Too often people jump right into their workout without any kind of preparation. They don’t consider the importance of warming up and cooling down. Every training session should start with a good warm-up because it serves two major purposes: enhancing performance and preventing injuries. In this article we show you how to warm up & cool down.
What you will learn in this article:
Structure your routine
The basic structure of every warm-up should look like this: First a general warmup and second a specific warmup. The general warmup gets your heart pumping your blood circulation going and prepares yourself mentally for the following workout. Do this with easy exercises that move a lot of body parts at the same time. Like jumping jacks or slow jogging in a specific warmup you prepare your muscles, tendons, ligaments and your mind for the upcoming exercises.
It’s possible to do specific exercises which incorporate all important joints and muscles or easier versions of the exercises that you’re going to do in the following workout. For example if you’re going to do any kind of push-ups or dips in your workout, you can warm yourself up with an easier progression with that you can do a lot of reps without going anywhere close to failure.
Acrtive stretching: Integrate mobility exercises
You can also integrate mobility work into your warm up and kill several birds with one stone. With mobility exercises you mainly prepare your brain to improve the control of your muscles. In addition you also warm up your muscles and prepare your joints and the connective tissue. If you don’t want to work on specific weak points or on a specific mobility skill, you will save time by doing a mix of warm-up and mobility exercises and don’t need an extra mobility workout.
When it comes to the mobility exercises itself, you should use complex movements which incorporate many joints and muscles at the same time. Use exercises like the passive to active hang, the cat cow to easy bridge, and the cobra to downward dog. Of course there are also a lot of other exercises and options to include mobility into your warmup. If you want a complete step-by-step mobility guide you should visit calimove.com and get our Mobility Program.
While mobility work will improve your active range of motion and with that enhance your performance, long isometric passive stretches will increase your passive range of motion which will lead to less muscle tension. Less muscle tension means less strength output and less stability. Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to train your chest and lats. If you now do passive stretching for these muscle groups right before the workout, you will lower the muscle tone. This can decrease your performance when it comes to pull-ups, bench press or other exercises for these muscle groups.
Passive stretching also increases the risk of injury because you can’t stabilize the passive range of motion properly. So don’t do long lasting passive stretches for the same muscles you are about to train for strength. This also means that it’s possible to stretch other muscles if you need the flexibility to perform better. A pike press is a good example of the main strength and this movement comes from your shoulders, but passive stretches in your lower body will help you to move your legs closer to your upper body.
Stretching: How to do it right
You should also consider the difference between a short and a long lasting passive stretching. Here’s an example for shoulder mobility when it comes to handstands. You can do a passive hang or a dynamic downward dog to increase your range of motion for the handstand, but we don’t suggest long lasting weighted stretches in which you heavily increase the range of motion. This would lower the muscle tension too much and with that the necessary shoulder stability you need for the hand. When it comes to stretching after your workout you could do passive and long-lasting stretches. But again also only for the muscles you didn’t train in the workout before.
If you train the muscle with a high load and to fatigue, you create very tiny injuries in the muscle cells which are some kind of small ruptures. These ruptures are the reasons for your sore muscles. If you now do intense passive stretching you could make those ruptures bigger. This means you need more time to recover and with that you can train less often. Instead of long lasting passive stretches we also recommend mobility training or a mix between mobility and short passive stretches as your cool-down activity. Easy mobility exercises are great as a cool-down because they will improve the recovery of your muscles by helping them to relax and to keep the blood circulation up.
Choose a structured workout
If you now want a step by step mobility guide which can be used as a warm-up, as a cool-down, as a recovery session on a separate day or even as a workout itself you should get our Mobility Program. No matter if you are a beginner, and intermediate or even an advanced athlete, our mobility program is the right choice for you. The foundation of the program is our unique cross flow system in which you combine different exercises in different positions.
This is not only very effective it also offers a varying training depending on which level you are. You train for about 20 to 35 minutes for one session. Besides that we also included single exercises to make sure you train your whole body in a balanced way. For all advanced athletes we integrated separate workouts for specific mobility and flexibility skills, such as press to handstand we sit front and side split. Start now, enhance the performance and build a healthy and strong body.
Watch the video to learn how to warm up & cool down
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