6 Warm Up and Cool Down Mistakes People Make When Working Out
A good exercise routine should always start with light warm up and include a cool down session at the end. If you are not well informed on proper warm up and cool down techniques, chances are you will make mistakes. This can be unfortunate because both of these fitness training activities affect your performance and recovery. So, to make the most out of your exercise efforts, this article will help you learn about and avoid 6 warm up and cool down mistakes that people make when working out.
Part 1: Warm Up Pitfalls
Warming up is a common practice that usually precedes exercise. When done right, it offers the body a few benefits. Some of the mistakes that you should avoid so as not to miss out on the benefits of warming up include:
1) Not Warming Up at All
Jumping into your workout right away may seem like a time saving practice, but skipping warm ups can do more harm than good. Many warm ups focus on range of motion exercises and dynamic stretches such as jumping jacks and walking lunges. Such activities raise your heart rate, pump more nutrient rich oxygenated blood to muscles, and raise core body temperature. As a result, warm ups help to prepare your mind and body for physical activity. In effect, they also prevent injury during workouts.
2) Doing Static Stretching During Warm Up
Static stretching is often done at the end of a workout. It involves stretching to lengthen certain muscles and staying stationary in position for a few seconds. If you perform static stretches before exercising, consider switching to dynamic stretching instead. Some studies suggest that static stretching can inhibit maximal muscular performance.
3) Warming Up with Ballistic Stretches
Ballistic stretching was replaced with static stretching owing to the risk of injury that this method of warming up presents. Generally, it involves bouncing in and out of stretched position. The aim is to force a deeper range of motion, but fitness experts have found this can often leads to injury.
Part 2: Exercise Cool Down Blunders
Cool down exercises allow your body to transition from intense physical activity to a normal resting state. Therefore, they play an important role in fitness training. Make sure you are not committing these cool down blunders to reap maximum benefits from your workouts.
4) Skipping Cool Down Altogether
If you have formed a habit of squeezing in quick high impact exercises and skipping the cool down session to get home in time for your favorite TV show, you may want to rethink your fitness routine. Sure, cool down may add a few minutes to your exercise routine, but it does benefit the body.
Typically, cool down exercises mostly involve winding down with a slow jog, walk or low intensity stretches. Winding down in this manner returns the heart rate to its resting or near resting state. Other benefits of static stretching post-workout include reducing dizziness after prolonged cardio as well as lengthening, strengthening and toning muscles.
5) Performing Dynamic Stretches During Cool Down
While sometimes you may see athletes wind down through slow cardio, static stretching is the most appropriate exercise to aid in the cooling down process. Unlike dynamic (or motion-based) stretches, static stretching removes lactic acid from muscles, increases flexibility, and decreases the body’s temperature.
6) Holding Cool Down Stretches for too Long
Cool down stretches should not be held for a period of more than 30 seconds. If you exceed this limit, you risk of tearing the stretched muscle. Rather than holding stretches for longer than necessary, repeat the same routine two to three times while taking short breaks in between reps.
So, there you have it – 6 warm up and cool down mistakes you should avoid when exercising. Remember, both of these activities are important since they allow your heart, muscles, and blood vessels to ease in and out of an exercise session.