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Prepare your body with iRAMP

We've come a long way since diving into a workout cold and have progressed beyond the thought process of performing long-winded static stretching before training, but what if I told you you could crush your warm-ups with blazing speed in a way that cuts out the nonsense and prioritizes the areas that actually reduce injury and even improve performance after. We bring your The DISTRICT iRAMP protocol, which we use to prepare all of our clients for training.

While we aren't reinventing the wheel, the wheel has evolved drastically over the centuries progressing from chiseled stone to wooden wagon wheels (cue Darius Rucker theme music) to the Pirelli P Zero performance tires that keep Formula One cars glued to the streets. The iRAMP Protocol is our grade A rubber of warm-ups that blends neuroscience with your traditional routine to optimize movement and maximize output.

Whether you are warming up for a sports performance workout, sprinting or powerlifting SBD (Squat/Bench/Deadlift) Day, the primary goals of a warm-up remain consistent and should be achieved without significant fatigue so you are not taking away from your actual workout. Above all we want to come out of this with our tissue/core temperature raised, however, we have organized each goal in a specific order to enhance the outcome of the next goal:


Inhibit limiting musculature.

Raise tissue/core temperature.

Activate specific musculature and Mobilize movement range.

Prime nervous system for performance.

INHIBIT - The "i" in iRAMP refers to "inhibition" of toned muscles that restrict movement in order to prepare the body for warm-up. We have all come in to a workout feeling tension in certain areas of our bodies in the form of tight hamstrings or low back muscles, so instead of just trying to move this right away, the goal here is to reduce this tension to make it easier to achieve the range of motion you need. Think of this as lowering the e-brake before trying to drive. In this phase, we use a variety of techniques including percussive therapy devices like the Theragun or Hypervolt, Self-myofascial release techniques like targeted foam rolling or Accumob trigger point. All of these techniques apply pressure to areas that we want to "turn off" resulting in increased blood flow and tissue temperature while decreasing tension. (Approx. 20s per muscle group).

*DISTRICT PRO TIP 1- Depending on your work-out or activity, you may want to focus on specific muscle grips that restrict the movement you will perform that day to allow the primary muscles to do their job more effectively. For example, if you ware warming up for a throwing exercise, you may want to target the pecs, lats and traps to as these tend to disrupt proper throwing mechanics.

*DISTRICT PRO TIP 2- In this phase we also implement "Sensory Grounding." This involves walking on a rock mat or rolling out your arch with a golf ball to stimulate the sensory receptors in the bottom of the feet. As many of these receptors are tied to the postural and balance centers of the brain, stimulating these areas can actually reduce neck, hip and back tension by giving us more information about the world around us and helping the body feel more "safe" with less need for "guarded tension."

RAISE - The second part of our protocol addresses the primary goal of a warm-up by raising global core temperature and tissue temperature to improve ability to lengthen our muscles in the next phase. To illustrate the necessity of this, think about how you feel when coming in from a snowstorm. Chances are you are stiff, slow moving, and less than eager to jump into a workout. Furthermore, as temperature increases, the lubrication of our joints improves, creating a safer environment for our cartilage during fast movements. During this phase, select a cardiovascular exercises like stationary cycle, jumping jack variations or Rower with minimal resistance to raise body temperature between 2-5 minutes depending on goal and the workout that follows.

ACTIVATE & MOBILIZE - Now that your tense muscles are turned off and your body temperature is up, our goal is to "Activate" muscles that keep the body balanced, improve our posture and enhance movement patterns. Look at these as focused contractions (squeezes) of certain muscles while doing an exercise that uses that muscle. While we can get very specific here, good muscles to start with are the glutes, core, and shoulder stabilizer muscles using exercises like glute bridges and planks with alternating arm reaches for 6-8 reps per side.

Once we have prepared the body to move, it's time to actually get going. In the "Mobilize" phase, the goal here is to progressively open the body to each movement pattern you will have to enter during your workout. Keep these dynamic and moving, holding for no more than 5 seconds at each terminal position. These can include the World's Greatest Stretch, crawl patterns, and rotational reaches for approximately 3-5 repetitions per side.

*DISTRICT PRO TIP 3 -If you noticed, we pair these two phases, because many mobilizing exercises that we use also include activation components. For example, bear crawls help open the body side to side in the frontal plane while activating the core and shoulder stabilizer muscles if performed correctly.

*DISTRICT PRO TIP 4 -Emphasize "bang for your buck" movements that mobilize a chain of muscles as opposed to one muscle at a time. In addition, look to address "triplanar movement" (movement in all planes of motion) even if your primary lifts are all in a single plane (bench, deadlift, and squat are all in the sagittal plane) in order to keep your body unlocked and recover more effectively between lifts.

POTENTIATE - Our final phase of the iRAMP protocol involves getting up to game speed or priming your muscles and brain for performance. This priming, also referred to as potentiation generally involves quick, rapid-fire exercises that activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers, turn on as many motor units in the muscle as possible, and ramp up the nervous system's output to what you need to boost performance. Think of this phase as dialing up the volume on the radio, while hooking up a monster power supply to provide stadium-level concert performance. These exercises can include squat jumps, tuck jumps, 2in Runs in Place, Wide-Outs.

*DISTRICT PRO TIP 5 - Consider light medicine ball work or plyo pushups on a bench for upper body or throwing athlete training sessions.

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