Effects of warm up and cool down

Young woman doing a warm up stretch

Training should be considered to be a very deliberate and controlled process, following precise guidelines. One of those guidelines is that every session starts with a warm up and ends with a cool down. Specific training methods are used to bring about specific outcomes and even the timing and order of when to use each training method can be planned to the finest detail.

Warm up

The illustration shows the three primary components of an effective warm up. All warm ups should last a minimum of ten minutes and typically are much longer.

Three primary components of an effective warm up - pulse raising activity, stretching and mobility exercises and sport specific activities.

Cool down

The illustration shows the three primary components of an effective cool down. Athletes always cool down following training and performance.

Three primary components of an effective cool down - light jog, stretching and refuelling.

Ice baths and massages are techniques that are also used to speed up the recovery process.

Jennis Ennis-Hill recovers in an ice bath after completing the heptathlon
Heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill cools down in an ice bath