Workout warmups and cooldowns

You need to take time to both warm up before and cool down after your workouts.  This is because you perform at a higher level after a warmup and recover better and quicker after a proper cooldown.  

Your warmup can be either the same or different from your workout.   I suggest changing between the two options.  Sometimes do a warmup with different types of exercises as you will be doing in your workout, and sometimes just do a lighter version of your workout.  By lighter I mean this:  If, for instance, you are using our fitness sandbags in your workout, use a small sandbag for the warmup before using a medium or large sandbag in your workout.  

The other way to do a warmup is to do different exercises altogether.  I often use medicine balls that I have made by filling basketballs with sand for my warmup. Here is a more detailed account of my two warmups.

The first warmup is usually done indoors.  But of course it can be done outdoors, too.  I take my smallest medicine ball and do a series of circular movements with it around my head like a tornado, around both sides both ways, and around my frontside both ways.  Then I do 3 sets of 10 mountain climbers.  Then I take the medium medicine ball and do figure eights in front of me and tornados over my head.  Then I do swings in front of me and overhead.  Then I take the largest medicine ball, weighing over 35 pounds, and do x-lifts with it, going both ways.  Then I take the medium medicine ball and make circles around and in front of me.  Then I am ready to do the workout.

The other warmup I often do is done outdoors.  After doing the circular moves with a rock instead of the medicine ball, I do the mountain climbers.  Then I take an old 18" pickup truck tire and do smackdowns with it.  I do ten of these before moving on to the next warmup exercise.  Next I take the pickup truck tire and do ten lateral throws with it.  This really gets the body ready for a workout.  After this warmup I do an outdoor workout.

My cooldown is often a walk up and down my hilly driveway 3 times, with stretching at the top.   I use the side of my truck to stretch on.  Then I take the small medicine ball and do the series of circular movements overhead, to the sides, and to the front of my body.  

At night before bed on workout days I take the small medicine ball and do the overhead, side, and frontside circular movements.  This helps me sleep better and wake up with a minimum of soreness from a tough workout.  And of course this gets me ready for the next workout.  

Being ready for both the current and next workout is the objective of warming up and cooling down.  It is important to be flexible and ready to do both this and future workouts.  By keeping from being sore, we are ready for the next workout.  This is how we KEEP IT FUN!  See more training advice here.

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