I spoke about the importance of warming up and stretching before commencing a workout in a recent article. This blog is all about the stretching and cooling down required after you’ve completed your workout.
Let’s look at the steps you should be including before and after every exercise session, no matter what the workout may be (resistance or cardio training):
- Warm up
- Pre workout stretching (warm up stretches)
- Cool down
- Post workout stretching (cool down stretches)
After resistance training or a cardiovascular workout, your body is warmed up and a lot looser and elastic than before you started. This is a great time to stretch out and work on your flexibility. Cool down exercises such as stretches are a great stress reliever after a tough workout and can help reduce the soreness in muscles the next day especially in areas such as calves, hamstrings, shoulders and quads. Stretching after a workout while your muscles are still warm will also decrease the build-up of lactic acid, which could lead to muscle stiffness and cramping.
Check out this video that Philip Kavanagh from Limitless Functional Fitness and I put together with some after workout steps and example cool down exercises that you can use after you’ve finished exercising:
So to recap, the 5 steps you should complete after every workout are:
1 Keep moving i.e. walk for 5 minutes to bring your heart rate down gradually.
2 Cool down properly with stretching exercises (see video above)
4 Get some protein
5 Go for a massage or invest in a foam roller
Yours in health,