Prior to any activity, it is helpful to "warm up" the muscles you will be using. This may be as simple as doing some calf rasies or a few squats, or more involved depending on the nature of the activity.
Your warm-up should target the muscle groups that you will be using most during the activity.
For example, let's consider jogging or running. This is primarily a leg-dominant exercise. It would be important to take a few minutes to work the muscles at the ankle/foot (calf raises, and/or calf/hamstring stretch), knees (squats, lunges, knee to chest, and/or quad stretch), and hips (lunges, deep lunge, squats, leg kicks, knee to chest, glute stretch, and/or hip rotators forward/back). (See our exercise sheet for images of some of these exercises.
For activities such as golf, it would be important to warm up the trunk (standing trunk rotations, left and right), arms/shoulder (reaching overhead, across the chest, and wall push-ups).
When you are finished with an activity, it is helpful to "cool down" by stretching the muscles that were most used during the activity.
After a jog/run, this would include walking several minutes followed by stretching the legs: calf muscles, thigh muscles (front and back) and hip muscles.
Stretches after an activity should be slow and gentle, typically held for twenty seconds. This aids in recovery and stimulates the muscles to relax and return to their resting length.
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