Cool down exercises are defined as light exercise that helps your body transition from working hard to resting. This can be an important part of your exercises for many reasons, including:

  • Reduces strain on your heart muscle as it goes from exerting itself back to normal.
  • Prevents dizziness and other discomfort from blood pooling in your lower extremities after exercise (caused by veins increasing in size to accommodate the increased blood flow from the heart).
  • Promotes a “feel good” feeling.

We have discussed about the importance of warming up and cooling down, as well as the best pre-workout warm up routines that you can try. Now, let’s talk about the essential cooling down stretches that you can do after your workout. Hold these stretches static (without moving) for 10 to 15 seconds, making sure to do both sides.

Quadriceps

Lie on your right side, pull left heel into left glute, feeling the stretch in the front of the thigh. Repeat with the right leg.

Hamstrings

Lying on your back, lift and straighten one leg directly above hips. Holding the calf or thigh, press heel toward ceiling as you pull leg back toward chest. Switch legs.

Glutes

Lying on your back, cross left leg over bent right knee. Then bring right knee to chest, holding onto your right leg, gently pressing left knee wide. Switch legs.

Chest

Standing straight, interlace fingers behind your back as you straighten out your arms and lift chin to ceiling.

Triceps/ shoulders

Take one arm overhead, bend at elbow joint, and extend palm down to the center of your back, gently pulling elbow with opposite hand. Take same arm across the chest, gently pulling at the elbow joint, to extend through the shoulder. Switch arms.

Core/back

On all fours, round out your back and then invert it, making a C-shape with your spine. Repeat three times. Then sit back with your heels, forehead on the mat, arms extended in front of you, as you lengthen your back.

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