Essential Warm-Up Exercises & Cool-Down Stretches For All Types of Fitness

Rushing into a workout may seem like a good time-saver, but by skipping a warm-up you could be putting your body at serious risk for injury. A dynamic warm-up includes stretches with movement and is the perfect beginning to any workout whether you run, lift or play ball. By incorporating a dynamic warm-up to your routine, you'll be warming up all the joints & muscles that you're about to use and preparing your mind and body for what's to come.

Here are some great dynamic stretches for different exercises & sports

  • Runners: Leg Swings, Walking Lunges, High Knees, Butt Kickers and Jogging
  • Lifters: Warm up with the same exercises you plan to do but with 50% of the weight for 1-3 sets, Foam Rolling
  • Swimmers: Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope, Arm Circles and Lunges
  • Home Workouts: Bodyweight Squats, Jumping Jacks, Butt Kickers, Lunges and Leg Swings
  • Sports Players: Jogging, Squat Jumps, Drills, High Knees, Jumping Jacks

It is just as important to cool down and stretch after a workout as it is to warm-up your muscles beforehand. Static stretches (stretches held for 10-30 seconds each) are best to finish a workout. Aim for a total of 5-10 minutes. Stretching right after a workout when your muscles are warm will help to; improve flexibility which can lead to less injuries, lower your heart rate back to it's resting state gradually so you don't pass out and prevent pooling of blood in your lower extremities.

Add any or all of these stretches for a great cool down

  • Quad Stretch
  • Hamstring Stretch
  • Child's Pose
  • Chest Stretch
  • Tricep Stretch
  • Shoulder Stretch
  • Hip Openers
  • Lower & Middle Back Twist

To make sure you don't skip a warm-up or cool down, account for the extra time as you plan your training schedule for the week.

Your body will thank you!