Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Warm-Up & Cool Down

Whether you’re looking at starting to exercise, an elite athlete or you’re anywhere in between, you should never skip your warm-up and cool down. It may be tempting, especially if you’re excited to jump right into your training, or you’ve got plans afterwards, but skipping your warm-up or cool down can have some negative effects on your overall training.

Warm-ups can help reduce the risk of injury – by adequately warming up your muscles before exercise, the movements and strain you put on them are less severe. Cooling down after your session will help to slowly bring your heart rate and blood pressure back down to their normal level. On top of this, taking the time to cool down can also help minimise the possibility of muscle cramps and dizziness that may occur from your blood pressure dropping too quickly.

On the flip side, there are a wide range of benefits that you might see from warming up and cooling down.

Warm-Up Benefits

  • Improved performance on following days
  • Improved blood flow – your blood carries oxygen to your muscles to function, so improving blood flow is one of the best things you can do.
  • Increase elasticity of the tendons and ligaments

Cool-Down Benefits

  • Reduce DOMS – you can read our blog all about DOMS here for more information.
  • A great opportunity to improve flexibility – stretching while your muscles are still warm from your workout is ideal as you’ll be able to push them a little bit further than you would when completely cool
  • Stretching while your muscles are still warm also reduces the possibility of muscle cramps as it can reduce the buildup of lactic acid

We think it’s pretty clear that the benefits of warming up and cooling down are definitely worth it, so we highly recommend you set aside an extra 10 minutes before and after your training session to do so.

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