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Remember to Do Some Cardio Before Strength Training

Even though strength training seems like low impact exercise that doesn't mean you should skip out on warming up. Start off with at least five minutes of brisk walking, jogging, biking, or jumping rope. Here are some reasons why:

  • A cardio warm-up raises muscle temperature, which helps your muscles contract more forcibly and relax more quickly. You'll feel stronger and reduce the risk of overstretching or tearing a muscle.
  • Aerobic activity raises your body temperature, which improves your muscles' elasticity and helps prevent injury. This also helps prevent muscle stiffness later.
  • It raises your blood temperature, so your blood can't hold as much oxygen. This means there's slightly more oxygen available to your working muscles, so your performance and endurance are enhanced.

With all those different rises in temperature, you can definitely see why it is called "warming up." There are more benefits to doing a little cardio before your strength training, so read more.

  • A warm up improves your range of motion around your joints.
  • It dilates your blood vessels, which lowers stress on your heart.
  • It increases the production of the hormones responsible for regulating energy, which makes more carbs and fatty acids available for use.
  • It energizes your body and mind, making you more alert and focused, which enables you to have correct form and move with control.

I generally do 10 minutes on the elliptical before hitting the free weights. What about you?


lulabernie lulabernie 8 years
I always lifted weights prior to cardio. I tend to exercise indoors this time of year and don't have an elliptical or treadmill. I may try to get a jump rope...
glitter-junkie glitter-junkie 8 years
I do 15 minutes on the cross-trainer. I always push it really hard for some reason - maybe because I think I'm doing less cardio so I need to step it up? Then I do my weights, then my arms, then the wave stepper and then some abdominal work. It definitely helps me feel good the next day rather than achey - even when I've upped my weights and done a really hard session!
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
I always do 40 minutes on the ellipitcal regardless. :shrug:
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
Kind of random, but when I look at that picture I can almost feel my bare toes being hit by the jump rope! When I was a gymnast we used to warm up sometimes by jumping rope before we did conditioning.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I jump rope for 5-10 minutes before doing my strength work. That usually gets my blood flowing.
xtinabeena xtinabeena 8 years
5+ minute jog/bike
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