Exercise order is the least important of all the variables you can manipulate in your exercise routine. However, there is such a thing as correct exercise order.
One of the most disputed things about exercise order is when the stretching should be done. Some think cold stretching at the beginning of a workout is best because the tougher, thicker connective fibers get a better stretch when cold and not as soft. Others believe that warming up with exercise should be done before stretching cold muscles.
Personally, I think the arguments for "cold stretching" are weak. I was myself an advocate for this method for a few years—with my clients and also in my own exercise routine—and saw decent results. But I now prefer to stretch at the end of the workout when I'm all warmed up.
This is the exercise order I recommend and follow with my Infinite Fitness one-hour workouts. I'm also including some of my favorite exercises for each section of the workout.
Warm up — 10 min
- Foam roll: back, glutes, hip flexors, IT band, quads, inner thigh, calves
- Mobility: ankle, hip, spine, shoulder, wrist, neck
- Dynamic movement: plyometrics, Med ball, coordination drills, side hops, agility ladder
Power — 10 min
Heavy, fast lifts: hang-cleans, one-arm DB snatch, squat hop rows, dynamax
Strength — 20 min
Cardio — 10 min
Intervals: jump-rope, airdyne, slide-board, stair-stepper, bike, battling rope, rowing, hill sprints
Stretch — 10 min
All major muscle groups