Warming up and cooling down is very beneficial to your muscles

Warming up and cooling down is very beneficial to your muscles

With sport being fashionable this summer, it’s important you know how to warm up and cool down in order to prevent injury and keep your body in a healthy state.  It’s not inspiring to have an injury, so to sustain your sporting career take these tips on board and who knows…you could be performing in front of the world come 2016.

By warming up and cooling down you are bringing your body to its physical peak before exercise and aiding the most effective recovery afterwards, together these work to seriously reduce the risk of injury - which is always a good thing!

Forget aches, pains and trips to the physiotherapist. Embrace the sporting spirit and get pro-expert advice from The Chelsea Club’s, fitness expert Neil Johnson.

Warming Up

#1:  General warm up

To begin with, your heart rate should be raised for up to 10 minutes, usually attained by a light jog. By raising the heart rate, you are increasing the blood flow around the body and improving the transportation of oxygen to your hard working muscles.

#2: Static stretching

Static stretching is the safest form of stretching and should be done gently.  However it is an individual thing and should never be pushed too hard!  All areas should be worked by placing the body into a position whereby the muscle; or group of muscles to be stretched is under tension. Not only does this dramatically reduce the risk of muscle and tendon injury, but it successfully improves flexibility.

#3: Sport specific warm up

This part of the warm up is specific to the sporting activity in which you are taking part. Exercises should reflect closely the type of movements and actions which will be required of you later on.

#4: Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching involves a controlled bounce or movement to put the particular body part past its usual comfort zone. By keeping these stretches specific to the exercise you’re about to take part in, you are preparing your muscles even more, which reduces the risk of injury even further.

…By completing these four steps, your muscles are supple, your circulation is increased and your body is at its physical peak…go, go, go!

Cooling Down

#1: Light Jog

Just like warming up, a light jog should last up to 10 minutes depending on personal fitness. This helps reduce the heart rate back to its normal pace.

#2: Static Stretching

5-10 minutes of static stretching should take place, concentrating on the muscles which have been used the most during your work out.  In doing this you are freeing yourself from muscle aches and pains, preventing the pooling of blood in your muscles and enhancing your ability to work out more frequently

#3 Jump in a pool

The best cool down exercise is gentle swimming.  If you have access to a pool then jump in straight after your workout

#4 Remember to keep warm

Make sure you keep warm during your pulse lowering exercises by wearing a tracksuit or fleece, and keep moving until your breathing and heart rate feel like they're back to normal.

…By cooling down you are diluting the waste products produced in your muscles during exercise. This prevents delayed onset muscle aches, which is always nice!

You are also helping to reduce the amount of adrenaline in your blood stream meaning that all you late night exercisers will get a better night’s sleep.

Femalefirst Taryn Davies


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