Going to the gym and breaking a sweat is great, but how do you know if you should head for the treadmill or the weights first? Well, it all depends on your goals. That may not be a straightforward or clean-cut answer, but it’s true! Our team is going to discuss how to know what exercise to focus on at the beginning of your gym session and what the benefits are for doing cardio before or after weights.
Benefits of cardio first
It is important to know that cardio doesn’t just require walking and running. Anything that will slowly increase your heart rate and increase blood flow to the muscle tissue is recommended to do before lifting. A form of light cardio as a warm-up before lifting is an effective way to ease your body into your workout. This can include jumping rope, jogging, incline walks, jumping jacks and dynamic stretches.
These exercises will help warm up your muscles and prepare them for heavy lifting. This shouldn’t be a long session, it should only last for around 5 to 10 minutes to maintain energy levels for the rest of the workout. Cardio is also recommended to do first to increase muscular endurance. Lifting lighter weights with higher reps when your energy is decreasing will help with cardiovascular and muscular endurance. If endurance is your goal then lifting heavy isn’t necessary, it’s all about lower weights and higher reps to really push yourself.
Benefits of lifting first
If your goals are to lose weight or get stronger it is recommended to start with strength training and follow up with cardio. On upper-body strength training days, you can do either cardio or lifting first and on lower-body strength training days, it is recommended to start with lifting. Low-intensity cardio is the best to pair after strength training. Swimming, jogging, rowing, walking, jogging or cycling are good options to consider. These forms of cardio offer a good variety for your body as it is important to not overuse muscles and joints.
Cardio before or after weights?
If you work out regularly and are dedicated to gaining muscle, then cardio after strength training might be the best option for you. For others, a dedicated day to strength training and another to cardio could work best for them. What you should implement into your routine really depends on your goals and what you want to achieve in your fitness journey. There is no steadfast answer that applies to everyone!
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Your fitness journey isn’t always about what is right or wrong, it is about what works for you! Take care of your body and schedule an appointment at Wisniewski Chiropractic, a chiropractor in Omaha, NE! Contact us today to book your appointment.