Warmup, Stretching & Cool Down

 

 

Warming Up (Page 2 of 3)

 

Never start an exercise routine as hard and as fast as you can i.e. at full intensity. Even if you are tight for time, it is far better to shorten a workout than commence it without a warm up. A slow progressive increase in intensity will allow muscles to stretch and warm to their optimal condition. This can take the form of light rowing, a brisk walk, light cycle or jog. On the WaterRower this can include a light row with slide work, technique and drills.

 

A warm up should last between 5 and 10 minutes and needs to be specific to the main workout. For example, if the workout is a high intensity session, bursts of high intensity strokes should be included towards the end of the warm up.

 

Benefits of warming up

• helps prevent injuries such as muscle tears and strains

• lowers the strain on the heart as the heart rate is slowly raised into the training zone

• directs blood to the muscles so they have fuel and oxygen to work optimally

• aids and improves flexibility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretching

 

As with all training, the importance of stretching and mobilization cannot be over emphasized. Stretching can be included when warming up, recent research states that there are no real benefits from static stretching when warming up. However, stretching is essential when cooling down.

 

Remember, the stretch should only go as far as feels comfortable. If the limb being stretched begins to shake or tremble then it is being over stretched and the stretch should be released slightly. Warm up stretches should follow 5 to 6 minutes of aerobic warm-up (e.g. rowing at a gentle pace). Cool down stretches should be held for 15-20 seconds.

 

As flexibility improves it should be possible to extend the stretches further. Particularly relevant to rowing are hamstring, lower back, gluteals and shoulder stretches.

 

At WaterRower we have designed a 10 stretch sequence which follows.

 

 

 

Neck - Neck Side Stretch
















in a seated position, facing forward, shoulders relaxed • tilt head to one side, ear towards the shoulder
• feel a gentle stretch on the other side of the neck
• think of relaxing both shoulders
• to assist the stretch, place the opposite hand on the head
• hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat the other side

 

 

 

 

Shoulder - Accross the Body Shoulder Stretch

















in a seated position, with shoulders relaxed
• extend one arm up and across the chest under the chin
• use the other arm to assist the stretch
• hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat the other side

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tricep - Behind the Neck Stretch

















in a seated position, with shoulders relaxed
• lift one arm up and bend behind the back of the neck
• reach the hand down the spine
• support the stretch by positioning the opposite hand on the elbow
• hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat the other side

 

 

 

Chest -Behind the Back Stretch
















in a seated position with shoulders relaxed
• clasp the hands behind the back
• lift your arms as high as you can behind you
• relax the neck and shoulders

• gently life the arms up behind you till you feel a stretch across the shoulders and chest
• squeeze the shoulders blades together
• hold for 15-20 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upper Back - Rounded Upper Back Stretch
















in a seated position with shoulders relaxed
• clasp your hands in front of your body
• stretch out your arms upwards and forward
• round your upper back, gently pulling shoulder blades apart
• relax your head, neck and shoulders
• hold position for 15-20 seconds

 

 

 

Hamstring - Seated Hamstring Stretch

• in a seated position, with the head up and back straight
• position one foot on the footboard at a height convenient for you
• the opposite leg should be bent with foot firmly on the ground for support
• a stretch should be felt at the back of the extended leg
• to increase the stretch, pivot forward at the hips keeping head up and back straight
• hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat with the other leg

 

 

 

Quadriceps - Seated Quadriceps Stretch

in a seated position on the WaterRower
• bend one leg bringing the heel towards the buttock
• the knee resting of the side of the rail
• use the other leg for support and stability
• keep sitting tall, with head up
• to increase the stretch push the hips forward
• hold for 15-20 seconds and alternate between legs (if uncomfortable this stretch can be done standing)

 

 

 

 

Gluteal - Cross Over Stretch

• in a seated position on the WaterRower
• lift one leg up and position the ankle across the opposite bent leg
• keep the supporting leg firmly in position and keep sitting tall with head up
• you should feel a stretch lower down in the gluteals of the crossed leg
• use your hands to support the crossed leg and assist the stretch by gently pushing down on the knee
• hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat to the other side

 

 

 

 

 

Calf - Seated Calf Stretch

• seated on the WaterRower
• position one foot on the footboard at a height convenient for you
• lift the toe off the footboard keeping the heel in position
• slowly reach forward taking hold of the toe - a stretch should be felt in the calf/lower leg
• use the other leg for support and stability
• to increase the stretch gently pull the toe a little more towards you
• hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat with the other leg

 

 

 

Lower Back - Cobra Lower Back Stretch

lie face down (on the floor/carpet/mat)
• spread hands apart, elbows adjacent to the shoulders
• lift the shoulders from the ground with your arms
• keep your head up and the hips on the ground
• relax the abdomen and back into the stretch

 

 

 

 

 

Cooling Down

 

In much the same way as warming up prepared the muscles for a work out, cooling down prepares muscles for rest. It allows the blood to be rerouted from the muscles to the rest of the body to restore the balance.

 

Cooling down correctly will prevent the accumulation of waste products such as lactic acid from the workout, reducing the onset of stiffness and soreness.

 

Normal heart rate should be achieved through a 5 to 10 minute low intensity exercise cool down. Follow this with stretching, focusing on the muscles used (specifically lower back, hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteals). Hold the stretches for at least 20 seconds or more.

 

Benefits of cooling down

• decreases stiffness after exercise

• help prevent injuries such as muscle tears and strains

• aids and improves flexibility

• allows the body to remove harmful waste products, e.g. lactic acid





Additional information