How to Warm Up Before a Workout & How to Cool Down After

Going to the gym is a tough step in the right direction for a lot of people. But, unfortunately, some people are willing to put in the work but aren't seeing the results they would like to. This could be for several reasons, one of which includes not warming up and cooling down properly.

Stretching

Stretching is most commonly divided into two separate categories. First, there are dynamic stretches that actively warm up muscles by making more vigorous motions. Stretches like these include high knees, walking lunges, butt kickers, and hip flexor stretches. All of these motions are more high speed, raising your heart rate, acclimating you for your workout, and warm up your muscles. 

Stretching is one of the most important parts of any workout, both before and after. When you are stretching to warm up your muscles, dynamic stretches are much better than static. But, if you are stretching as a cool down, then static stretches will be much more effective. 

Static stretching is more what people think when they picture stretching in their heads. Static stretches are performed when you are stationary and stretching one specific muscle to loosen it and make it more flexible. 

Static stretches are best used after a workout because the targeted muscle groups of your training can be stretched and loosened. This way, the group of muscles that you just worked won't be nearly as sore in the days following. 

Ice Bath

One of the most common post-workout recovery techniques is ice baths. There are so many benefits of icing your muscles after a workout if you do it properly. Unfortunately, many people don't use ice baths properly, and they end up hurting themselves instead of reaping the benefits they have to offer. 

When you put a group of muscles in cold temperatures for a long period, it contracts the blood vessels, reduces swelling, and speeds recovery. The problem occurs when you do this too frequently and go back to working out without the proper time to recover from the ice bath. 

It would help if you only took ice baths about twice a week after intense workouts, and the following day should be light stretching and cardio. People start to run into injuries when they push their bodies too hard after an ice bath

Warm-Up and Cool-Down Lap

Cardio is vital to any workout program, and when you are doing a big workout, you should always acclimate your body to what it is about to face. So doing a warm-up cardio routine to increase your heart rate is something to consider. 

Also, doing a post-workout cool-down lap serves the same purpose. Once your body has finished intense training, it isn't used to moving slowly again. If you do a cool-down lap to adjust your body, you will be much more comfortable and have more energy throughout the day. 

Making sure you are taking care of your body while working out is so important. Making the commitment to go to the gym and put in the work to get better is the hardest part, but if you aren't taking care of your body while you are there, then you might as well not go. You will see much better results by taking the proper steps to warm up and cool down in the gym. 

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