RAMPing Up Your Warm Up Routine

Warming up before a work out can be very important, in fact a well-executed warm up can boost training performance by:

  1. Increasing muscle contraction properties
  2. Improve oxygen delivery
  3. Improve blow flow
  4. Enhance metabolic reactions

So, if the benefits of a warm up are so clear, why do many of our clients fail, to take advantage of these benefits and put the necessary time into a well-structured warm up? The R.A.M.P warm up model, developed by Dr. Ian Jeffreys, is one such model that we can employ to improve our clients adherence to the warm up or movement preparation process. The acronym R.A.M.P describes the following warm up sequence:

R = Raise Joint Viscosity, Body Temperature, Blood Flow, Respiration Rate and Heart Rate.

A = Activate key muscle groups.

M = Mobilise key joints and ranges of motion used in the upcoming activity

P = Potentiate Performance by using the effects of post-activation potentiation.

Hold on a minute, I am sure you are now asking why is stretching missing? Stretching, or more specifically, static stretching as part of a warm up routine, has consistently been shown in the research to compromise exercise performance, by reducing power output, force production, running speed, reaction time and strength endurance. However, dynamic stretching has the opposing effects, with some research showing dynamic stretching as part of a warm up routine can improve exercise performance. With this being the case, dynamic stretches can be included in the Mobilise section of the RAMP warm up routine. So how can we adapt the RAMP warmup model to functional training? Let’s consider the following example:

Raise – Here we could spend a few minutes performing a selection of body weight movements that will be specific to the functional training workout, such as squatting, lunging or crawling to increase body temperature, heart rate and joint viscosity.

Activate – There are numerous examples of excellent activation exercises in the Mobility course, following the Raise section of the warm-up, clients could then move on to activate several of the body’s key stabilising muscle groups, using activation exercises found in the mobility course manual and online resources in floor based sequence.

Mobilise – Once again, I would refer the reader to the Mobility course manual and online resources to choose a selection of mobilisation exercises that are relevant to the planned functional training session.

Potentiate – The potentiate component of the RAMP model, may be new to some. Essentially, we want to excite the neuromuscular system by performing explosive movements. This can be achieved by performing simple plyometric exercises such as unilateral and bilateral hops, jumps and bounds, short sprints or agility drills.

So, if your current warm up routines are becoming a little stale, or you are not getting client buy-in, putting together your own version of the RAMP warm up routine might help boost your clients performance and adherence to this critical part of the exercise routine.