By Aaron Mehl
Contributor, Sports and Fitness Network
Go into a commercial gym, any gym really, and you’ll probably see the same thing. A bunch of people with different individual goals trying to achieve them using all different equipment and methods, right? Have you ever actually LOOKED and what people are doing, though? Often times the best of intentions in training can be mired by improper programming.
Correct exercise order seems like a basic idea, but it is often done incorrectly. Here is a brief introduction on how a proper training session should go.
Any training session should begin with a dynamic warm-up. Whether you choose to use one of the millions of versions on YouTube or you have formulated your own, a warm up must (a) raise the body’s core temperature at least 1 degree Celsius, and (b) take the joints through a significant range of motion to get them ready to exercise. This is where static stretching becomes insignificant. If you are going on a slow long distance run, then the jury is still out as to how static stretching before will either help or hinder you, but for all other exercise, you do not want your muscles cold and stretched out.
After a proper dynamic warmup, here is how a training session should go:
- Explosive Lift (Olympic lifts, box jumps, medicine ball throws, etc)
- Multi joint strength and power “core” lifts (squat, bench, military press, deadlift, etc)
- Multi joint assistance lifts (step ups, good mornings, close grip pushups, etc)
- Single joint assistance lifts (bicep curls, leg extensions, tricep rope press down, etc)
- Prehab movements (rotator cuff, knee, ankle mobility, etc)
Ideally you would do any cardio or conditioning work on a separate day, but if you have to do it all in one day than you must decide what your goal is. If your run times are up and you need more conditioning you may have to do that before any lifting. Most athletes will emphasize the conditioning after they train as lifting will only slightly take away from conditioning, whereas conditioning before lifting can be more detrimental to the progress of strength and power.
Planning a workout using proper exercise selection can help to maximize progress while reducing the risk of injuries over time. Placing exercises in the right order means that your body will become properly conditioned to do what you ask of it without getting injured. Train safe, train smart, and train hard.