Following figure shows exercise sequence.
This sequence should be followed religiously to not only improve fitness and performance but also to minimise the risk of injury.
|Dynamic Stretching ( Movement Preparations )|
|Plyometric ( Jump Exercises)|
|Physical Activity / Workout / Play|
|Recovery or Regeneration|
Note that it includes dynamic stretching, cooling-down and static stretching in addition to warm up.
A warm-up gradually increases muscle temperature, metabolism, and blood flow to prepare you for exercise and lengthen short, tight muscles. Warm-up for at least 5 to 10 minutes before workout / play.
A cool-down is important because it help reduce muscle soreness after your workout/play. Cool-down for at least 5 minutes by exercising at a light pace using the same muscles just exercised
** Recovery or Regeneration is one of the most neglected factor in completing exercise cycle. It makes you feel better throughout the day as there will be no signs of fatigue or tiredness after recovery. It also keep you ready for another session of workout. Following are the various ways of recovery or regeneration.
a. Nutrition : Click here for food fundamentals and nutritious diets
b. Static Stretching :
Rest is an exceedingly important factor in recovery from strenuous workouts. Hard workout days should be followed by easy workout days or rest to give your body time to fully recover.
Training and detraining are responsible for gains and losses, respectively, in fitness levels. Training according to the FITT Principle guidelines will lead to optimal fitness benefits. On the other hand, decreases in fitness due to detraining occur at twice the rate of training gains when physical activity stops completely. In one study, an Olympic rower hit peak fitness during the Games, then took an 8 week hiatus from training. It took him 20 weeks to return to his previous fitness level !
The VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption as measured during incremental exercise. Studies of runners show VO2 max drops about 6% after 4 weeks2, 19% after 9 weeks3 and by 11 weeks of no running, drops by 20-25%! However, any deficit caused by taking a couple of weeks off at the end of the season or for an injury, can be made up with a few weeks of good training.
Detraining can be minimised by maintaining your usual exercise intensity, even if the frequency and duration of workouts is decreased.
Reference : Peak Performance Through Nutrition and Exercise by Anita Singh, Ph.D., RD, Tamara L. Bennett, M.S. and Patricia A. Deuster, Ph.D., M.P.H. Department of Military and Emergency Medicine Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine