Like all elite-level athletes and coaches, Gabe Snow is adamant about the importance of comprehensive warm-ups and active recovery days.
“When it comes to a warm-up, the basics — like jumping jacks and high knees — are fine, but if you want to truly optimize your performance and reduce the risk of injury, they need to be very dynamic and thorough,” he says.
When you’re using a muscle to perform an exercise, there are three phases of the movement: concentric, isometric, and eccentric. For example, dropping into the squat is eccentric, pausing at the bottom is isometric, and coming up out of the squat is concentric.
“A quality, dynamic warm-up, prepares the body to handle all three phases of the movement,” Gabe says. “Static stretches like a standing quad stretch, for example, have a place, but not in the warm-up."
The static stuff is more suited for post-workout.
Most — if not all — injuries happen when the body isn’t fully prepared for a movement, or it lacks the mobility needed to perform it safely, he says.
“I want people to be able to reach the full range of motion in their ball and socket joints before really pressing it in a workout,” he explains.
The following are a series of Coach Gabe’s absolute go-to favorites for both warming up and active recovery days. If you’re following along with the 30-day RECOMP’D workout program, you’ll want to be using these regularly.
- Perform 1 round of the following exercises for 30 seconds each on lower body workout days.
- Perform 1 round of the following exercises for 30 seconds each on upper body workout days.
- Perform 2 to 3 rounds of all of the exercises on active recovery or rest days.