What happens before and after you workout is key to lessening your chances of injuries and sore muscles. Here are some quick routines to help you warm up before you workout and cool down before you call it a day.
the warm up.
While it may not seem like the part of a workout that delivers results, warming up your body is a necessary and vital part of physical and mental preparation for exercise. A brief warm-up gets your blood pumping, which both warms and delivers oxygen and nutrients to working muscles, tendons, and joints. This results in a body that is prepared for increased stretching, capable of handling more strenuous demand, and fueled with the energy it needs to get through a workout. Translation: injuries, rapid increases in blood pressure, and excessively sore muscles are less likely to occur.
how to do a cardio warm up.
A warm-up can be achieved in many different ways, but the general idea of a proper warm-up is to gradually raise your heart rate and breathing while gently using the muscles you are about to exercise. Brisk walking, easy jogging, and biking (stationary or otherwise) are all common methods to begin a warm up. All of these will get the blood flowing through your body. If you will be doing any upper body work, be sure to give your arm muscles a little specific attention after completing one of the above mentioned activities. A set of 10 arm circles forward and 10 arm circles backward will do the trick.
cardio warm up alternatives.
Anything you do to slowly raise your heart rate and breathing while engaging the muscles you are about to use can be considered a warm-up. If you can’t go outside, walk/jog around inside your house, do some jumping jacks, or lay on the floor and bicycle your legs. Be creative! Just get things flowing!
the cool down.
Every good workout should end with a period of gentle movements to slow the heart rate and stretch fatigued muscles while they are warm and flexible. Cool down stretches should be held for at least 10-15 seconds each to reduce muscle tightness. Breathe deeply throughout and feel your body relaxing.
how to cool down after a workout.
Begin your cool down by simply walking around the room for a couple of minutes while your heart rate returns to normal. Nothing brisk. Just move.
Legs (quads) – Lie down on your right side, left leg on top of right leg. Bend the left heel up to the left glute, pulling it in by holding at the ankle. Repeat on opposite side.
Legs (hamstrings) – Roll over onto your back. Tilt the pelvis slightly so that the lower back is pressed into the floor. With abs engaged, lift the left leg straight up above your hips (or as far as you can comfortably go). Pull the leg toward the chest by holding at the calf or thigh. Repeat on opposite side.
Glutes – Bend both knees and bring your left ankle over your right thigh. With your hands clasped behind your right knee, pull your right knee towards your chest. Be sure to keep your back and neck relaxed and flat on the ground. Repeat on opposite side.
Arms & Shoulders – Come to a standing position. Clasp your hands together in front of you and push them out in front of and away from the body. Slowly rotate up and back, pushing the clasped hands towards the sky, then pull them down and behind the head. Release your hands and bring your arms down to your sides. Then clasp hands behind back and lift up gently. Take it back to the floor. Sitting back on your heels, stretch your arms out in front of you, and bring your head to the floor.
Core/Back – Lie face down. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, palms facing the floor. Extend your legs straight out behind you with the tops of your feet on the floor. Press up on your hands to raise your chest up until it is facing the wall in front of you, keeping your shoulders back and down.
Roll over onto your back. Extend both arms out to the sides, forming a ‘T’ with your body. Tilt the pelvis slightly so that the lower back is pressed into the floor. With abs engaged, bend the knees up towards the chest. Keeping your shoulders on the ground and your knees together let your legs fall to the left. Engage your abs before returning to center, then let your legs fall to the right.
Roll to your stomach. Come up on knees and hands. Move your feet under your hips and begin to stand up, rolling up through the spine slowly and ending with a deep breath and a backward shoulder roll. Drink some water and relax. You did it!
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- Cardio Warm-Up – 10 minutes
- Push-ups – 45
- Squats – 45
- Bench Dips – 45
- Glute Bridges – 45
- Plank Rows – 90 (45 each side)
- Lunges – 90 (45 each side)
- Basic Plank – 2 minutes
- Side Jackknives – 90 (45 each side)
- Cool-Down Stretch
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