If you hit the gym focused solely on your workout, you’re not alone. Warm-up and recovery are often overlooked, but they are a key part of your gym routine and will have a huge impact on your results. We’d like to encourage you to add an extra 15-20 minutes to your gym visit and make time for warm-up and recovery.
Pre-Workout Warm Up
You just arrived at the gym and are ready to work out. You might be tempted to skip a warm-up and get your sweat on. But by skipping your warm-up, you’re increasing your risk of injury, and you’re putting more strain on your muscles. Taking 10 minutes to mentally prepare for your workout and prime your body will help you build strength and improve your performance.
Engage all the muscles in your lower body. Start by going halfway down and increase to full squats. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, your feet turned out slightly to open the hip joint. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, then return to the starting position.
Planks are a great warm-up for building back strength and building your core. Try doing your plank next to a mirror so you can watch your form. Plant your hands or forearms directly under your shoulders. Ground your toes on the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. You should have a straight line from your head to your heels.
Get your blood flowing and literally warm up your muscles. Take a brisk walk on the treadmill, spend a few minutes on the elliptical, or hop on a bike and cycle.
There are many benefits to regular stretching. Not only can stretching help increase your flexibility, which is an important factor of fitness, but it can also increase flexibility, increase range of motion, increase blood flow to your muscles and improve your posture. Stretch it out with our instructors.
Recovery after any exercise is key for muscle and tissue repair. While you may be ready to rush to the shower after an intense workout, making time to recover should be a part of your routine. Recovery is a time to cool down, optimize the results from your workout and reduce your risk of injury.
When you finish a great workout, chances are you lost a lot of fluid. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body. We encourage you to stay hydrated during your workout and keep that hydration going after you leave the gym.
After a tough workout, consider gentle stretching. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover and reduce muscle stiffness. Post-workout, static stretches are best. Hold these stretches for at least 15-20 seconds, and be gentle with yourself.
Overhead triceps stretch
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and roll your shoulders back and down to release any tension. Reach your right arm up to the ceiling, then bend your elbow to bring your right palm down toward the center of your back. Bring your left hand up to gently pull your right elbow downwards.
Seated butterfly stretch
Sit on the floor with your back straight and your core engaged. Place the soles of your feet together in front of you. Let your knees bend out to the sides. Place your hands on your feet as you pull your heels toward you, letting your knees relax and inch closer to the floor.
Head to knee forward bend
Sit on a yoga mat or other comfortable surface. Extend your left leg out in front of you, and place the sole of your right foot on the inside of your left thigh. Inhale and lift your arms overhead. Exhale as you lengthen your spine and bend forward at your hips.
Try a Recovery Class
Slow down so you can ramp it up. Recovery will help you facilitate blood flow and speed up the healing of muscles. Our trained coach will lead you through a low-intensity class focused on increased functional recovery. Benefits include stress reduction, improved performance, and enhanced mind/body connection. Take some time to reset with our Full-Body Recovery Class.
Take your workout to the next level by making time for warm-up and recovery. In addition to all the benefits listed above, both post and pre-workout routines are great for your heart. By slowly raising your heart rate with your warm-up and slowly lowering it again in your cool-down, you minimize stress on your heart. Give a pre-workout warm-up and post-workout recovery a go, we promise you won’t be disappointed.