What is a Warm-Up?

Prior to your strength training workout you should do a warm-up. A warm-up consists of doing 5 – 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise such as walking, biking, jogging, jumping rope, using the elliptical machine, etc. If you are not doing a warm-up on a machine such as the elliptical that moves both your upper and lower body, you will want to swing your arms, do arm circles, and/or roll your shoulders. You may also include some stretching. In addition, it is helpful prior to lifting weights to perform a warm-up set of 10 to 12 repetitions with a lighter weight. This helps to prepare you both mentally and physically for using heavier weights.

Benefits of Warming-Up

  • Prepares your body for exercise.
  • Reduces pre-workout stiffness
  • Increases the temperature of your muscles, which improves your flexibility and helps to reduce your chances of injury.
  • Increases circulation
  • Lubricates your joints
  • Improves your level of performance

What is a Cool-Down?
Equally as important as your warm-up, is the cool-down after your exercise. A cool-down is basically the same as the warm-up. If your strength training workout was very fast paced, then you will want to do 5-10 of light aerobic exercise like you did for your warm-up and follow this with some light stretching.  If your strength training workout was more slower paced with longer rests and stretching between sets, you can cool-down with 5-10 minutes of stretching.

Benefits of Cooling-Down

  • Cooling down allows your heart rate, respiration and blood pressure to return to their resting rates.
  • May reduce post workout soreness
  • Helps remove lactic acid and other waste products from the muscles and assists in recovery from your workout.

To receive all the benefits from your strength training workout, it is important to include a warm-up and a cool-down.  Both are a necessary part of your workout. The warm-up prepares your body for the workout and the cool-down helps your body recover after your workout. Including a proper warm-up and cool-down will help make your strength training session a much more pleasurable experience.




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