WARMING UP AND COOLING DOWN
Warming up and cooling down before and after every training session helps to increase blood flow around the body.
This means the muscles and tissues can move with more freedom and are less prone to wear and tear.
There are four main areas to work on:
- Warm ups should begin with easy aerobic activity - for example, jogging for five to 15 minutes.
- Gentle stretching exercises.
Make sure you stretch each of the main muscle groups you will use in training.
So if you are working on your shoulders then stretch your shoulder, back and neck muscles.
These stretches should last for between 10-15 seconds. The whole warm up routine should ideally last between 10-15 minutes.
- Cooling down at the end of a training session or competition helps avoid injuries.
It helps the body dispose of waste products that have built up in the muscles while exercising which can help prevent soreness over the next few days.
The cool-down is similar to the warm up in that it involves light aerobic exercise to gradually reduce your heart rate and gentle stretching.