Cooling down is just as essential as a pre-workout warm-up routine. Read more info below to find the best and most effective cool-down routines that you can add to your workout.
What Are the Most Effective Cool Down Exercises?
After your workout is over, it's time to perform cool-down exercises to help your body recover. However, most people skip this part of the fitness journey (I know I'm definitely guilty of it). Cool-down routines will help slowly bring your heart rate down. They will also help normalize your blood pressure. Moreover, these exercises help prevent injuries and will loosen your muscles to help you relax.
What Are Cool Down Exercises?
Cool-down exercises are routines that you should perform after an effective workout. Cool-down sessions vary in activities from stretching all the way to running a few, slow laps. Regardless of your method, cool-downs can save you from stress and injuries so hopefully this article will help prevent a future mishap in the gym or in life!
According to Mayo Clinic, cooling down is an integral part of exercise routines - and especially for endurance athletes. After their long training sessions, decathletes, marathoners, and cyclists need to cool down completely before just completely stopping. This will help improve blood flow and decrease muscle soreness and cramping.
Therefore, if you have time, you should include a proper cool-down routine every time you engage in effective exercise or activities.
What Are the Most Effective Cool Down Exercises?
We recommend the following cool-down exercise routines:
1. Upward Dog
Lie on your stomach and press up with your hands flat on the floor. During the first few tries, you may only be able to lift up your body slightly, which is okay. Stretch where you feel comfortable.
Upward Dog is a great cool-down exercises as they can stretch your core, obliques, and rectus abdominis muscles. These muscles support your back.
2. Corpse Pose
The corpse pose helps you gradually reduce your heart rate and slow down your breathing. It also prevents muscle cramping.
Lie with your back on the floor. Your arms can be alongside your body with your palms up and feet positioned wider than the hips - or you can have them lying across your chest.
Relax by breathing deeply. Let any tension or tightness escape from your body. Remain in the corpse pose for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
This yoga pose will help improve back or spine strength and ease tension. To do the downward-facing dog, start in a plank position. Start moving your hips upwards then backward. Keep your back straight as you move your hips.
Move your legs, press one heel on the floor and then the other. Keep this position for about a minute and then return to a plank position.
Start on your back but with the left leg extended. Place the right knee to your chest; hug your shin. Stay in this position for about a minute and do this on the opposite leg. Perform at least three stretches for both sides.
Sit on the floor with your right leg extended; your left foot should be pressed on the right thigh. Elevate your arms above your head and bend forwards while your hands are touching the floor. Stay in this position for about a minute and perform this routine with your other leg. After this is done, you can continue with both legs extended.
Lightly jogging in a circular pattern or jogging in place is a very common cooling-down routine. Start by jogging for 3 to 5 minutes and then brisk walking for 3 minutes.
Put one front far in front of you so you can drop into a deep lunge. Bring your rear leg to the ground and really lean into the lunge. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds on each side. If you can, try to bring your hands or arms to the ground on the inside of your forward lunging leg.
As you sit on the floor, put one leg forward and bend your other leg from the knees. Place the sole of your foot on your inner thighs. Extend your arms forward up to your knee and try to keep going and touch your toes. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds, and then switch to the other leg.
Performing hamstring stretches can ease tightness and prevent lower back pain. PureWow explains that hamstring stretches should always be included in your cool-down routines.
Balance from the right leg and hold your shoe using your left hand. Then, pull the left ankle to touch your behind. Keep this position for about 30 seconds or until you feel a slight stretching of the thighs. Afterward, do the other side.
The quads control knee movement. So cooling down using standing quad stretches loosens the quads and lengthens the muscles to prevent injuries. Cooling down with this routine is popular among runners. This prevents pain brought about by the tightness of the quad muscles.
10. Child's Pose
From a plank position, move downwards until you are sitting over your heels. Keep your arms in front and let your chest move towards your thighs. Breathe slowly deeply as you move through this movement.
Your forehead should rest on the floor to assume the child's pose. Remain in this position for at least a minute.
Cool-down exercises can help prepare your body for better and more strenuous routines. You'll be able to return to work faster, feel better throughout the day, and you'll feel more relaxed. Try to spend at least a few minutes cooling down after a tiring or demanding exercise or sports activity.
So, which of these routines will you add to your Cooldown routine?
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About the Author:
Cory McKane is the CEO/Founder of WeStrive - a platform for personal trainers to manage & grow their personal training business. He enjoys working out and spending time working with trainers on WeStrive on how to manage/grow their business.