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Athletic Training

What's the Difference Between Stretches?



What is the difference between a warm-up stretch and a cooldown stretch? And can you please list examples of each.


A warm-up stretch is done prior to exercise. Before beginning physical activity, it is important to perform an easy cardiovascular activity (5-10 minutes of bike or jogging,etc.) to increase the heart rate. After the warm-up period, various stretching exercises may be performed.

After the exercise session, the same program should be implemented as a cool-down routine. This allows stretching post workout after a slower cool down period (ex. easy running or bike after a higher intensity work-out). Both programs have been shown to decrease the risk of injuries.

As always, contact your physician prior to beginning an exercise program to determine the right program for you.

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Response by:

Angela Justina Beisner, MA, AC Angela Justina Beisner, MA, AC
Athletic Trainer
Department of Athletics Instructor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University