Importance of Dynamic Warm Up & Cool Down
Brian Beatty, PT, CFP
Why Should I Warm Up?
A quality warm-up prepares the body and nervous system for the upcoming exercise.
- Prepares the cardiovascular system by gradually increasing heart rate
- Prepares the muscles and tendons to take on the upcoming increased load
- Lubricates the joints in preparation for increased activity
- Prepares / “wakes up” the nervous system (coordination) to do the upcoming exercise
A Quality Warm Up Should…
- Match the warm up movements to the patterns of movement in upcoming exercise.
- Include full ranges of motion through all of the primary muscle groups and joints used in the upcoming exercise.
- Increase the complexity of the warm up movements to build to match the complexity of the upcoming exercise.
- You should feel physically warmed up and have an increased heart rate when you’re done.
Why Cool Down?
- Allows gradual lowering of the heart rate
- Resets the nervous system (brain) to a normal balance of tension in the muscles and tendons
- Lubricates the joints through all ranges of motion, not just what you used in your exercise
A Quality Cool Down Includes…
- Movements that take the primary muscles and joints used in the previous exercise carefully through their full ranges of motion
- A repeatable pattern that allows you to notice any changes from your workout (tightness, pain, changes in range of motion) and address them before they turn into injuries
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