In our last blog we covered how important it is to stretch before you exercise, which can help to prevent pains, strains and injury. We also explained that it is equally as important to perform cool down stretches when you have finished, which will remove lactic acid from your muscles and reduce any soreness that you may otherwise experience.
We have put together a 5 step routine for cooling down post-workout, with stretches which are easy to carry out and will take next to no time at all.
Also known as static stretches, post-workout exercises should be held for a period of between 10 and 60 seconds, performed on the spot rather than moving around as in your warm-up.
Stand up straight and place your right arm across your chest so that it is parallel to the floor. Bring up your left hand or the crease of your left arm, holding your right arm in place. Gently stretch the right arm for a period and then repeat in reverse.
Sit on the floor with your back straight. Bring your feet in towards your body and put the soles of your feet together. Hold onto your feet and lower your body down towards your toes. You can also rest your elbows onto your thighs and gently bounce them to further the stretch.
Stand up straight with your knees together. Balance on one leg (use a chair or wall for support if you need to), raising the other foot behind you, using your hand to pull it towards your glutes. Hold for a moment and then repeat on the other side.
Stand up straight with your knees together. Balance on one leg and using your hands, bring one knee up towards your chest. Gently pull your knee in towards your tummy and hold, then lower and repeat with the other leg.
Lie face down on the floor with your feet stretched behind you. Place your hands either side of your chest and gently push yourself back into a curl so that you stretch your muscles.
You can then hit the shower!
If you perform your warm-up and cool-down stretches each time you exercise, you should see a real difference in how you feel, becoming more limber and experiencing less pain the following day.