For many of us that invigorating feeling soon after completing an arduous cardio regime or intense weight training is remarkable indeed and it instills us with a sense of accomplishment.
But wait, your workout is not completely done yet. Just as an activating warm up drill is very important to flex your muscles before your routine, so is a recovery phase for cooling down your body right afterward.
So, what exactly is all the fuss surrounding cooling down post a high intensity workout, you might ask. Well, this process confers some excellent benefits for your strained muscles and stressed out body.
While performing high-intensity sequences, a lot of effort is being exerted by your muscles, making them tense and hence some hassle-free movements must be executed by you, to enable them to de-pressurise.
Moreover, body fluids are directed towards the flexors (muscles involved in the motion of the joints) in times of exercise, causing a phenomenon known as blood pooling, particularly in your arms and legs. Therefore, a sudden pause in concentrated physical activity will lead to dizziness and fainting. Cooling down is crucial in these instances, to facilitate the redistribution of blood to vital organs, muscles and nerves in the body.
In this regard, it comes as no surprise that hydrating the body by drinking lots of water, is a gold standard recommended by fitness experts worldwide, to calm down following a herculean gym session. However, there are some basic yet greatly effective exercises as well, that will wonderfully pacify your body ensuing a very grueling workout.
Simple Exercised To Cool Down
1. All-Fours Rock Back
Kneel down and place your hands forward on the floor, aligned with your legs. Now, gently move your hip back and forth in a rocking motion. Repeat this ten times.
This movement will enable the lower back muscles to destress, stretch your pelvic region and help to straighten the spine.
2. Child’s Pose With Reach
Seat yourself down on all fours and bend forward as though bowing down. Expand your arms, move them from left to right and vice versa, reaching out to the maximum extent like a child. Perform this motion fifteen times.
This exercise aids in loosening up the hip muscles and reduces the feeling of stress and tiredness.
3. Neck Stretch
Kneel down in a comfortable posture. Take your right arm over your head, to the left side of your neck. Gently move the head towards the right shoulder. Repeat on both sides, five times each.
This simple step will soothe the sections around the neck and relieve tension in your shoulders.
4. T-Spine Foam Roll
Lie down facing upwards, bend your knees and place the foam roller along the middle of your back. Move your body, shifting the foam roll all along the length of your back, for about ten to twelve times.
This technique assists in increasing the thoracic spine (T-Spine) mobility, expanding your chest muscles and strengthening the abdominal core areas.
5. Ninety-Ninety Stretch
Sit down, placing your right leg in front and stretching out the left leg behind, at a perpendicular (ninety-degree) angle. Bend down from the waist and stretch out as far as possible. Repeat ten times.
This exercise is very beneficial in stretching the compressed hamstring muscles in your thighs, thereby preventing injuries.