Warm Ups

Creeeaaak. The boys scorpion stretch during warm up.  

Creeeaaak. The boys scorpion stretch during warm up.


CrossFit is different from the average gym routine in just about every way.  And warm ups are no exception.  The idea of the warm up in CrossFit is not just to get the body warm, as in 10 minutes on the stairmaster, but to work the body through movements that it will experience during the class.  As such, warm ups at CF West are functional movements that are often just as concerned with technique as the rest of the class.  

The official CrossFit Warm Up is :

3 rounds of 10-15 reps of

Samson Stretch (do the Samson Stretch once each round for 15-30 seconds)
Overhead Squat with stick

Other codified warm ups in CrossFit are the Burgener Warm Up and the Amundson Warm Up.  

The Amundson Warm Up, as one might guess, was developed by Greg Amundson as his own warm up.  Greg looked at human movement and distilled 4 essential actions that every movement is comprised of: pushing, pulling, opening the hips, and closing the hips.  Thus, his warm up consists of pullups (pulling), dips or HSPU (pushing), the overhead squat (opening the hips), and the GHD situp (closing the hips).  Usually for 2 or 3 rounds of 10 reps.  He also does some hip and arm circles and other joint mobility stuff.

However, the warm up in Greg’s classes at the old HQ was noticeably different.  It consisted of a 1,000m run carrying a 20# med ball; broken up by rounds of squats, med ball squats, med ball thrusters, and wall ball.  For the record, if you are reading this Greg, I hated it.  However, regardless of my personal feelings, the warm up was functional and exhaustive, with the exception of a pulling movement.  It also focused on several skills integral to CrossFit–the squat, front squat, and overhead press.

A typical warm up at CF West incorporates the same principles as any of the above warm ups.  In a major departure, however, I like to mix up warm up routines on a regular basis, and I also like mobility work such as dislocates with a stick and active stretches such as scorpions.

New trainees at CF West are often surprised at the amount of attention their coach will pay to their movements during the warm up.  Good form is not something that one switches on and off according to the importance of the moment.  Sloppy technique during the warm up leads to sloppy technique during the WOD.  And sloppy technique is the devil’s own brew.

What are your favorite warm up movements?


Overhead Squat–work up to a 3RM working set and then do that weight for several sets.


7 Rounds

10 Sumo Deadlift High Pull 95/65#

10 Ring Dips

Please post WOD completed and score to Comments.