Warming Up & Cooling Down

To ensure optimal performance and safe participation in sports and workouts, it is important that you warm up prior to and cool down after you break a sweat.

The objective of your warm up is to raise your heart rate and core temperature to get the blood flowing for your workout. Think of it as warming up your car on a January morning in Pittsburgh: while your car can still start immediately, the performance of your car largely improves when you give it a few minutes to warm up. This is exactly how your body reacts to a warm up: it will improve performance and health.

The best thing about a warm-up routine is that you can create a routine and replicate it each time you work out. Create or use a routine that you can stick to. For your next run, try this routine:

1. 2-3 minute jog
2. Then complete 2-3 cycles of the following:

  • 10 leg swings (forward/backward and side to side)
  • 10 High knees
  • 10 Toy soldier
  • 10 Reverse lunges
  • 10 Air squats
  • 10 Open the gate
  • 10 Close the gate
  • 10 Core rotation
  • 10 Arm circles (forward and backward)

So you’ve warmed up, completed your run and are heading to your car or into your home, but WAIT. Do you remember being tight, sore, or in pain the day after you completed your last run? Properly cooling down and stretching will help combat that by bringing your core temperature and heart rate down while also reducing the lactic acid that’s been built up in your muscles.

Here is an easy cool down routine that you can implement after each time you run or work out.

1. 5-10 minute walk
2. Hold each of the following stretches for 30 seconds to 1 minute:

  • Low lunge/runners lunge
  • Downward dog
  • Figure 4
  • Butterfly stretch
  • 90/90 stretch
  • Supine twist

Now you’re ready to move!


by Coach Derrick Shoffner