What Exercises Should You Do First? Proper Sequence For Your Workout!

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Any exercise is excellent exercise, but arranging it properly—for example, by utilizing the advantages of an early workout—can help you get the most out of it. A workout session is tiring; no matter how pumped you are for a terrific exercise, your muscles will be exhausted by the end. 

“Imagine it as a gas tank,”  The more energy you expend the longer you go. That implies your muscles will have an easier time starting with the workouts and a tougher difficulty pushing at the conclusion. You can maximize the use of your entire tank by methodically planning your movements. However, before you begin any regimen, be sure you understand the ground principles for a novice workout.

How to Plan Your Workout in the Right Order

Several studies have found that the order in which you execute your exercises might impact your performance, with activities conducted at the conclusion of your workout being more challenging than those completed at the start.

As a result, when it comes to exercising order, there is truly just one rule. Always work out the larger muscle first, then the smaller muscle. This implies that you should perform your compound motions first, followed by your isolation exercises. The reason for this is that if you tire the smaller muscles first, your performance while exercising the larger muscles will suffer.

If you exhaust your triceps or shoulders before training your chest, for example, you’ll rapidly realize you can’t bench as much as you used to.

This is why compound exercises should always take precedence over isolation actions and smaller muscle groups.

As an example: 

  • Triceps and chest before shoulders
  • Shoulders come first, followed by triceps.
  • Legs as a whole before doing glutes, hams, or quads separately
  • Back before biceps

If you’re working out with a mix of free weights, body weight, and resistance machines, you should prioritize the free weight and bodyweight workouts before moving on to machine weights.

This is because, in comparison to resistance machines, free weight and bodyweight workouts need greater stabilization and hence more total exertion.

6 Essential Phases to Every Workout Regimen Listed Below

1. Warm-up

It allows your muscles and joints to stretch out. Warming up is the process of progressively increasing your heart rate. It connects your mind and body so you can concentrate on your training.

Warming up can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but the most effective is to walk, walk, walk. Walking is beneficial because it shifts you from an idle or sitting state to an active state after a period of time.

Slowly walk for 3-4 minutes, then increase to brisk walking for 1 minute, then gradually increase to running for 3 minutes.

Importance of Warming Up

  • It raises the temperature of the muscles and the central nervous system.
  • Improves blood flow and prepares your body for action.
  • It guards against harm.
  • It helps you focus on your training by clearing your thoughts.

2. Dynamic Stretching 

Stretching helps to relax your muscles even further. It helps to prepare and enhance the range of motion. Despite the fact that there is a lot of debate regarding the advantages of stretching before exercise, I feel it is vital since it helps to loosen up the body before a workout. Stretching should always focus on the muscles you’ll utilize the most during your workout. 

If you’re going to lift weights, the stretch should focus on your arms and shoulders, as these are the muscles you’ll utilize the most. Stretching before an aerobics workout should target every region of your body.

If you’re doing weights, the stretch should focus more on the shoulders and arms. Dynamic, static, passive, and active stretches are the three types of stretches.

3. Strenuous Workout (Also Known as Cardio or Aerobics)

These are high-intensity workouts that raise your heart rate from low to high. They can be performed with or without the use of equipment. However, if you must use a machine, the elliptical machine is the preferred choice.

A skipping rope, rowing machine, stair climber, stationary bike, and treadmill are all options. Do dance and step aerobics if you don’t have any equipment.

Other aerobic exercises, such as butt kicks, jumping jacks, squats, and lunges with or without weights or kettlebells, should be performed thereafter.

4. Strength and Resistance Training

These are body-strengthening, toning, and muscle-building workouts. They are a necessary component of every workout regimen. Everyone’s muscles deteriorate as they get older, and if you don’t do something about it, your body fat will inevitably rise. You will lose both fat and muscle if you follow a weight reduction or crash diet without resistance exercise. You’ll get flabby skin as a result.

You can keep your muscles toned by doing resistance and strength exercise. Free weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls can be used. You may also utilize the multi gym or barbells with weight plates. Abdominal exercises, leg squats, chin-ups, and push-ups are examples of resistance training.

5. Stretching That Is Static

Exercise typically has a negative impact on the body due to the shortening and tightness that occurs. As you finish your workout, gradually ease into stretches to release the muscles and deliver fresh circulation and oxygen to the muscle. It kickstarts the restoration process. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds.

6. Cooling off

It enhances the rate of recuperation even further. It may be accomplished by gently walking for 3-4 minutes. It securely puts your workout to a close. Consider a car speeding down the road and the driver slamming on the brakes.

It’s possible that the automobile will tumble or do other bizarre things that it wasn’t designed to accomplish. It puts the lives of all passengers in considerable jeopardy. Before coming to a complete stop, you must gradually lower your speed.

Every workout program should be completed gradually. For this level, I prefer to use yoga, meditation, and relaxation positions.

Is It Better to Start with Strength Training or Cardio?

The million-dollar workout debate is whether you should perform cardio before weight training. According to Luciani, the answer is determined by your objectives. “Start with 5 to 12 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity aerobics to get your blood circulating if you want to gain muscle.” (This might be a fast dynamic warm-up or time on the treadmill or elliptical machine.) 

Much more than that might overwork your muscles; you want to be as fresh as possible before tackling the dumbbells or barbell, which is where you’ll gain strength.

This is supported by research: Researchers evaluated exercises that included solely strength training, running followed by strength, and cycling followed by strength in a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. They discovered that people who had just run or cycled completed fewer reps.

Another research discovered that when people initially ran on the treadmill, they couldn’t complete as many reps during strength training and had lower muscular power. So, if you want to bake cardio into the equation, warm up, perform your strength training and then end with lengthier aerobic intervals.

If you’re preparing for a race or want to improve your aerobic endurance, start with cardio and work your way up to weights. “Long-term steady-state cardio or high-intensity interval training can drain your body,” Luciani explains. “So just lift as much as you can with appropriate technique.” 

Alternatively, conduct your strength exercises on days when you don’t have any training miles to let you go harder. (Grab some small weights and attempt these strength workouts that every runner should do.)

You can also read our quick guide on how many exercises to do per workout.

Workout Tips by Trainer Alena Luciani

1. Plyometrics are the First Thing you Should Do

Plyometrics has gained popularity due to its potential to increase explosiveness and strength. Plyometric exercises should only be done twice a week, according to most specialists. And do them after warming up but before anything else on the days you do them.

While these exercises will make you firmer and quicker, they shouldn’t be done while you’re tired, according to Luciani.

“Plyo exercises are all about putting forth 100% effort while maintaining proper form. Traditional plyometric actions won’t be as explosive—and hence as effective—near the finish of your exercise as they were at the start.”

Specialist Alena Luciani, M.S., C.S.C.S., founder of Training2x

What if you like to end your exercise with a cardiovascular burn? Use caution before jumping. “Trying anything single-legged or with equipment (think depth leaps, single-leg hops, box jumps, leaping box step-ups, etc.) while you’re weary might potentially cause injury,” 

Luciani warns. What is her suggestion? Limit yourself to squat leaps and burpees, and stop if your form becomes sloppy.

2. Start with High-Intensity Bodyweight Exercises

If your exercise consists solely of bodyweight movements, you might believe that the sequencing doesn’t matter. It does, though, especially if you’re new to the gym.

“Use the same strategy as before: start with the workouts that need the greatest energy.

Specialist Alena Luciani, M.S., C.S.C.S., founder of Training2x

Consider the following scenario: A push-up or a calf raise requires more energy. Performing a push-up A crunch or an air squat requires more energy. A squat in the air. Is it better to do a pull-up or a glute bridge? It’s a pull-up.

If you’re a seasoned exerciser, the danger of damage from bodyweight motions is minimal, regardless of the order in which they’re performed. 

“However, folks who are just learning full-body motions like push-ups or air squats should practice those first so that they can maintain technique and receive all of the muscle-building advantages,” Luciani advises.

3. Circuits Must be Kept Secure

What if you’re completing a circuit (like this 30-minute circuit exercise), in which you’re performing a series of motions in a row? The good news is that if you can safely complete 15 to 20 reps of all of the bodyweight activities in the circuit, you can go ahead and do it. 

You’ve probably done a circuit with weights if you’ve ever done a boot camp or HIIT-style class. 

That’s OK as well. Simply avoid allowing your ego to get in the way, advises Luciani. Choose a weight that you can safely accomplish 15 to 20 repetitions with. 

4. Save Your Abs for Last

There’s a reason you frequently end workouts with your core on fire: According to Luciani, core circuits should be done towards the end of the workout.

“Compound motions and full-body activities, such as the push-up, will engage your core even more than a crunch or plank. You don’t want your core to be overworked when you enter those.”

Specialist Alena Luciani, M.S., C.S.C.S., founder of Training2x

5. Change Things Up a Bit

Many people structure their workouts around certain muscle groups. For example, Monday is back and shoulders, Tuesday is chest and triceps, and so on.

The theory is that by combining diverse movement patterns, you may successfully promote muscle growth while lowering your risk of injury.

However, if you do the same routine every time you go to the gym on leg day, you’re doing it incorrectly, according to Luciani, who recommends altering the order of your movements.

People may complete more repetitions of the first strength exercise than all the subsequent movements in the circuit or sequence, according to research.

If you constantly do your push exercises (chest press) before your pull workouts (dumbbell row), your pulling muscles will not develop as strong as your pushing ones.

Specialist Alena Luciani, M.S., C.S.C.S., founder of Training2x


It’s easy to mix together workout-like ingredients in a blender. Spend a little additional time figuring out the order in which you’ll execute your exercises to get the most out of your gym time. 

When in doubt, Luciani believes there’s one guideline to follow: “Start with the exercises that employ the greatest energy and muscle groups.”