If your warm up consists of 10 minutes on the treadmill and some aimless foam rolling, you aren’t setting yourself up for a strong workout. A good warm up will take you from feeling sluggish and tired to hitting a personal record. You just need to know how to implement a few key types of movements prior to your training
I am not saying you should stretch for 20 minutes before your workout, but you should allow your body to get into the positions it needs to, to perform what you are asking of it. For example, if you have squats on the agenda and you lack ankle mobility, doing some active ankle mobilizations prior to lifting can help you immensely. Holding a light stretch for 15 to 30 seconds for 2-3 sets per side is a great way to buy yourself some more range of motion, before getting under the bar.
I hate to use the term “turn on” our muscles, but for lack of a better term, we want to fire up the muscles that we are focusing on. This is a gentle way to bring some blood flow to the areas that are going to be working, prior to placing them under load. For example, prior to deadlifting, doing 2-3 sets of banded Good Mornings for 10-15 reps is a great way to deliver more blood to the Hamstrings, lower back and Glutes.
If you are still feeling a bit slow as you get through your workout, this is where you get to give your body a jolt of energy. The last thing you do before you start your first set is to mimic that movement but do it quickly. For instance, if you are about to start bench pressing, doing 2 sets of medicine ball throws with a light weight for 3 reps will “wake up” your Central Nervous System. Not only will you feel more energized, but the weight will feel lighter, you will feel more explosive, and to top it all off you might have just saved yourself from a sloppy workout.