What Exercise Should Be Performed First? Guide to Workout Order
If you are new to the gym, it can be confusing. There are lots of exercises to do and lots of different muscles to target. However, many people get stuck in knowing what exercises will benefit them the most and what exercise should be performed first.
Depending on your goals and training objectives, the order you perform exercises actually makes a difference.
You may already know that a proper warm-up is key to a good weight training session. However, what comes next often gets people confused. What exercise should I do first? and in what order should they be done?
In this article we discuss what exercise should be performed first and if it matters. Keep reading to find out more.
Does It Matter What Order You Perform Exercises In A Workout?
When you work out at the gym, the order you perform your exercises matters full stop.
The order you do your exercises defines how effective your training is according to recent studies. Many studies have shown that the exercises should be completed in an order that best addresses your training objectives. For example, if your goal is to improve your cardiovascular fitness over strength, you should be focusing on your cardio before hitting the weights. The same goes for weight training. If your goal is to increase your upper back and shoulder strength, you should focus on these exercises first, before moving to other parts of the body.
In short, when it comes to weight training, the area you want to work on the most or want to put the most focus on should be performed first. That way you can maximize the exercises before fatigue sets in and form starts to decline.
When it comes to deciding between doing cardio or weight training first, this largely depends on your goals and training objectives. However, cardio should always be used at low to moderate intensity during your warm-up regardless of whether your goal is increasing your cardiovascular fitness or strength training.
What Exercise Should Be Performed First?
If you focus is building strength and mobility through weight training, you should focus on performing compound exercises before anything else. Of course, this should be performed after some light cardio and your warm-up routine.
Compound exercises work multiple joints. Exercises like the back squat, deadlift, and lunges help to work multiple muscles and joints at the same time. This helps improve coordination and balance before moving on to your other weight training exercises.
The reason why compound exercises are important to do first is not only because they work multiple muscles and a range of joints, they also require more technique than exercises that only work one muscle group. That means you need to be fresh before starting these types of exercises. For example, the bench press, deadlift, squats, shoulder press, and pull-up, should all be done before exercises that target one or larger muscles.
In What Order Should I Exercise?
Even though there is no set order you should do your exercise, research does show that greater improvements were made from the exercises done first vs those done at the end of your workout.
That means the order of your exercise or weight workouts should be structured in a way that your priority exercises should be near the beginning of your workout. However, when it comes to weight training, these priority exercises should be done directly after your compound exercises. That way, more of your muscles are warmed up, your technique is dialled in and your joints have a good range of movement.
Once you have that range of movement and are warmed up correctly you can then move your way into single-joint and single-muscle exercises.
If you are just doing bodyweight exercises in your workout, the order of exercises still matters, even if you think it may not. You should focus on the exercises that require the most energy first. That way your technique won’t be affected by fatigue later in your workout, which is super important for gym newbies.
Many people organize their workout routines based on muscle groups. While this is a good way to start and prevent injury, you should vary your workout every time you hit the gym. This will help you effectively increase muscle growth and provide the body with different movement patterns.
Regardless of the exercise or order you choose, remember to keep safety a top priority. That means you should try to prevent fatigue from impacting your form.
If you are unsure how to structure your weight training exercises or what muscles to work on first, speak to a personal trainer or coach. They can help direct you in the right direction.