Skipping your warm up and cool down is like not warming up your car in the winter; this is so not good for your car and it can cause car problems. So don’t do it! Save your body from an injury and perform your best by taking a few to warm up and cool down. It may not be the favorite part of your workout but it will make a world of difference. Avoid being quick with your warm up because this snappy decision can have you sidelined due to an injury. Make every moment count and start out with these workout warm up and cool down tips!
1. Know What You Are Doing
First and foremost you should know the difference between dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretching is in motion and should be done before your workout and static is isolation of one muscle. You should always before a dynamic stretch before your workout and a static after. Do not confuse the order or you can put yourself at risk of an injury! I see so many gym goers make this mistake, so be smart and know the order!
2. Begin with in Motion
The reason you begin with a dynamic stretch is that this will help lubricate your joints and decrease the risk of an injury. This will help you prepare for a great workout and also gradually raise your heart rate. And you do not have to spend a ton of time doing a dynamic stretch. Just 3-4 minutes of jumping jacks is sufficient and will help you exercise even stronger.
3. End with Static
Okay so you may wonder why you perform a static stretch after and that is to increase flexibility and also help the recovery process. Never perform a static stretch before your workout or you can put yourself at risk of an injury. Just a few minutes can do wonders for your athletic performance!
4. Properly Cool down
Properly cool down so your body will heal and you will avoid feeling sick. If you just stop running and jump in your car to drive home, you will be dizzy. This is because of the drop in your blood pressure so take the time to cool down. Your body will thank you!
5. Then Stretch It out Again
Take a few minutes to stretch it out again to reduce the build-up of lactic acid in your body. This will help your body to not feel tired, heavy legs. Fresh legs feel great, while tired, sore muscles can have you feel cranky so stretch it out!
6. Add Stretching to Your Workout
In the middle of your workout if you feel tired and super sore, stretch it out. You can perform a static or dynamic at this point since you are already warmed up. Just a few minutes of toe touches can make a work of difference in how your hamstrings feel so take the time!
7. Enjoy a Post Workout Protein Shake
Now that you have completed your workout, enjoy a post workout protein shake. A post workout shake will help your body on the road to recovery since protein helps your muscle fibers recover. Have carbs prior and protein after for an efficient workout. And try to have protein within 30-45 minutes post workout, it is all about proper timing!
So avoid the mistake of not warming up and cooling down so you can perform like a champ and recover like the pros!