Functional fitness may be all about constant, varied movement, but we’ve all showed up to the gym day in and day out and felt like the warm-up is a little stale. There’s only so many times you can perform 10 good mornings, 10 air squats, 10 pass throughs, and row 500m before you’re just plain bored. For those of us who aren’t elite athletes, we go to the gym to stay in shape AND to have fun while doing it. Oh, we’re also ridiculously competitive and want to beat our friends as often as possible, warm-up included.
Luckily, the internet exists, so we’ve rounded up our favorite warm ups from around the world!
1. Ring around the PVC
CrossFit Harrogate out of North Yorkshire puts their PVC pipes to good use while members warm up their speed, reaction time, and listening skills.
2. Tic-Tac-Toe/Connect Four
All you need is a tape or chalk grid and some playing pieces. To work on sprinting speed, place the grid farther away and use change plates. For more of a full body warmup, use heavy med balls or slam balls.
3. To the Window….to the WALL!
While not exactly the most G-Rated song, Lil Jon & The East Side Boy’s “Get Low” is a mecca for warmup madness. Hollow rock from the window to the wall, bear crawl when Lil Jon insists “To all these b**** crawl.” Maybe just keep it this one for the 18 and over classes.
4. Pizza Delivery
This one looks silly but is loads of fun. Athletes balance an ab mat on the palm of their hand and then chase each other around the gym trying to knock down each other’s “pizza.”
5. Hungry Hungry Hippos
Functional fitness Hungry Hungry Hippos accomplishes two things: you get a fun warmup and you get a snack. Place baggies full of snacks, protein bars, or other wrapped food on a line on the floor. Divide the class into two teams and have everyone grab a partner. Wheel barrel to the line of snacks, the wheel barreler does a push up to grab the snacks with his/her mouth and then heads back to the starting line. The team with the most snacks wins!
6. Banded Web
Ten points to CrossFit Winterthur for thinking this one up. The intricacies of this setup are pretty intense, but it sure looks like something we want to try. That said, definitely use your best judgement with this one…physics tells us that if one of those people trips and slingshots back to the center of the band web, everyone else is going to be in for a surprise (and it’ll probably be pretty funny, so make sure to film it and tag @barbend so we can laugh at/with you.)