T Nation

Warm Ups and Cool Downs

strength

#1

What do you recommend for warm ups and cool downs? Should I stick to what I’ve got or adapt something else? Looking for the most ideal warm up & cool down before and after my lifts?
Sunday-Back
Monday- Off/ Yoga
Tuesday- Chest- hiit cardio bike
Wednesday- Legs
Thursday- Shoulders
Friday- Arms- hiit cardio treadmill
Saturday- Off/ Yoga

Warm Up: Light cardio 5-10 minutes or sauna 5 minutes then a light 10 minute dynamic warm up full body

Cool Down: 5-10 minute full body stretches then sauna 10 minutes


#2

I think it’s really individualized. There’s no one “best” way.

I warm up with a barbell complex with just the bar and then move into a 12 stretch sequence that flows that includes overhead squats and shoulder dislocates.

Cool down I run through my 12 stretch sequence again then at the end I hang from the bar to decompress my spine.

But I know a lot of guys on the forums use Limber 11, I used it for a bit too and it really works well. You can look into that if you need something more structured. Catalyst Athletics also has one that works really well.


#3

[quote=“b.sizzle, post:1, topic:227584”]
Should I stick to what I’ve got or adapt something else?[/quote]
Do you feel good during regular daily movement? Do you perform well in the gym? Do you have more joint pain after training than before? If any answer is no, change something. Otherwise, you’re probably on track.

This could mean anything. “Dynamic” as in plyo/medicine ball drills? Or “dynamic” as in just moving around.

In general, warm-ups should progress from very general (get blood flowing all over) to very specific (target bodyparts to be trained that day and/or address any individual problem areas like bad back, shoulders, etc.)

I’d say cooldowns are over-rated, but I don’t really think coaches go out of their way to recommend specific cooldowns so they’re not really rated much in the first place.

For me, a day’s general warm-up consists of the 5-minute walk from my house to the gym, a few reps of unweighted reverse lunges with arms overhead, a few reps of plank variations that use arm and leg movement, and the cat/camel drill. And then warm-up sets before most individual exercises.

On occasional upper body days, I’ll add band rows and band chest presses each for 1-2x20-30. On days when I squat, I add in old fashioned one-leg hip circles, clockwise and counter-clockwise each side. Like these, but not usually oceanfront or treetop:

My cooldown is the 5-minute walk from the gym back home, that’s it.


#4

A warmup should consist mainly of mobility exercise, what these exercise are depends on your mobility and what you are training for. For instance every warmup I do:

Band pull-aparts
External shoulder rotations
Shoulder dislocations
20sX2 adductor stretch - both
Fire Hydrants
Goblet squat static holds
BW Split squats
Warm-up with whatever movement I have first

This is not necessary for everyone as we are all different. You need to find your problem areas and work on them. Analyse yourself and see what’s sore, or where’s stiff etc.

I don’t see the point in cool downs unless it’s heavy CV exercise you are doing.