Warmups to Avoid Injuries – Agile 8 and Simple Six

by Travis Hlavka

Always use a proper strength training warmups prior to anything that requires explosive power or maximal force.  When I say warmup, I mean warmup, NOT stretching.  More specifically, do not perform static stretching before weightlifting or anything that requires explosive power.  Static stretching BEFORE training can get you injured because it actually weakens the structures that you need for support.

“If you stretch with the wrong method, such as doing static stretching before strength training, you make the muscle temporarily weak and increase the risk of injury. This has been proven in multiple studies of various stretching activities, ranging from strength training to warming up for rugby and football. In most studies the decreases in maximal strength and power range from 7 to 20 percent. Who wants to train or compete at 80 to 93 percent of their best?”  –Charles Poliquin

ALSO… Be sure to keep any post workout stretching program in  line with your overall strength.  You will have problems if your flexibility exceeds your strength.  (Check out You’re Asking for Injury if You Stretch Too Much)  Below are lower body and upper body warmups by Joe DeFranco.

Lower Body Warmup

I always do Joe DeFranco’s Agile 8 before lower body workouts.  BUT, I skip the static hip flexor stretch because I believe static stretching is bad before training.  Eventually I’d like to put together my own videos for all of these, but for now, here’s Joe’s info…

Joe D’s “Agile Eight” (7-10 min)”

 IT Band Foam Roll (Beginning position)

IT Band Foam Roll
(Beginning position)

#1 – Foam Roll IT Band – Start just below your hip and roll up & down to your mid-(outer) thigh 10-15X, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform 10-15 “rolls” starting at your mid-(outer) thigh and rolling all the way down to the outside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight areas.


 Adductor Foam Roll (mid position)

Adductor Foam Roll
(mid position)

#2 – Foam Roll Adductors – Start just below the crease of your hip and roll up & down to your mid (inner) thigh 10-15X, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform 10-15 “rolls” starting at your mid-(inner) thigh and rolling down to the inside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight spots.

 #3 – Glute/Piriformis Myofacial release w/ static stretch

#4 – *Rollovers into “V” sits – Perform 10 reps
#5 – *Fire hydrant circles – 10 forward circles/10 backward circles each leg
#6 – *Mountain climbers – 20 reps
#7 – *Groiners – Perform 10 reps. Hold last rep for 10 seconds… push knees out with your upper arms while dropping your butt down.

*The video below demonstrates exercises 4-7. Make sure you really focus on achieving a big range of motion with all these exercises. Don’t just go through the motions!

#8 – Static hip flexor stretch – Perform 3 sets of 10 seconds each leg. Perform all 3 sets on one leg before moving onto the other leg.

If performed 5-7 days a week, I guarantee this simple routine will make a huge difference in how you feel and how you move! This routine can be performed at home before you leave for work, school, practice, etc. Or you can perform it at the gym before training. The bottom line is that there’s NO EXCUSE for not fitting this quick routine into your daily schedule.

Give it a try and thank me later!
Original content from Joe DeFranco


Upper Body Warmup

I have never done this warmup for upper body (yet).  It does involve some static stretching, which as you know, I don’t care for.  I am including it here because Joe obviously knows what he’s talking about.  However, I will be modifying it slightly to make the static movements more dynamic IF possible.

Joe D’s “Simple Six” – Upper Body warmup”

Original content from Joe DeFranco

Travis Hlavka (9 Posts)

I may act like a 12yr old a lot of the time, but that's because I have a genetic defect that will not allow me grow up. HOWEVER, I do take strength training and fitness very seriously and I love using what I know to help others reach their fitness goals and avoid the bazillion mistakes I've made in my 25+ yrs of training. Since I don't know everything, I never stop learning. Note: I am no longer a "certified" trainer, but I truly understand more about fitness and health now than I ever did with that official piece of paper.

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