Warm-up, then stretch, or stretch then warm-up??? :) 3 of 7

Never loseWhile we can all think of many ways to warm up: a nice fire, and cuddling.  😉

Okay out of lala land and into another fun land…workout warm-ups!  This is not as controversial as the chicken and the egg scenario, even though some people think it is.

The focus here is related to cardio activities.  Every good strength training program has a cardio component.  Why?  Strength will be covered later this week.

My background: competitive cycling and A LOT of other playing!

To keep it simple, warm-ups are done at YOUR easy effort and done before you stretch and before your main workout.

Let’s use the beginner example again:

Remember moderate is YOUR moderate vs. your friend’s, and definitely not your nemesis’…
Be true to you!  This will help you enjoy your chosen activity, and avoid potential injury.

Use the talk test.  Many studies have shown the talk test is a VERY accurate method to determine effort level.  I could look up a study and post it; however, I’m focusing on getting this post posted 🙂

  • If  you’re getting a little breathless, SLOW DOWN
  • Holding a conversation during your warm-up is a good measure, and something you’ll be able to do during an appropriate level warm-up

How long do you warm-up?  Depending, again, yes on you, and how long you have.
For a 30 minute cardio bout:

  • 5 minute warm-up followed by a gentle stretch
  • Stretch the muscles you’ll use during your activity
  • 5 minutes will not get your muscles ready for extreme exertion, so gradually increase your speed, as you ramp up to your workout pace
  • Most people begin to feel their muscles loosen up and warm at about 15 minutes
  • Since my muscles are a lot warmer at 15 minutes, when I have time, I stretch again at 15 minutes
  • For this second stretch session I stretch deeper
  • Only have time to stretch once, stretch at the end of your workout, when your muscles are the warmest…

Want more details?  Please ask 🙂

Tomorrow a bit more about stretching, and how to determine how hard to push yourself.

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