Warm-Up 2 Stay Up, Cool-Down & Stay Sound

Important Dynamic Warm-Up & A Cool Down When Exercising

Why even bother to warm-up before exercise?

A warm-up is brief, but the 5-15 minutes an individual utilizes before a workout can be the difference between getting injured or not getting injured.  The purpose of a warm-up is to elevate the muscles’ temperature and increase blood flow to the muscles that an individual plans on using when engaging in a workout.  It can also reduce the strain that is put on the heart when an individual is exercising and reduce the risk of muscle or tendinous injuries.


Keys to a proper dynamic warm-up:

  • Start from single joint movements and move to multi-joint movements.
  • Begin with low-intensity exercises and gradually move to higher intensity exercise.
  • Make sure to include sport specific movements.
  • Static stretching before properly warming up the muscle can cause more harm than good.
  • It is DYNAMIC, which means exercises/stretches should involve the body moving!
  • Proper technique and form is important in order to prevent injury and for the exercise to serve its purpose.

List of some Dynamic Warm-up Exercises:

Arm circles forward/backwards        Squats                        

Sprints (50%, 75% & Full Speed)

Arm over/unders                               Calf-stretch

Hamstring Stretch

Trunk Twists                                     Carioca     

Quadricep Stretch

Push-ups                                           High Knees

Lateral slides                                     Butt Kicks

Lateral Lunges                                  High Skips

Forward Lunges                                Quick skips


So why spend the extra time to do a cool-down?

A cool-down is also a brief 5-15 minutes that immediately follows a workout.  The purpose of a cool-down is to lower the body’s temperature back to a resting state and to allow blood flow to go from the working muscles back towards the heart.  While an individual exercises, blood is mainly distributed to the muscles that are being utilized.  After a workout seizes, the blood that was distributed to the muscles tends to pool in the blood vessels that deliver blood, oxygen and nutrients that serve the muscles that are used.  If an individual fails to allow blood to redistribute back to the heart following a workout, it can lead to syncope (fainting).  A cool-down allows your body to gradually return back to its original resting state.


Keys to a proper Cool-Down:

  • Low-intensity stretches
  • Avoid bouncing stretches
  • Hold for 30 sec count and relax for a 10 sec count
  • Know your body and what your flexibility and tolerance is
  • Stretch bilaterally, or on both sides
  • Utilizing a partner can be very helpful and allow an individual to get a better stretch that they would not have gotten if stretching individually!


List of possible Cool-down stretches:

Arm across the body            

“Figure Four”/ Piriformis Stretch

Arm behind the head           


“Bend down and touch your toes”        

6-point stance

Spread legs and touch the ground            


Side lunge                              

Butterfly with one leg out

Calf stretch         

Lay on ground and put leg across body

Lower back stretch (with partner)                     

Quadricep Stretch

Hamstring Stretch (with partner)  

Adductor/Groin Stretch




·      Back is straight, posture is good

·      Knee and hip are at 90 degrees

·      Knee does not go over toes


·      Trunk is slightly flexed

·      Knees and hips are not at 90 degrees

·      Knee is over toes

·      Feet are to close together



·      Thighs are at least parallel with the floor

·      Feet are slightly rotated out

·      Knees are in line with the toes

·      Weight is in the heels


·      Knees are falling to the inside

·      Legs are rotated to far out

·      Trunk is flexed to far

Basic Stretches After A Cool-Down

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Piriformis Stretch

Calf Stretch

Sigle Knee To Chest Stretch

Lying Leg-Cross IT-Band/Low-Back Stretch 

Sitting Hamstring Stretch

Abdominal Stretch

Posterior Deltoid/Shoulder Stretch

Hip-Flexor Stretch

Low-Back/Hips/Lats Stretch

Triceps Stretch

Buddy Stretch Examples