Warm Up, Work Out, Cool Down

Personal Fitness-Senior Sem-Stec

Standards/Objectives/Essential Question

PA State Standards:

10.4.12.A and 10.4.12.B


Students will apply physiological principles of warm-up and cool-down to a fitness program.
Students will analyze the importance of warming up and types of warm-up exercises.

Essential Question:

Why is it important to have a structured exercise plan?

Vocabulary Words:
Warm Up
Active Warm Up
Passive Warm Up
Blood Pooling
Cardiovascular Cool-down
Stretching Cool-down

Components of a Complete Workout

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A complete workout includes the three main components: a warm-up, the workout itself, and a cool-down. In the above chart, it shows you one possible approach to a complete workout. It begins with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down. In this lesson you will learn more about each of these components.

Warm Up

The warm up is a portion of a complete workout that consists of a variety of low-intensity activities that prepares the body for physical work. A warm-up should always precede any moderate to vigorous activity. Unfortunately, many people warm up too quickly, or not at all. Why warm-up? The primary purpose of any warm-up is to raise your heart rate gradually before physical activity or exercise. This enables your muscles to work safely and more efficiently. Studies show that warming up helps minimize injuries, and helps reduce muscle soreness.

Types of Warm-Ups

There are two main methods of warming up, active and passive. An active warm-up raises body temperature by actively working the body systems centering on the muscles, skeleton, heart, and lungs. An active warm up in broken up into two phases:

  • Cardiovascular Phase: This is designed to gradually increase your heart rate and body temperature. It can include jogging slowly around a track, running in place or on a treadmill, or stationary cycling at low resistance.
  • Muscular-skeletal Phase: This designed to loosen up the muscles. A muscular-skeletal warm-up is performed by doing static stretches. These stretches are done smoothly and slowly.

A passive warm-up raises the body temperature through the use of outside heat sources. These include blankets, hot baths, saunas, or skin creams. The active warm-up is far more effective way of preparing your body of physical work.

Specific and General Warm-Ups

These are two types of active warm ups: specific and general. A specific warm up is structured primarily for skill or game oriented activities. For example: soccer players might start off with jogging, dribbling, passing, and then stretching. A general warm-up is less structured. It is usually used for individual physical activities. For example: runners might start off with running in place, calisthenics, and stretching.

Warming Up Guidelines

Like any other part of your workout, a warm-up should be done properly to reduce the risk of muscle injuries and soreness. Following the below guides in order to have a safe and effective warm-up.

  • Every warm-up should include a cardiovascular and muscular-skeletal phase.
  • Start slowly, and gradually increase intensity.
  • Warm up for five to fifteen minutes.
  • Design a specific warm-up intended for your exercise or physical activities.
  • Make your warm-up intensity high enough to produce an increase in heart and breathing rates and a light sweat.

The below chart is an example of a fitness prescription.

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The Workout

The workout phase of your fitness program is the period of time that you should spend daily, in physical activity or exercise. A well-designed workout phase should be based on scientific exercise principles. In the above chart, is a sample of a "fitness prescription". You might want to use this prescription in designing your workout.

The Cool Down

The cool down portion of your routine is every bit as important as the warm-up. Yet, as with the warm up, many people cool down too quickly or not at all. After every workout you should complete a well-designed cool-down to ensure a safe and effective recovery. The main job of the cool-down is the opposite of that of the warm-up: It is to lower your heart rate gradually. This gradual decrease will help you prevent blood pooling in the lower body. This is a condition in which blood collects in the large veins of the legs and lower body. Blood pooling can cause you to becoming dizzy and feel faint. That is because less blood is being pumped to your heart and brain.

Parts of the Cool-Down

Just like the warm-up, the cool-down has two phases. These are in the order in which the should occur:

  • The cardiovascular cool-down. A cardiovascular cool-down consists of moving about slowly and continuous for three to five minutes following physical activity or exercise. This can include, walking, standing in place and moving your feet up and down, or jogging slowly.
  • The stretching cool-down. The stretching cool-down involves three to five minutes of stretching. This will minimize stiffness and muscle soreness.

Assessment-20 points

Activity Directions
20 points
(10 points for each complete week)

Design a beginning activity/exercise plan. Prepare a detailed two week warm-up, workout, and cool-down program. Be as specific as possible when choosing activities and exercises. Use your knowledge and imagination to create a safe and effective personal fitness program. If you have any questions please contact me!

Example: Here is an example of 1 day, you should be creating a plan for 2 weeks: 14 days or 10 days if you are planning not to workout on the weekends.


Warm up:10 minute jog on the treadmill at a medium intensity and then stretch for 5 minutes.

Workout: I will take an hour hot yoga class at the gym. The intensity will be hard.

Cool down: I will finish by stretching again and then take a 5 minute walk on the treadmill at an easy intensity.