The basics of warming-up, mobility and cooling-down

How to prepare for exercise sessions correctly

To prepare for exercise and get the most out of your fitness training it is important to warm up, cool down and stretch properly. As well as preventing injuries, correct exercise preparation will help you get the best out of your body's workout. Here's the guide to warming up, cooling down and being mobile during exercise.

Warming up for exercise

The warm-up, raises the heart-rate, gets blood flowing to the working muscles and prepares the body for exercise. It should be for a minimum of five minutes and replicate the movements or activities of the main session.

For example: for an upper-body resistance training workout, five to 10 minutes on the rowing machine will focus on upper body movements for the arms, back, shoulders and also the legs.

Mobility during exercise

Some basic actions to put the limbs through the range of movement that the main session requires will ensure that the joints are loosened up, lubricated and will function more efficiently.

Main session of exercise

This will form the bulk of the training session, for example: resistance training, cardiovascular training or core stability training.

Cool-down after exercise

The cool-down should be at a lower intensity than the main session and should bring the body temperature and heart rate closer to pre-exercise levels. Additionally, waste by-products of exercise will be flushed from the muscles and tissues, accelerating recovery before the next training session.

For example: the cool-down should be a minimum of five to 10 minutes light CV, jogging or walking is ideal.

Flexibility for exercise

Stretching exercises should be carried out after the main session and cool-down as the body is in a greater state of relaxation than at the beginning of the workout. Five to 10 ten minutes spent stretching the muscles worked will maintain suppleness.

Comments (1)

  • jberg 'For a number of years I have always worked out on a daily, basis, and even if I a feeling pretty stressed out, I don't just jump in to the main part of the work out, I always warm up - stretch, then the main work out, and then stretch and cool - down.'

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