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Killer Playlists for Warm-Up and Cool-Down (and Why It’s Important to Do Both)

by | Mar 22, 2018

Whether you’re getting ready for the league championship game or just getting ready for a solo run around the neighborhood, a good warm-up before exercise is essential. Why? Lots of reasons:

  • It boosts your blood flow to the muscles, loosening them up and helping them to get the oxygen and nutrients they need.
  • It raises your hear rate and body temperature gradually and safely, rather than all at once (which allows your circulatory system to meet increased demand and reduces injury risk).
  • It prepares you mentally.

A great warm-up requires a few essential items. Something to raise the heart rate, like jogging or jumping jacks. A little bit of a dynamic stretching to loosen up. Maybe a few sport-specific drills to work on your skill and coordination. And oh yeah, one more thing—a killer playlist.

The Art of the Warm-Up Song

Now, of curse, there’s no “wrong” choice for a warm-up song, exactly. Everybody has their own tastes when it comes to music. Some people go for classic rock and others go for country. You do you—choose whatever puts you in the “zone,” even if it earns you a few funny looks from your teammates.

For our money, though, the ideal warm-up tune is one that gets you pumped up and excited for play, but not so wried that you feel like you could run through a brick wall. Remember, a big point of warming up is getting your heart rate up safely and slowly. Those Yanni tapes you got from your mom probably aren’t quite energetic enough. But drum and bass? Maybe a little too energetic, at least for your humble middle-aged podiatrist.

Here are some suggestions to get you started. We hope you’ll find at least one song from here on there you can add to your regular rotation, whether you’re a fan of contemporary pop or a snobby conservatory dropout.

Don’t Forget to Cool Down

After the thrill of victory or agony of defeat, spending a few extra minutes on cool-down exercises isn’t always everyone’s favorite thing to do. But a good cool-down can be just as important as the warm-up.

After exercise, you want your heart rate and body temperatures to return to normal gradually (just as you wanted to raise them gradually beforehand). Cool-down exercises will also flush toxins from your system and prevent your muscles from cramping later.

And of course, you’ll need some good tunes, too. In fact, at least one study out of the UK found that 20-30 minutes of calm post-workout music lowered cortisol levels and helped athletes recover more quickly all other things being equal!

Tastes will, once again, vary here. Many people will elect to simply continue their regular workout playlist (because who isn’t pumped up about being done with their workout?). We have a few additional suggestions below.

Those are just a few of our favorites (or at least a few of the ones that popped up when we crowdsourced our friends and family). What are yours?

Enjoy your workout, and as always, if your feet start hurting you know where to find us.