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Train Smart, Win Big

Train Smart, Win Big

It turns out that some of the eye rolling that went on when your high school coach told you to do those high kicks and quad stretches before practice may have been a bit warranted. In fact, fitness experts agree that there is no evidence that stretching before a workout or sports competition reduces injuries. It may even impair performance.

What can help, trainers say, is a light warm up before whatever form of exercise you have planned. If you're going for a run, then it is recommended you first engage in a warm up at an easier pace, perhaps a jog.

And although it is long debated, recent advice says that it is better to hit the weights before cardiovascular exercise. The thought is that cardio tires the muscles and leaves little room for an effective strength workout.

At the end of the day, fitness experts say that people who want to get in shape should keep personal goals in mind before deciding on a workout regimen. If aerobic enhancement is your goal, then do that activity before lifting weights because doctors say your body benefits most from the training you choose to do first. If pumping iron is your thing, then it is important to know that the sequence of exercises does make a difference. [MSNBC]

Posted: 5/13/08