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How-To: Build Your Own Workouts 101

Do you know how to structure your own workouts? We’ve all seen the plethora of mobility drills and fancy exercise videos available on social media these days. But do you know when and where to utilize them in your workouts or as part of your training? That answer alone will make or break how effective your programming can be. There certainly is an optimal order and timing to when we should be implementing them and it can have a big impact on their overall effectiveness.

Typically, we like to think about a structured workout in the following order:

  • Mobilize

  • Activate

  • Neural Activation

  • Working Sets

Mobilize – This category of movements can consist of foam rolling, dynamic stretches to allow tissue to adapt to changes in length, improve superficial tissue blood flow and get the heart rate slightly elevated.

Activate – This type of movement isolates a certain muscle group, typically a stability group like the glutes or rotator cuff muscles, to allow for more coordinated global movements and to allow you to move with more force output during the workout. Pick a muscle group that is related to movements you’ll be doing later on in the workout.

Neural Activation – This is done to “wake up” the nervous system and improve how quickly muscles are reacting and responding to an input. Think skipping drills, reaction drills, coordination challenge drills or even speed ladder drills.

Working Sets – This is the bulk of your workout. We like to recommend an upper body/lower body split with our athletes that are weightlifting 2-3x/week. One day may be an upper body pull emphasis with a lower body push emphasis and the next day would be an upper body push emphasis with a lower body pull emphasis.

We see this same progression hold true in sport specific workouts as well whether it’s in the pool, on the court, on the field, on the track, on the mats, on the bike…you get my point.

In the weight room, there are certain drills and progressions within each of these categories that enable to athlete to make things more “sport specific.” With our Performance Membership, clients get customized, sport specific workouts designed for you and your schedule that fit within this model. Many of people who graduate from PT/rehab or those who train in a year-round sport like this option as a way to continue to progress their strength, make their body more resilient to injury and improve their performance.

If you have questions about how you should program your workouts or the Performance Membership, please reach out to us. You may use the contact form at the bottom of the page or set up a free 1-on-1 call with one of our doctors of physical therapy with the button at the top of the page.

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