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Warm Up and Cool Down

The weather is getting nicer and that means more outdoor activities and sports. Whether you are playing on an organized sports team, going for a leisurely run or bike ride, or playing backyard football, performing a proper warm up and cool down is a critical part of preventing injuries. Here is a basic warm up and cool down program that you can perform. Feel free to adapt this to be more activity specific, for example more arm movements if your activity is heavily arm dependent.

Warm Up- This should be dynamic and require movement. You should expect an increase in your heart rate and possibly even sweating to occur by the end of your warm up to make sure you are ready to go!

- Jogging lightly

- High knees

- Butt kicks

- Straight leg kicks with opposite arm reach

- Sideways shuffling with arm movements like jumping jacks

- Karaoke/grapevine with arm movements side to side

- Open the gate/close the gate with hips

- Short sprints

- Activity specific drills

Cool Down- This is an opportunity to help your muscles cool down and return to a state of relative rest. Here you can perform more static stretches, being sure to stretch the major muscles that were exercised.

- Jogging lightly

- Calf stretch

- Quadriceps stretch- sitting or standing

- Hamstring stretch- sitting, standing, or leg on the wall

- Figure 4 hip stretch- sitting or lying on back

- Arm across body stretch

- Doorway pec stretch

- Wrist flexion/extension stretch

Use this program as a way to help your body prepare for and recover from exercise. This will not only help prevent injury but also help with improved activity performance! Bonus!

Happy Healing!

Kaitlin Wensinger, PT, DPT


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