You just worked out! Go you! An amazing thing just happened where you used your body, moved it around, lifted some weights, got your heart and blood pumping and have made yourself one degree better and closer to your goals.
Let’s get a little bit better and add in some immediate recovery work to help get your body cooled down and the systems of the body working for you.
What’s a cool down? I’m glad you asked.
A cool down is a 3-5 minute breathing, light movement session at the end of your workout session to help keep muscles supple and bring down your body’s stress response, so you can start the recovery process and begin your day focused and clear.
Before I begin to show you three things for a cool down, a quick note on stretching. Stretching is not bad. I want to make this clear. Stretching can be helpful when we have excessive stiffness in an area that we don’t use. Many people that sit a lot have a ton of tension and stiffness in their hamstrings and hips. When you do a lot of the same thing, the body adapts and adopts that position as its set position. This is not true for everyone but most people. So people that suffer from excessive stiffness in those areas, should alot a little bit of stretching in conjunction with a smart program that has mobility and strength training exercises.
Ok, lets begin.
My favorite, BREATHING….
For this cool down drill we are going to lay flat on our back, prop our legs up a box or bench and get them to almost a straight position. From here, let your hands fall towards your pockets and close your eyes. Begin to feel your body sink into the floor like an ice pop on a hot day. Then breathe softly and slowly into your belly and breathe out fully, slowly and softly. You want to feel your tension wash away as you let your body ease into the floor. Do this for about 1-2 minutes or 10-12 breaths.
Second favorite, Toe Touch
For this cool down drill we are going to start in a tall and tight posture with a block between our knees. We are going to reach our hands up high like we are a piece of taffy being stretched out. Then slowly, push our butt back and round our back until our hands almost touch our toes. From here starting at the low back slowly roll up, letting the head be the last thing to come up.
Third and final favorite
½ kneeling hip flexor stretch with arms over head reach. I like this one because it does so many things all at once. Drop down into a half kneeling position with your back toe tucked. From here interlock your fingers and reach out in front of your chest. Lean in to your front knee slowly and pull arms over head. Then reverse that position until you chest is away from your knee. Repeat 5 times and then switch sides.
There you have it. 3 simple ways to get a cool down in after you just warmed up your body. Do 1 or all of these simple exercises to bring your body back to a state that is ready to take on the day and keep your body supple.
If you are looking for more information on how to dial in your cool down, ramp up your workouts, or how to even get started, feel free to hit us up on our Facebook page Core Principles Strength and Conditioning or email us at Info@coreprinciples-sc.com
Be well and always get better,