5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

Exercising is one of the most important habits that a person can develop. Regular workouts help the body to build strength and muscle, fight off diseases and remain healthier overall. While working out is an integral part of losing weight and staying healthy, there are other things that can be done to help facilitate this process. Here are five things you should be doing before and after an intense workout. 

1. Sleep 

When trying to lose weight or gain muscle, people tend to forget the importance of sleep. Even the most dedicated people will focus all of their attention on diet and exercise. While these are two critical components of a great routine, sleep cannot be forgotten. During this time, the body is able to repair worn-down muscles and other cells within the body. Sleep is also a time when the brain can reset to ensure all bodily functions are running smoothly and properly. This recovery opportunity becomes even more important when undergoing intense workouts. The body needs more sleep and rest when more energy is being used. Experts recommend around 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night for adults. 

2. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! 

Preparing a healthy diet is a critical component of maintaining a good physique and making the most of an intense workout routine. However, many people make the mistake of stopping there and paying no attention to proper hydration. While calories are critical, it can be argued that hydration is even more important. After all, the body can survive for twice as long without food as it can without water. As the primary energy source for the human body, the importance of proper hydration should be clear. It is recommendable to be consuming water before, during and after an intense workout routine. 

3. Stretching 

Exercising doesn’t have to start and end in the gym. There are still exercises and movements that can be performed before and after the primary routine. Those who workout and forgo stretching are on a collision course for trouble. When people exercise, their muscles are being stressed, pulled and flexed. While this stress can promote growth and an increase in strength, there are some other components involved. Before and after a routine, it is important to stretch the body parts and muscles that are involved in that day’s exercises. Refusing to stretch can lead to pulls, tears or other potential issues. Stretching only requires a few minutes of time and can lead to a world of benefits. 

4. Tracking 

It is helpful to imagine a workout routine like a plan of attack. The exercises used during the routine can be likened to specific chess moves. Each movement is a small step towards an overall goal for the workout. Whether the goal is to lose weight or build muscle, each exercise in the workout routine should be working towards that goal. A great way to achieve this plan of action is by tracking your progress. These logs have been proven to increase the chances of people achieving their goals. Planning can be done before a workout by outlining the routine for the day. After the workout, it is important to write down whether the performance lived up to expectations or fell short. This tracking helps individuals to track their progress and make adjustments when needed. Without this overview, people are essentially working in the dark without a clear direction. 

5. Supplementation 

With proper hydration, an intense workout routine and a clean diet, most people would assume their fitness goals are maximized. In reality, there is still more that can be done to help those goals become a reality. Supplements help the human body to receive vitamins, minerals and other components that are hard to get through a normal diet. There is a massive supplement industry that provides these types of products specifically for those undergoing intense workouts. Creatine is one such supplement that can be taken before a workout. Creatine helps to produce more ATP, which is an energy source within the cells. Protein powder is another excellent supplement that can be taken before and after a workout routine. 

Creating a great physique and staying in shape doesn’t have to be complicated. It is important to remember that an intense workout routine isn’t enough. These five habits can be performed before and after a workout help maximize the effects of an intense routine.

Brittany Waddell

Brittany Waddell

Brittany Waddell is a contributing writer and media specialist for RightFit Personal Training. She often produces content for a variety of fitness blogs.

35 thoughts on “5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout”

    1. Definitely, that´s something you have to change. It makes a huge difference! Begin with just 5-10 minutes of stretching after your workout and let me know after two weeks of doing so. If you don´t feel better I will give your money back ;)

    1. Hi Josh! I remembr you told me that the first day of the challenge. Did those tips not work for you? also, let´s not forget you´re writing a thesis and that´s highly stressful, may it be related?

      1. No worries, it was a month ago and not really a discussion. You commented that you were not sleeping very well :)
        I´m sure you will nail your thesis and you will sleep like a baby again ;)
        Big hugs, my friend!

    1. Thank you! Quality sleep is a must in order to be physically and mentally healthy 😉
      Plus, if you are on a fitness journey you need to rest properly or your body will pay the price sooner or later 💪

  1. I don’t know if it’s healthy, but I tend to binge on something sweet like a few cookies, or chocolate cake after a hard workout. It helps reduce the trembling after a heavy workout. I don’t know the long term effects, but hope that’s an ok routine?

    1. We all appreciate a small prize after an intense workout. But if you like chocolate or something sweet, how about a chocolate flavor protein shake? That would definitely help to recover and please your palate at the same time :)

    1. Thank you, Lance.
      Usually, people skip stretching. But that’s not an excuse 😉 Your muscles will thank you 💪

  2. Pingback: Day 11 of the Challenge: Make It Happen ! - Patty Wolters

  3. Pingback: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING BEFORE AND AFTER AN INTENSE WORKOUT | Amarachic

  4. Pingback: 3 Things You Need To Know About Hip Bursitis - Chape Fitness

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Abs

The Rectus Abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It is this muscle which forms the six-pack shape! It is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the abdomen. There are two parallel muscles, separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba.

Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi is the larger, flat, dorsolateral muscle on the trunk, posterior to the arm, and partly covered by the trapezius on its median dorsal region.

Deltoids

The Deltoid muscle is the muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder. It is divided into three portions, anterior, lateral and posterior, with the fibers having different roles due to their orientation.

Infraspinatus

The Infraspinatus muscle is one of the four rotator cuff muscles crossing the shoulder joint and is commonly injured. It is the main external rotator of the shoulder joint.

Biceps

The Biceps brachii is  actually two separate bundles of muscles (heads). The two heads of the Biceps vary in length and as a result, are called the Short and the Long Biceps heads.

Triceps

The Triceps Brachii muscles  have three muscle heads: Lateral, Medial and Long head. Primarily responsible for the extension of the elbow joint. The lateral head is used for movements requiring occasional high-intensity force, while the medial fascicle enables more precise, low-force movements.

Forearm
(Anterior muscles)

The Pronator teres pronates the forearm, turning the hand posteriorly. If the elbow is flexed to a right angle, then pronator teres will turn the hand so that the palm faces inferiorly. It is assisted in this action by pronator quadratus.

Forearm
(Posterior muscles)

The Extensor Digitorum muscle helps in the movements of the wrists and the elbows. It extends the phalanges, then the wrist, and finally the elbow. It acts principally on the proximal phalanges. It tends to separate the fingers as it extends them.

Pecs

The pectoralis major makes up the bulk of the chest muscles in the male and lies under the breast in the female.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle, situated at the upper part of the chest, beneath the pectoralis major. 

Obliques

The External Oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. It is broad, thin, and irregularly quadrilateral. It is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen. 

Lower Back

The Erector Spinae is not just one muscle, but a bundle of muscles and tendons. Paired, they run more or less vertically. It extends throughout the lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions, and lies in the groove to the side of the vertebral column.

Glutes

The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The three muscles originate from the ilium and sacrum and insert on the femur. The functions of the muscles include extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation of the hip joint.

Quadriceps

The Quadriceps Femoris is the knee extensor muscle.  As a group, the quadriceps femoris is crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. It´s subdivided into four separate “heads”.

Hamstrings

A hamstring is any one of the three posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee (from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris). The hamstrings are quite susceptible to injury.

Lower Leg

The gastrocnemius and the soleus form what we know as calf. They are involved in activities such as walking, running, jumping… 

Trapezius

The trapezius is a broad, flat and triangular muscle. The muscles on each side form a trapezoid shape. It is the most superficial of all the back muscles.

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