A cool-down can be just as important as the exercise itself and it’s important to carefully learn some cooldown stretches and exercises that you can use after every workout. A simple routine can help you to gradually relax, improve flexibility, slow your heart rate and help kick-start the repair process in your muscles for the next exercise session.
We asked our ambassadors how they like to cool down after a workout, and if they could share any of their top tips…
Usually, to cool down after exercise I do 5 minutes slow walk on the treadmill.
I feel cooling down is as equally important as warming up and I like to cycle to and from the gym to meet those requirements.
When I go to the park to workout, I walk until the car and talk with my friend when I walk…so I would say walking is how I start and finish all my street workouts.
I always leave time at the end of exercise to fit in a cool down, it helps to gradually bring down my heart rate and breathing. As with warming up, I also find cooling down helps reduce my chances of injury and post-exercise aches and pains… especially whilst I’m pregnant and carrying around a heavy load!
I don’t do much for cool down, to be honest, I tend to train hard and go, but one thing I do find beneficial is stretching. Depending on how hard I want to push the stretch I may do a flexibility style stretch holding for at least 20 secs. If I want to push it a bit harder I would go for something which has more of an overload element to it. So I might do a loaded stretch for my hamstrings by standing on a box and holding a couple of dumbbells I would take myself to a fully stretched position, and hold the stretch there with my hamstrings in an isometric contraction for anything between 30-90 secs. My aim when doing this is to progress the duration of the stretch to 90 secs and then increase the load.
I think cooling down is just as important as warming up and I usually allow 5 to 10 minutes to do this. That’s usually by doing a few stretches and also walking or very light aerobic activity.
As you can tell though, this isn’t for the faint of heart and doesn’t really classify as recovery and it is another form of overload which I use to elicit hypertrophy.
Straight after my workout, I’ll have a protein shake and try to eat as soon as possible! Yoga and stretching is a great way to avoid tightness after a workout, always feels good to stretch the muscles out! It’s also very important to remember to take a day or two away from the gym to allow muscles to recover (DOMS) which will mean you won’t be sore and will be able to go that extra bit further on your next workout rather than fatiguing muscles too quickly!
Would be a slow walk to the car/bus whilst having a post workout meal!
Creatine, BCAA and a hot bath! And casein protein too which is a perfect post workout protein.
Cooling down after a workout: We sometimes tend to forget how important after a workout it is to give our muscles a well-deserved rest. It should start with thorough stretching straight after the session. It helps to avoid very painful muscle sourness and also highly aids recovery.