“Roxanne” Fixes a Top Training Mistake (Your Warm Up)

There are common pitfalls you can fall into with any training routine, either as a newbie or a veteran. I have found if you identify these pitfalls early and do something about it, you will be training at a whole new level you never thought possible.

So let’s identify a crucial training mistake you may be making (and that I’ve made make myself), find out what to do about it and become better tomorrow than we are today.

Whether you are training to be stronger, slimmer, faster, bigger or fitter there are commonalities we all run into in the training world, like…

Your Pre-Workout Routine is Lacking

Let me know if this rings a bell.

It’s time to workout, and you know you need to warm-up, so it goes something like this…

  • Touch the toes
  • Crack the knuckles
  • Stretch the Quads
  • Swing the arms
  • 2 minute later….
  • Let’s workout!!

This is a problem I still run into today. I often have to workout on a tight time schedule, so I don’t have 30 minutes to devote to a full warmup and mobility session.

But that doesn’t mean warming up isn’t essential!

Warm muscles perform better and faster in both the concentric and eccentric motion, as opposed to cold muscles. Giving you more power and strength while decreasing the chance of injury. By creating a light sweat it will prep your body to cool more quickly once the work begins and strain on the heart will be decreased by the ability of the blood to move more rapidly.

So how can we get this done properly?

Option 1: The Ten Minute Warm-Up

What to DO about our crappy pre-workout routines…

Bottom line…You have to make warming up a priority, but you can do this without spending a majority of your workout time warming up. Here is the quick and simple method to an effective warmup.

  • Get the blood moving – Start with a progressive warm-up of moving the body for 3 minutes. You can row, run, air dyne, jump rope or any other form of movement that get the body moving. The key is to make it progressive each minute. Minute 1 = very light movement, just move. Minute 2 = Speed things up a little but, still not working out. Minute 3 = make sure you are moving, breathing should increase and a light sweat should start to develop.
  • Work top to bottom (quickly) – Now that the blood is circulating do a quick 30 sec. stretch of all muscles in this order…Neck, shoulders/traps, chest, abdominals, back (upper and lower), quads, hamstrings, calves. This is a great opportunity for your body to loosen up quickly. The key here is not to get a FULL stretch, the key is to identify what seems to be tight or a little different than normal. This should take 4-5 minutes.
  • Work Specific Areas – Now think about the primary muscle groups that will be used in your workout you are about to perform. Also, remember if any of those areas seemed to be problematic from your quick stretch, you just did. Focus on these as your primary area of emphasis. Head to MobilityWOD.com and see if there is any quick mobility things you can knock out.

This is pretty much what I do when on a tight time schedule. If I have more time, I really like to focus on mobility and knock out some of the WODs at MobilityWOD.

But if I am feeling extra special…I let Roxanne do the work for me.

Option 2: Roxanne

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Here is how “Roxanne” can fix your warmup:

Yes, I am talking about Roxanne by The Police…

You don’t have to put on the red light
Those days are over
You don’t have to sell your body to the night

You don’t have to wear that dress tonight
Walk the streets for money
You don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right

This was a really fun warmup I was taught when I did my CrossFit Level 1 Certification, and I still use it occasionally when I train groups of people today.

Here’s how it works…

  • Start with blaring “Roxanne” by The Police
  • Then do jumping jacks until they say Roxanne
  • Every time Roxanne is said you have to do a burpee
  • You can mix up jumping jack with high knees, running in place or butt kicks
  • But EVERY TIME Roxanne is said you HAVE to do a burpee

Simple enough? It is really fun :)

I recommend you give the “Roxanne warmup” a try before your next workout. I would go with the shorter version of the song on YouTube.

Watch on YouTube

I hope this has helped add some fun and quick warm-up ideas to your training tool box.


But what about you? What’s your warmup? Any cool ideas or methods you would like to share?


photo, photo, photo

  • nheibj

    I start my warm up with joint rotations. Neck, Shoulder, arms, Lower back (a pain point for me) hips, knees, ankles. Then move onto some mobility and stretches for what is ouchy at the time. After that I will throw in a number of different options. Some of these are 16 rds x 15 sec of: plank, superman, left plank, right plank – doing each move in succession. So you do each one 4 times. Or same thing but jumping jacks, squats, mountain climbers, jump squats. Same thing each move is done back to back. Or tabata jump rope, where I work on DU’s.

    I also do a version of Roxanne. but mine is I do 100 jump jacks but every 5th rep is a burpee. So 1-4 jumping jack. 5 burpee. 6-9 jumping jack. 10 burpee… until I hit 100.

    Another one I like is 400 run. Then with PVC pipe 30 front squats, 30 shoulder rolls over/back, 30 over head squats. Then some quick snatch progression with PVC.

    Seriously I could go on for quite some time. But I do track which warm ups I do like with WOD’s and I do not do the same one 2 days in a row. With the exception of the joint rotations (My wife turned me onto these). That is a constant I start with each time. It seems to help wake up my body after a day sitting in an office and let’s it know the fun is about to begin!

    Thanks Jerred… You ROCK!

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