Dear Results Fitness Family & Friends,
As you know, it is essential that we take time to help our bodies repair and strengthen before, after and in-between working out. This can be done by performing exercises and movements pre and post workout. In honor of our requested “Recovery” days, we wanted to share the below information.
Why Do We Warm Up?
“Warming up gives your body time to adjust to the demands of exercise.” – American Society of Orthopedic Surgeons
A good warm up helps your body go from a state-of-rest to active. This movement increases body temperature, breathing rate, and heart rate, getting your muscles ready to move. It aids in improving exercise performance and prepares you for intense and high-impact movement. Stretching is often used as a warm-up, helping to increase your flexibility and reduce risk of injury.
Dynamic Stretching is a great form of stretching often performed before your workout. These stretches wake up your nervous system and get your blood flowing to do work and involve your whole body. Many of these stretches are performed standing up and are of a higher intensity. They focus on getting you ready to use strength, power and explosiveness during your workout. Examples of dynamic stretches include: walking lunges with a rotation, walk-outs with T-rotation or push-ups or glute bridges.
Static Stretching recommended after a workout in order to increase flexibility and relax the body. Increasing flexibility and balance will improve range of motion and your ability to move throughout your workout. Stretching after a workout is also key to preventing injury. It relaxes muscles and suppresses your central nervous system causing you and your body to relax into a less active state.This type of stretching focuses on individual muscles like your triceps, hamstring, or hip flexors.
The Importance of Recovery
“Just as a warm up prepares your body for exercise, an effective cool down gives your body time to recover.” – American Society of Orthopedic Surgeons
It is just as critical to take the time to cool down and recover after a workout. The body needs time to build and replenish muscle, energy storage and tissues. We recover after an intense workout by stretching and performing low-intensity exercises to cool down and take our heart rate and breathing back down to a normal level. Taking active rest days focusing on stretching, and low-intensity exercises will increase performance and strength. Taking full rest days are also essential for progress. This allow your body to fully recover and repair from an intense week or day or exercise.
Foam Rolling Fun
Foam rolling works to smooth and lengthen your muscles, while helping your muscles relax. It is a unique set of exercises and movements that has been compared to getting a massage as it works toknead and loosen muscles and connective tissues that are tight. This is called myofascial release, and is commonly used for muscle pain, massage and overall improvement of fitness performance. There are a variety of ways to use the foam roller to work different parts of the body. They are effective in eliminating tight areas (trigger areas), improving range of motion and overall body response and movement. Foam rolling is beneficial during a warm-up, recovery or rest day.
To get the full benefit from your warm up and recovery, you need to perform each movement or exercise with intensity, specificity and timing. Taking the time to also perform these in between workouts, at home or on rest days is essential for your progress and will help you improve at group training. Performing a warm-up, intense workout, and healthy recovery will truly benefit your body and result in getting one step closer to reaching your fitness goals.