Tricks of the Trade
We do a dynamic warm-up to raise body temperature, which raises heart rate and increases circulation to muscles, tendons and ligaments. A dynamic warm-up also helps prepare the mind and body for the upcoming workout, enhances performance and reduces injuries.
I even use dynamic warm-ups when I teach yoga. Most Baby Boomers (and I am one of them) need dynamic warm-ups.
We do static stretching at the end or after a particular exercise (such as triceps or lower-back exercises), as needed. Stretching works better when muscles are warm, and it is a great way to bring body temperature down and to relax before going on with the day.
Keene Yoga Center
Owner, Lean and Serene Personal Training
Keene, New Hampshire
Some clients do a light warm-up on the bike or treadmill or on a machine of their preference, and others perform a dynamic warm-up. It depends on many variables.
I feel it’s important for clients to warm up not just to prepare their bodies, but also to get into the right mindset. It’s like telling your body: “Here we are. Get ready. It’s my time now to just be me, myself.”
I always have my clients cool down and/or I assist them with stretching during the last 5–7 minutes of the session. I also instruct them to stretch lightly between exercises.
Personal Fitness Training Ltd.
Dynamic movements that relate to the exercises in the session help recruit the right muscles for the task in the right way. A generic warm-up is no way to get the most out of an athlete or a client.
Founder, Circuband Limited
Canterbury and West Coast, New Zealand
I have clients do a general warm-up on their own on a piece of cardio equipment or outside before our workout. Then we start their session with workout-specific dynamic stretching. We do static stretching at the end of the session, depending on the client’s specific needs.
Reach Multisport & Personal Training
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
It depends on the clients and how they are moving that day. If they are feeling well and move well during the dynamic warm-up, then we just move forward with the workout and stretch afterward. If they are not moving well, we’ll also do a little corrective stretching and perhaps work with a foam roller. The main issue is time and how much the clients do on their own. I coach my warriors (clients) to move a little before we meet and to do their own assessment and corrections, if possible. This allows for maximum work time!
Jacob Ben Trione
Triaffect Fitness, Health and Wellness
Clear Lake City, Texas
We never perform static stretching before a workout. Clients warm up through dynamic stretching, opening up their range of motion, and then we move into some light cardio to continue the warm-up. After the workout, we go through a deep, 10-minute static stretch.
I find that static stretches are worthless before a workout because the body isn’t warm enough to benefit from them. I start workouts with a warm-up of light cardio and dynamic stretching. After the workout comes a series of deep static stretches that hit all the major muscle groups.
We always do massages and stretches on our VibroGym® and/or the ViPR™ at the beginning and end of our sessions. This ensures clients are warmed up and reduces their risk of injury and delayed onset muscle soreness.
Co-Owner and Fitness Coach, Aurora Active
How we stretch depends on my clients. Most of my clients have disabilities such as cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. Sometimes I ask them to stretch before and after a workout, depending on their muscle tone. We definitely stretch after the workout so that they leave with relaxed muscles.
President, Stress Management Institute for Health and Fitness Professionals™
Williamstown, New Jersey
I do dynamic stretching for 90% of my clients. For people with injuries or known imbalances, we stretch to realign (one-sided, for instance). Some older adults have ankles that are stiff due to age-related mobility decline, and some people sit too much at work or home. For these clients, we stretch their target areas so they can move better. For them, we do dynamic stretching, foam rolling and specific stretching.
Debra Atkinson, MS
Personal Trainer, RallySport Health and Fitness Club
CEO, The Voice for Fitness
I never start my clients or classes off with static stretching. However, I don’t always go into full-blown dynamic stretching either. Depending on the time of day or the client, I will first start with some sort of balance, rolling, mobility or primal movement.
My Pilates clients have all they need included throughout their sessions—from footwork as a warm-up to stretching. For the more athletic client, I always incorporate some form of dynamic warm-up and then some static stretching or PNF stretching at the end.
Owner, HEYlifetraining Pilates & Wellness
Silver Spring, Maryland
I like clients to do a little light cardio first and then some dynamic stretching. We may do foam rolling and static stretching at the end of a workout. It all really depends on the clients and their current needs.
MediFit Corporate Services
I include self myofascial release (foam rolling) and active-isolated or dynamic stretching in clients’ sessions. This usually takes 10–15 minutes, depending on the number of exercises. I want to increase heart and respiration rates, increase tissue temperature and psychologically prepare the client for physical activity.
I usually save static stretching to increase muscle length and joint range of motion (if muscle imbalances or tight muscles have been assessed) for the end of the workout, along with more self myofascial release. Of course, every client is different.
Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist
Health Fitness Specialist, Pitney Bowes Fitness Center
I like to use foam roller techniques and then “mobilize” through movement patterns that get all the motor neurons to turn on the motor units in a sequential manner. If clients show up having had little sleep or if they have poor nutrition or are sore from a hard workout the day before, I implement more recovery work with foam rolling and static stretching at the end of their session.
Director, Global Business Development, PTA Global
We do foam rolling for 10 minutes; a 10- to 15-minute dynamic warm-up; the main workout/training series; and then we end the workout with static stretching, using movements in all planes of motion. We follow that with relaxation, deep breathing and/or meditation.
Amber Hardin Kivett
Kivett Kinetic Solutions
After thousands of hours of training, I still find that the best starting point for a non-cardio-based workout is basic rhythmical movement that preps joints and raises core temperature. It’s also a good time to rehearse some basic movement patterns.
Strength & Conditioning Coach, FC Trois Lacs Soccer Club
Owner, Churchill Fitness Agency