Cool Down Stretches & Exercises
Make sure you carefully learn some cool down stretches and exercises that you use after every workout. Why? This is a great way to prevent injury and also let your muscles relax after an intense workout!
Once you have finished any form of physical activity, you should gradually allow your heart rate and breathing to lower to a comfortable level, where talking can be performed with ease. Light aerobic exercise such as walking or easy indoor cycling are good, as both of these will allow you to hydrate yourself and also put on warm clothing.
Hold each stretch for a minimum of 20-30 seconds, breath comfortably, with deep breathes through your nose, and out via your mouth.
Easy - Calf Raise Down
Stand on a raised platform, on the balls of your feet, holding onto a secure object for balance.
Exhale, slowly dropping your heels down towards the floor and allowing your toes to raise naturally.
This movement can be performed using either one or both feet.
Easy - Lying Straight, Leg to Chest
Lie comfortably on your back, concentrating on keeping both your head and buttocks in contact with the floor.
Slowly extend one leg upward, grasping it with both hands, either around the calf, the hamstrings, or a combination of both.
Aim to pull your leg toward your chest, keeping it straight. When the tension builds up in your hamstrings, relax the stretch a little by contracting your quadriceps on the same leg.
If necessary, use a towel wrapped around your foot, in order to keep your head on the floor.
Easy - Stretch Lying
Lie on your side, aiming to keep both the knees and the inside of your thighs together.
Extend the lower leg out straight, keeping the top leg bent, and one hand grasping the foot.
Exhale, pulling the foot toward your buttock while you slowly push your pelvis forward.
Use a towel wrapped around your foot if you can't reach your foot comfortably.
Easy - Toe Grab
Begin this stretch with your heels together, holding both feet with your hands.
Lean forward from your hips, gradually increasing the stretch by bringing your heels closer to your groin, and your chest closer to your feet.
Make the movements small and controlled. Avoid bouncing and excessive upward pressure on your feet.
Moderate - One Leg Over
Sit on the floor, with one leg straight, toes pointing upward.
Cross the other foot over the knee of the straight leg, aiming to place that foot flat on the floor.
Place the elbow and forearm of the opposite arm of the bent leg on the outside of the bent knee.
Exhale, slowly pulling the bent knee across your body.
Moderate - Looking at Ceiling
Begin the stretch by kneeling on the floor, holding your heels with both hands.
Slowly exhale, lifting your buttocks up and forward while taking the head backward, in order to arch the back.
Easy-Moderate - Lying Trunk Twists
Lie flat on your back, with both hands extended straight out to your sides.
Slide both legs up towards one arm, aiming to keep the knees together, whilst allowing your lower body to naturally twist around.
Can be performed with either bent or straight legs.
On the next page we show you some more stretching exercises to help after those workouts :