The Burgener Warm-up: A Comprehensive Guide

The Burgener Warm-up: A Comprehensive Guide

The Burgener Warm-up is a dynamic stretching and movement prep routine created by weightlifting coach Mark Burgener. It activates muscles, increases range of motion, and enhances mobility before training. This guide will cover the background, purpose, and step-by-step instructions for the Burgener Warm-up.

What is the Burgener Warm-up?

The Burgener Warm-up is a 10-15 minute routine developed by Olympic weightlifting coach Mark Burgener. It incorporates a variety of bodyweight movements to prepare the muscles, joints, and nervous system for weightlifting or other athletic activities.

The sequence flows continuously between stretches and dynamic exercises to increase range of motion, elevate heart rate, enhance mobility, and activate all the major muscle groups. It is considered an active and functional alternative to static stretching before training.

Mark Burgener originally designed the routine to get Olympic weightlifters competition-ready. It is now commonly used by powerlifters, CrossFit athletes, and recreational lifters as well to improve performance, prevent injury, and boost mobility for barbell exercises.

What are the Benefits of the Burgener Warm-up?

There are several advantages to performing the structured Burgener Warm-up before workouts:

  • Increases Range of Motion - Dynamic stretches open up joints and lengthen muscles for greater mobility.
  • Activates Muscles - The movementscue the nervous system to fire up muscles to be used heavily in training.
  • Elevates Heart Rate - Light, continuous activity brings heart rate into an ideal training range.
  • Prevents Injury - Prepares connective tissues for load and reduces injury risk.
  • Enhances Mind-Muscle Connection - Links brain to muscle groups for better strength activation.
  • Improves Technique - Practice grooves proper movement patterns needed for lifts.

The Burgener Warm-up holistically prepares the body for heavy training through muscular, cardiovascular, and mental preparation.

When Should You Perform the Burgener Warm-up?

The Burgener Warm-up is ideally performed:

  • In the 15-30 minutes before a training session as part of the warm-up routine.
  • Before any heavy strength training, especially squats, deadlifts, presses, and Olympic lifts.
  • Before high intensity metabolic conditioning like CrossFit WODs.
  • Before moderate-high intensity cardio sessions. Light cardio may require a shorter warm-up.
  • On competition day it excels at activating muscles right before attempting big lifts.

Think of the Burgener Warm-up as the pre-game routine to do before any intensive, strength-focused training session.

Step-by-Step Instructions

This outlines the 13 exercise sequence with descriptions and tips:

1. Leg Swings

  • Stand tall, hold on to something sturdy.
  • Keeping legs straight, swing one leg forward and back 10 times.
  • Repeat with the other leg. Focus on full range of motion.

2. Leg Swings

  • Stand tall, hold on to something sturdy.
  • Keeping legs straight, swing one leg out to the side and across body 10 times.
  • Repeat with the other leg. Focus on full range of motion.

3. Walking High Knees

  • Raise one knee as high as comfortably possible.
  • Alternate hiking knees up as you walk forward 10 steps.
  • Focus on lift and quick cadence.

4. Walking High Kicks

  • Keeping knee straight, kick one leg up as high as possible.
  • Alternate kicking legs up as you walk forward 10 steps.
  • Focus on straight leg lift and quick cadence.

5. Open the Gate

  • Stand with feet wide apart, rotate one leg outward with knee bent.
  • Drop into a lateral squat, reach hand to outside of foot.
  • Repeat 5-10 times then switch legs. Keep chest upright.

6. Arm Circles

  • Standing upright, circle arms forward 10 times with big range of motion.
  • Repeat circling arms backward 10 times.

7. Front Rack Walk

  • Take grip on empty barbell in front rack position.
  • Walk forward 10 steps, focusing on keeping elbows up.

8. Overhead Barbell Walk

  • Press barbell overhead and walk forward 10 steps.
  • Keep core engaged, don't let lower back arch.

9. Inchworms

  • Standing tall, bend down and walk hands out to top of push-up position.
  • Keep legs straight, walk hands back to feet, rolling up to stand tall.
  • Repeat sequence 5-10 times.

10. Scorpion Kicks

  • Support body in high plank position.
  • Keeping leg straight, kick one leg diagonally across body.
  • Alternate legs, perform 10 kicks on each side.

11. Bear Crawl

  • From all fours, reach forward with right arm and kick back with left leg.
  • Crawl forward 10 steps then reverse back 10 steps.

12. Spinal Wave

  • From standing, bend forward touching toes then roll back up vertebra by vertebra.
  • Repeat 5-10 times, focus on sequentially rolling spine.

13. Burgener Warm-up

  • Start in squat, do 3-5 reps of:
    • Overhead press
    • Front squat
    • Push press
    • Back squat
  • Move continuously between exercises activating muscles.

Follow this sequence to boost mobility, elevate heart rate, activate the muscles, and prepare for a tough training session ahead. Reduce reps or intensities if needed. Perform dynamic stretches through full range of motion.

How to Modify the Burgener Warm-up

There are a few ways to adjust the warm-up:

  • Reduce repetitions of exercises if time-limited. Perform at least 5 reps of each.
  • Lower intensity during exercises to stay within your capabilities.
  • Skip advanced exercises like the overhead barbell walk if lacking shoulder mobility.
  • Perform a few extra reps of challenging movements for you.
  • Use lighter weights during the Burgener complex at the end.
  • If doing the warm-up pre-cardio, reduce the reps since muscles are already warm.

The Burgener Warm-up can be scaled to fit any fitness level or time restraint while still boosting mobility. Listen to your body throughout.

Sample Burgener Warm-ups

Beginner Burgener Warm-up

Leg Swings - 10 reps each side

Leg Swings Across - 10 reps each side

High Knees - 10 steps

High Kicks - 10 steps

Open the Gate - 5 reps each side

Arm Circles - 10 reps forward/back

Inchworms - 5 reps

Bear Crawl - 10 steps forward/back

Spinal Wave - 5 reps

Burgener Complex - 3 reps no weight

Intermediate Burgener Warm-up

All exercises with 10 reps

Add Front Rack and Overhead Barbell Walk with empty bar

Burgener Complex - 5 reps with 15-25lb bar

Advanced Burgener Warm-up

All exercises with 15 reps

Burgener Complex - 5 reps with 45-65lb bar

Try the Burgener Warm-up!

The Burgener Warm-up checks all the boxes for a well-structured, dynamic routine to activate muscles and enhance mobility pre-workout. Use this guide to learn the movements and programming so you can incorporate it into your own training. With consistent practice, the Burgener Warm-up will become second nature and allow you to step into each session feeling mobile, energetic, and ready to give 100%. Your body will thank you for taking the time to properly warm it up before intense exercise. The improved mobility and muscle activation will pay dividends across all aspects of your performance!

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post