Cooldown exercises are a vital part of any workout routine but are often overlooked. A cool-down helps decrease the heart rate, dissipate heat from the body, and restore muscle elasticity. It's essential to do a proper cool down after any workout, whether lifting weights, running, or doing yoga.
This article will refer to the top 6 cooldown exercises you can incorporate into your daily workout routine to maximize your gains.
Related Article: 25 Most Effective Stretches to Do Before Exercising
What are Cooldown Exercises?
Do you ever feel stiff and sore after working out? This is because you likely need to cool down properly. Cooldown exercises help your body gradually return to its resting state, which can prevent muscle soreness and unwanted pain.
Cooldown exercises and sessions include performing your activity at a reduced intensity. The purpose of cooldown exercises is to help you gradually recover after a workout. Cooldown exercises can include stretching, walking, jogging, or running to lower your heart rate and increase blood flow. Generally, cool-down exercises last 5-10 minutes.
Advantages of Cool-Down Exercises
Cool-down exercises are simple and easy ways to lower your heart rate and relax your muscles. They can also help you prevent stiffness and soreness the next day. Here are some major benefits of cooling down after a workout.
Lowers Your Heart Rate
After a vigorous workout, it's normal for your heart rate to be high. Some easy cool-down exercises can help gradually bring your heart rate back to normal, which is safer than if you just sat or lay down abruptly.
Helps Relax Your Muscles
When you work out, your muscles contract and release. This can cause them to become tight and sore. Cool-down exercises can help lengthen these muscles and prevent pain the next day.
If you don't do any cool-down exercises after a workout, you're more likely to feel stiff the next day. This is because when you stop moving suddenly after being active, blood pools in certain areas like the neck and shoulders, causing stiffness.
Finally, doing light cool-down exercises reduces your risk of injury. When your body is still warm from exercise, it's more pliable and less likely to get injured if you move around too much."
Types of Cool-Down Exercises
There is a range of cool-down exercises, many of which include stretching. Here are six cooldown exercises that you can do after any workout!
1. Spinal Rolls
Spinal-rolls are an amazing exercise that helps you release tension in your back and neck. It reduces stress and tension in the body and strengthens the spine and core. It also helps in increasing blood flow and circulation.
How to Do It?
- Stand up straight. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, and your head held high. Allow your shoulders, arms, and neck to relax so that no weight rests on them as you go through them.
- Start rolling down and continue rolling down until you draw your navel into the spine.
- Stop when you have stretched to your maximum level, and your hand reaches your toes.
- Bring your head closer to your legs and keep it in this position for as long as possible.
- Once you are done executing it, roll back up to the starting position and repeat.
2. Seated Pigeon
The seated pigeon is a great way to target your glutes and improve hip mobility while teaching you how long one can hold the pose. This will help relieve tightness in the lower back, which allows for better posture when done properly.
How to Do It?
- When sitting on a bench or chair, rest your right ankle against your left knee and gently push down.
- Hold for 30 seconds on each leg to prevent the inner thighs from getting tight.
3. Knee-To-Chest Pose
This exercise is one of the ultimate stretches. It will help you to be more flexible. It will help ease the muscles around your hips and lower back. It is also considered to be a great movement to transition into other movements.
How to Do It?
- Lie on your back with your left leg bent or extended. Draw your right knee into your chest and place your right hand on your ankle.
- Use your left hand to draw your right knee closer to your chest. You should feel a stretch in your right hamstring.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
- You can also do this stretch with both legs at the same time. Draw both knees into your chest and place your hands on your ankles.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat the steps.
4. Seated Forward Bend
This posture helps you in providing a deep stretch to the spine. It also stretches the inner thighs and calf muscles. You'll feel a deep sense of relaxation in your body after doing this stretch.
How to Do It?
- Start seated with your legs extended in front of you and your arms by your sides.
- Place your hands on your hips and engage your core muscles.
- Hinge at your hips and lean forward.
- Place your hands on your legs or the floor and fold as far forward as you feel comfortable.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute before returning to the starting position.
This exercise helps you target multiple muscle groups, including your chest, triceps, abs, and shoulders. It can be done anywhere without any equipment. It may help you to reduce your lower back pain.
How to Do It?
- Lie on the floor with your legs straight. The top of your foot should be extended to the floor.
- Keep your hands on the floor, just to the side of your shoulders.
- Keep your core engaged and your legs parallel to each other as you hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Slowly press your arms up and hold for some seconds, then release.
- Repeat the above steps for a few reps.
6. Standing Quadriceps Stretch
This exercise helps you in activating your quad muscles. It also helps you increase your flexibility and short-term range of motion. You may feel significant relief from muscle soreness.
How to Do It?
- The first step is to stand straight.
- Bend your knees and pull them up to bring them to your buttock.
- Provide support from your hand in holding the ankle.
- Make sure your knees are aligned with each other.
- Hold this position for 15-30 seconds
- Repeat the above steps for the opposite side.
Related Article: Top 25 At-Home Exercises for Beginners
1. What are cool-down exercises?
Cool-down exercises are an important part of any workout routine. They help reduce your heart rate and allow you to breathe gradually. They can also help prevent cramping and stiffness. A typical cool-down routine might include walking or jogging at a slower pace, stretching, or gentle yoga poses.
Cool-down exercises should be done for 5-10 minutes, and they can be a great opportunity to focus on your breath and connect with your body. In addition to the physical benefits, cool-down exercises can also help improve your mental state by promoting relaxation.
2. Why are cool-down exercises important?
Cool-down exercises help your body to slow down gradually and return to its resting state. This can help prevent dizziness or lightheadedness, and it can also help reduce muscle soreness.
Cool-down exercises also allow you to catch your breath and reflect on your workout. It's a good opportunity to assess how well you did. Overall, cool-down exercises are an important part of any workout routine. They help your body to recover from the exertion of exercise and prepare for the next time you work out.
3. What injuries can occur if someone does not cool down after working out?
When you exercise, your body temperature rises, and your heart rate increases. This is a normal response to physical activity and is necessary for your muscles to work properly.
However, if you don't cool down after working out, your body can't return to its normal state, and you may be at risk for injury. Heat exhaustion is one of the most common injuries associated with not cooling down.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal. Cooling down after working out allows your body to return to its normal state gradually and reduces the risk of injury. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and avoid sudden temperature changes to help your body recover from exercise safely.
There are many benefits to cooling down after a workout. Cooling down helps improve your flexibility and range of motion, prevents injuries, and helps your heart rate return to normal. So next time you finish a workout, take some time to cool down properly! And if you're looking for some ideas on what exercises to do, try out the six we've listed above.