No matter what the activity, if it is at a moderate level of intensity or greater you should always warm up and stretch beforehand.
The higher the intensity of the activity, the more crucial the warm-up and stretching becomes.
Warming up accomplishes several things:
- Raises heart rate & body temperature
- Lubricates the joints
- Increases active joint range of motion
- Increases performance capability by preparing maximal muscle fiber recruitment
- Focuses and engages the mind and prepares for a sense of mental flow
- Decreases the risk of injury- acute / traumatic and repetitive microtrauma
Warming up should come first because it will prepare the joints for stretching.
- Warm-up 5 Minutes
- Stretch 5-10 Minutes
- Work Out, Train, or Play
- Cool Down- Light Cardio and Stretching 5 Minutes
Coming up next: how to warm-up and stretch.
Read Next: The 12 Commandments of Fitness