The Why Behind Our Warm Ups

By: Clint Russell

A lot of people ask about warm ups and why we do things the way we do.  I thought I’d take the time to explain the purpose behind our warmups. Mobility is used as a catch all term, but there is much more than that that needs to be addressed during the warmup. Also, mobility is not usually the problem with most peoples movement, or its just one piece of something very complex. We are going to start a monthly mobility class that will help people develop an individual plan for specific mobility to hit pre/post WOD that is catered to their individual needs/weaknesses/issues.

As I mentioned above, we are trying to fix a lot more than just mobility. Lets first define some terms.

Mobility-generally refers the joint. This is know as accessory motion and it refers to there being adequate space within the joint for motion to occur properly. For my shoulder to flex, the humeral head must glide posterior and inferior (back and down). In order for motion to occur, there must be adequate room in the joint capsule to allow for the humeral had to move back and down for normal shoulder flexion to take place.

Flexibility is muscle length. Does the tissue have adequate length to get into proper position. Increasing mobility and flexibility increases range of motion (ROM). This is great, but we lack control with this new ROM. After we gain the range, we need to train the range. This is where stability and neuromuscular control come in.

Stability- this can be passive or active. Active stability is the ability of the musculature to control motion throughout range. It is possible for a joint to be hypermobile but stable. Passive stability refers to the inert structures such as bones and ligaments. Everyone has seen or heard the coach talk about active shoulders, breaking bar overhead, make your neck disappear, etc on overhead squats or presses. This places the shoulder in closed packed position, where there is maximum congruency between the joint surfaces, allowing for the greatest amount of passive and active stability overhead.

Neuromuscular control-is the muscles actively firing when they are supposed to do so. Can a person fire from their glutes when they squat, can they maintain a good externally rotated position overhead etc. We address this with drills/cues to encourage activation. Such as holding positions, practicing the movement patterns with a pvc or empty bar, or using a mini band to force the hip abductors(glutes) to fire.

With most people, it is stability and neuromuscular control that are most limiting. A perfect example is when someone’s back is rounding below parallel during a squat. How do we address this in a group setting? Well, that banded warmup we do that makes everyone’s butt explode, lat lunge, holding positions, say every:15/4min with a plate… All of these things address each of the above areas.

A huge problem in general is that we sit entirely too much (outside the gym). Stretching tight muscles is not enough, in that it only addresses one of the above areas. If we focus more on activation, we get whats called reciprocal inhibition. By contracting the antagonist to a tight muscle (the opposite muscle group to what’s tight – example squeeze your butt during the couch stretch), the muscle spindle shuts down the stretch reflex, causing it to lengthen. Holding positions in the PT world is know as muscle energy. This is the use of isometrics to affect joint accessory motion.

Active movements also improve coordination, or control. By drilling the positions with an empty bar you get a feel for what right is and develop body awareness for that specific movement pattern. A great example of this would be the snatch press into the overhead squat.  It’s a difficult movement.  By forcing you to move slow you develop body awareness throughout the entire movement, activating proper musculature and preparing to system to lift heavier loads.  

During a regular class we often do a windmill with a pvc pipe, and follow it up with single arm OHS. This forces a person to hold proper position, and contract throughout their ROM. The windmill, if done properly, addresses all of the above areas in some amount. The single arm OHS challenges the new range of motion gained. This has tremendous carryover to proper movement in overhead lifting.

If you have any questions about the warm ups, ask me! Take advantage of open gym times to seek out coaches for help with mobility/stability and how to get the most bang for your buck.  Look for some group mobility seminars coming to CFC soon!

1. Chase, Lisa. PHT 5 234 C 002- General Therapeutic Exercise I. 2015. University of St. Augustine 1 University Boulevard St. Augustine, FL 32086.

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Mitch grew playing ice hockey, roller hockey and Lacrosse in Minnesota and South Florida. He joined the Navy after High School in 2007, where he has served as a Helicopter Aircrewman and Rescue Swimmer since. It was in the military that he was first introduced to CrossFit in 2009 and he was hooked. He later joined CrossFit Coronado in 2010 and finally after 13 years received his CrossFit Level 1 certificate in April of 2023 and began his coaching career. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his family, playing in various washed-up adult hockey leagues, and completing in local CrossFit competitions. His favorite WOD is anything heavy so he can beat all of the smaller faster athletes in the gym or Murph.
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desiree Jacobi-Bobie

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Desiree joined CrossFit Coronado during the pandemic when we were running classes from the car wash next door.  She quickly fell in love with CrossFit and is a wonderful addition to our coaching team.  Desiree helps run our youth programs.

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Margaret spent the first part of her life in competitive sports, starting with swimming, soccer, and softball as a young child and water polo throughout middle & high school (where her number was retired). She spent her summers teaching swim lessons to kids of all ages, developing a love for teaching & coaching in the process. She started CrossFit in April of 2016 on the recommendation of a friend. The group environment, positive atmosphere, and athletic challenge hooked her immediately. With her love for CrossFit and passion for helping others find their strength, it was a natural progression to get her L1 and start coaching at CrossFit Amundson in Santa Cruz, CA under the mentorship of Greg Amundson. She moved to San Diego in October of 2020 and found her new home at CrossFit Coronado.

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Mike came to CrossFit Coronado after a 26-year career in the Marine Corps. Having made fitness a way of life during his time in the Marines, he was searching for a means to maintain an elite level of fitness after he retired from the Corps. Maintaining a regimen of elite fitness was an elusive goal for him until he stumbled upon the back alley garage that is home to CrossFit Coronado. As the 8th original member Mike was at CrossFit Coronado from its very start and adapted to the CrossFit protocol like a duck takes to water. Mike was a devoted and dedicated coach and friend.  Unfortunately he passed away in march, 2018 from pancreatic cancer.  His spirit will always be a part of CrossFit Coronado.  He helped to build and shape this gym into what it is today.  Strong Like Bull.  Semper Fi Sir.

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SHANNON CAMPOAMOR

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Shannon’s love of exercise started with high school sports and continued through college. Her background includes over five years of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, her own at-home personal training company, and group fitness classes.  Shannon started CrossFit at CFC in 2011. As a new mom, she could no longer spend the hours required for marathon and triathlon training. She consistently attended the 6am CFC class for two and a half years, including through the entire pregnancy of baby #2. In 2014, the Navy moved the Campoamor’s to Japan and then to Italy. In Europe, Shannon took advantage of the global CrossFit community-making friends with fellow athletes all over the world. In 2019, the Navy moved the Campoamor’s back to Coronado, where they happily rejoined the CFC family.

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BS in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech

MS in Health and Exercise Science from Wake Forest University

SHANNON Hernandez

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Shannon has been coaching CrossFit since 2012 when she earned her Level I certificate. soon after she earned her Level II and has since renewed. She went on to obtain her CrossFit weightlifting Level I and Level II certifications as well as the Catapult Weightlifting from Don McCauley. Shannon has been coaching with Crossfit Coronado since 2017. Shannon runs the Olympic Lifting program at Crossfit Coronado when it is offered. She’s competed in crossfit at a handful of local events and aspires to come last place at regionals one day.

Favorite movement is the Olympic Lift -Snatch & least favorite will always be running. Loves coaching at CrossFit Coronado because it’s a gym where everyone is welcome regardless of fitness level. You won’t find any clicks here, just some great people great community and coaches that are always working to be better each day.

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Hannah started CrossFit in 2016 and soon thereafter began coaching while a senior in high school. Throughout college and graduate school Hannah took a “sabbatical” from CrossFit and embarked on her rock climbing journey, climbing world class routes in places like Yosemite and Joshua Tree. Hannah coached a myriad of functional fitness courses at climbing gyms and led a children’s climbing camp during this time. After graduate school Hannah settled in San Diego and decided to start CrossFit again. After trying a few gyms she found CrossFit Coronado and didn’t look back! CrossFit Coronado reignited Hannah’s passion for functional fitness.

Hannah loves CrossFit Coronado and its practical approach to fitness, building resilience, and fostering a supportive community.

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Kimberly started doing CrossFit in 2010.  She quickly realized the awesome benefits of CrossFit and was eager to help Clint when they decided to take over as the owners.  She helps with our teen program and the behind the scenes work that needs to be done.  Kim works part time as an oncology nurse and is a full time to mom to their two little girls. Prior to that, she worked for the City of San Diego for over ten years teaching children of all ages and abilities how to swim and spent three years working as a substitute teacher for kids in grades K-12.  Kim took long-term sub positions teaching high school physical education and middle school science.  After seeing the lack of physical fitness with kids in the school systems, Kim wanted to help set up a teen program to give kids a positive physical outlet aside from school competitive sports.  After having kids and realizing how challenging it is to workout with little ones, she also created a program in the gym to offer childcare so that moms (and dads) can get their workouts in!  Email Kim

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Clint started as a customer with CrossFit Coronado in October 2008.  He became a trainer in August 2009, and the owner in August 2010.  He has been an athlete since he was young.  Starting with 7 years of gymnastics and martial arts, as well as high school football and track.  In college, he got into endurance running and swimming.  He was first introduced to CrossFit in the military.  A CrossFit athlete is one that is well rounded in all areas of fitness.   It was this, and the fact that there is absolutely no way to duplicate the results that CrossFit produces for the short amount of time the workouts require, that initially hooked Clint.  Clint has personally experienced improvement in every aspect of fitness, with much shorter workout times.  He competed in the SoCal Regionals in 2010 with a team and in 2011 and 2012 as an individual.  Clint thoroughly enjoys helping people reach their goals.  Clint recently completed a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the university of Saint Augustine and is excited to integrate PT into the gym. His goal is to help professionalize the fitness industry and bring educated and safe training to everyone.  Clint enjoys working with everyone, especially people who need more individualized attention or modifications.  If you’re interested in CrossFit Coronado or personal training, email Clint.

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BS Kinesiology from Texas A&M

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