Do I Need To Warm Up And Cool Down
Warm ups not only prepare your muscles and joints for exercise but your brain too. Use your warm up as an opportunity to get in the zone so you can concentrate fully on the workout to follow! There are 2 components to a warm up - Something to raise your pulse (e.g. light jog, burpees etc), and joint mobility and dynamic stretches (e.g. arm circles, waist twists, slowly deeper lunges)!
A FEW HANDY TIPS to keep in mind!
• Your warm up should take around 10-15 minutes! Adjust the length of your warm up so that, when it is done, you feel as though you are ready to start your main session. Take as long as necessary but no longer; there is no need to waste your valuable energy!
• Adjust it to the weather (eg. hot or cold), what you’ve been doing during the day (eg. sitting, standing and walking arund due to work), and how sore you are from previous workouts (your body might take a little longer to warm up)!
• Warm ups are individualised - do it until YOU feel warm!
For the Gym Goers:
• Use a cardio machine for 10 mins slowly increasing the intensity
• Once finished, perform arm circles, knee bends, hip twists, calf raises and squats for 30 seconds on each side and slowly increasing the range with each
• Check out my Gym-Based 8 Week Beach Body Transformation for some amazing and detailed warm up ideas specifically for the gym!
For the Home Lovers:
• Begin with a light jog or walk for 5 minutes, slowly increasing the intensity • Once finished, perform arm circles, knee bends, hip twists, calf raises and squats for 30 seconds on each side and slowly increasing the range with each
• Another jog/walk at a higher intensity for 3 mins
• Lunges or split squats slowly increasing the depth for 60 secs (alternating legs)
• For more comprehensive home warm up ideas, try my Home-Based 8 Week Booty Builder Workout Program!
Don’t EVER stop cold! The worst thing you can do is complete a high intensity workout and then just stop - slowly cool down to bring your pulse down and de-load your muscles. This will help to reduce effects of muscle soreness! Cooling down also reduces the risk of feeling light headed (from blood pooling), helps remove metabolites and reduce the risk of muscle cramps.
What To Do:
• 5 mins lower intensity exercise of what you were doing (eg. a light walk or slow jog)
• Stretches for the muscle groups you used (eg. leg and glute stretches). This helps to lengthen out the muscles you used and shortened during your workout and improves function! If you'd like to implement an effective warm up and cool down into your exercises moving forward, make sure to check out my workout plans which take you through each stretch and mobility exercise in step-by-step, detailed instructions.