it definitely ramped things up on her workout days. I wonder what would happen if you tried to do a one day schedule?!

          • Nat

            Hey Shaun, I’m back on the four day session next week and guess what the first work out is? Correct! Kentafuckinsoreaese. ???????????????? I’m not bitter. Bring it on ????

  • Ben

    Hi Shaun, only just seen this article and feel very rude not replying to it bearing in mind it was inspired by my pathetic warm up injury! Can’t believe just doing that one where you sit on the floor and roll back to touch your feet on the ground behind your head could cause me to be out of action for 8 weeks. Historically I have always been of the type to not bother with warm ups but thought I probably should for what is a fairly intense form of exercise especially since I’m not exactly in the prime of my life! Ironic therefore that doing the right thing injured me. Will be warming up as I start again but just not that exercise, at least until I’m a little leaner and it’s physically easier to do!

    • Ben

      by the way….I actually did buy a copy of The Big Issue in 1998. I remember it was then because it was the only time I have ever bought a copy and it was in my final year of uni. How the hell did you know that? You weren’t the one who sold it to me were you?! 😉

  • Sergio Junior

    hi, would you like me to spend the videos or photos of static stretching pro of freeletics?

  • MCPX

    There is tons of gush around about the importance of warming up properly and the fact is that yes, it is a pain in arse but while it can prevent injury it can also improve your performance. As warm ups go, the Freeletics one isn’t bad and it does only take a couple of minutes, however many people seem to treat it as a workout in itself. The purpose is to prepare your body for the work to come, raise the heart rate to get more oxygen pumping around, loosen up stiff joints to improve range of motion, all common sense when you think about it, but not when you rush it, push it too far too soon and end up hurt yourself simply by trying to not hurt yourself. Take it easy, start slowly, give the poor old ticker fair warning that its going to exploding through your rib cage in about 15 minutes time. No matter what your level of fitness, as you get older your joints will start to suffer from wear and tear and need to be treated ever more gently ro avoid injuries that can last for months or even years, many of coach’s favourite tortures (sorry, exercises) are particularly rough on joints and doing them at high reps only increases the risk.

    If you get injured by exercising then you were either doing it wrong or you didn’t warm up properly. If you get injured warming up then you were definitely doing it wrong. If you get injured because you didn’t warm up and then continue to not warm up you have no one to blame but yourself. If you get injured thinking about warming up then you are probably American, don’t worry just have another beer and shoot somebody and you’ll feel better in no time.