There are three parts to your workout routine – the warm up – the exercise – the cool down! Always make sure you warm up before a work out and cool down afterwards!
Warming up is a must before you do any workout - take a look at the guide below to make sure you are all set and warmed up before you begin exercising!
You must warm up before any interval training and toning workout. If you are doing them together, warm up first, then do your interval training, then your toning and cool down.
To warm up...
- Do the activity you are about to do at a lower intensity. If doing interval training that means walking, running etc at an easy pace with small movements, gradually increasing your pace and stride
- Always be thinking about your posture - shoulders down, hold tummy in and look straight ahead
- If doing just toning exercises then go through the toning exercises without any resistance or just holding for one to two seconds. Use small movements and gradually increase. Keep repeating for a minimum of six minutes.
Or if you want to to try something a little different:
- March on the spot for one minute, whilst rolling shoulders back
- Curl your legs back for one minute
- Lift your knees and rotate at the waist - elbow to knee with chest lifted – for one minute
- Tap your toes behind you, gradually lengthening your legs further behind for one to two minutes
- Slow the above movement down by finishing on a lunging action where you feel length in your leg as you lunge back, alternating legs for one minute
Cooling down is also a must after any workout - take a look at the guide below to make sure you are all set to cool down.
To Cool Down...
- Walk around or lower the intensity of your activity for two - three minutes until your heart rate and breathing has returned to a rested or normal pace
- Now do some stretches, making sure you hold each one for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure you take deep slow breaths, relax and hold your inner core
- Calf stretch: Lean against a wall with your arms outstretched in front, right leg bent in front, left leg straight behind you. Lean into the stretch, pushing hips forward – you should be forming a straight line from your shoulder to your heel. Feel a stretch from the back of your left knee, down to your ankle. Hold and change legs
- Front thigh stretch: Place your right hand on a wall or chair for support. Bend your left leg and hold onto your ankle behind you. If you can’t reach, hold onto the back of your shoe or simply rest your lower leg on a chair with your leg bent in the same position. Push your hips forward and lift up your tummy. Hold and change sides
- Back of thigh stretch: Stretch your left leg out in front of you, resting your heel on the floor or a low stool/chair. Lean forward with a tall back, maintaining a neutral spine and rest your hands on your knees. Pull your tummy in and push your bottom back to feel a stretch in the back of your left thigh. Hold and change sides
- Bum stretch: Hold onto a sturdy support - kitchen sink is ideal! Cross your left ankle over your right thigh, knee out to the side. Sit back, into a squat position, keeping your back tall and tummy in. Feel a stretch deep into your bum. Hold and change sides
- Back stretch: Go into a half squat position, bending at the knees slightly, bottom back, hands on thighs. Hinge forward at the hips to bring your back into a horizontal position. Now curl your back up like a cat, dropping your tail bone and head. Slowly come back into a neutral position where your tail and head are lifted. Repeat slowly two – four times
- Chest stretch: Stand tall, take your hands behind you and place into the small of your back. Squeeze your shoulder blades/elbows together. Alternatively, place your left forearm vertically on a wall, elbow bent at 90 degrees. Turn your torso away from your arm to feel a stretch in your shoulder and chest. Hold and change sides
- Tricep (back arm) and waist stretch: Take your left arm up and over your head and bend your elbow to bring your hand between your shoulder blades. Gently pull your elbow across to the right with your left hand. For an extra stretch, lift your left ribs away from your left hip to feel a stretch in your waist. Hold and change sides
- Neck and shoulder stretch: Draw your shoulders back and down and gently take your head to the right, easing your right ear towards your right shoulder. For an extra stretch, press your left shoulder gently back and down with your right hand. Hold and change sides.