We all generally know the do’s and don’ts of warming up and cooling down: don’t dance cold. Wear layers to help acclimate your muscles. Don’t rely on barre to get you completely warm. Ice constricts, heat expands. Therabands, foam rollers, tennis balls--we know the drill.
But, when it comes to warming up, there are so many nuances that we don’t pay attention to. For example: did you know that, for some, using a foam roller BEFORE being fully warm is actually a horrible idea? It can apply unnecessary pressure, and doesn’t allow you to take advantage of your body’s already elongated muscles.
Here are four other key things to remember about stretching, warming up and cooling down that could change the way you treat your body:
It’s always good to push your limits, but there’s a really thin line between a great stretch and a pulled muscle.
Remember, heat expands and cold constricts. The occasional ice bath can help reduce inflammation, but doing them too often can cause you to tighten up. Plus -- studies have shown that they might not even be THAT good for you.
So remember: YOUR BODY is YOURS. Treat it like your temple. Go to the doctor. Work smart. Career longevity is the goal; don’t sacrifice it for just one day.