Warm-ups and cool-downs usually include slow-paced, low-intensity exercises. Cooling down after exercise can gradually restore your pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. Cooling may be most important for endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, because it helps regulate blood flow. Cooling doesn’t seem to help reduce muscle stiffness and soreness after exercise, but more research is needed.
A slow cool-down maintains your blood circulating and stops it from pooling in your veins, which could cause you to experience light-headedness or dizziness. Cooling down lets your frame temperature, blood pressure, and coronary heart rate go back to their regular levels. Stretching your muscle tissues at the same time as they nevertheless heat can assist in lessening lactic acid buildup and lowers your hazard of muscle cramps and stiffness. In addition, cool down stretches elongate the connective tissue around your joints, boom mobility, and enhance the variety of motion. All of those advantages and paintings enhance your frame`s normal features and flexibility, permitting you to experience better, carry out at a better level, and feature much less hazard for injury.
Exercise for at least 10 minutes to cool down. Here you can choose your favorite workouts and combine them to create a recovery and relaxation program. In this blog, let us discuss 8 cool down stretches you must include in your workout routine.
1. Seated spinal twist
The Seated Spinal Twist is a restorative yoga pose that promotes good digestion and spinal mobility. Twists can help tone the abdomen, massage the internal organs, and relieve back pain. Sit upright on your mat with your legs stretched out in front of you and your hands on your hips. Bend your right knee, cross your right leg, and place your foot next to your left thigh. It should feel like you are sitting in a tense position with your legs half-crossed.
Bend your left knee and place your left ankle next to your right hip. The right foot must be on the floor. Align your hips to keep them straight. Extend your right arm behind you and gently turn your body to the right while touching the floor with your fingertips. Lift your left hand up. Grab your bent right knee with your left hand. Inhale and exhale deeply as you twist to the right. Twist your body more with each exhalation. Gently come out of the position and repeat on the other side.
2. Forward fold
Standing Forward and Bending calms the mind while stretching and rejuvenating the entire body. In Raised Arms Pose, extend your arms above your head and lower your arms to either side of your body, folding them forward from your hips. Align your fingertips in a way they line with your toes. If possible, press the mat with the palm of your hand. Here, if the block does not reach the floor, you can use it under your arm. Make a slight bend so that your knee is not immobilized.
Tighten your quadriceps and pull them up. The more you use your quadriceps muscles, the more your hamstrings (muscles in the back of your thighs) open up. Shift your weight slightly over the balls of your feet so that your hips stay over your ankles. Keep your head down. Stand up, inhale, and place your hands on your hips. The last step is to press your tailbone down, and when you rise, tighten your abdominal muscles.
3. Pigeon pose
From a quadrupedal position, pull your right knee toward your right wrist. Depending on your body, it can be right behind your wrist, on the outer or inner edge of your wrist. Experiment with what works by stretching the outer thighs without knee discomfort. Your right ankle should be somewhere in front of your left thigh. Push your left foot back and point your toes and heel toward the ceiling. Bring your hips together and pull your legs towards each other.
If necessary, use a little support under your right hip to keep your thigh level. As you inhale, straighten your spine as you come up to your fingertips, draw in your navel, and open your chest. As you exhale, reach your hands forward and lower your torso to the floor. Now rest your forearms and forehead. Take five or more breaths. With each exhalation, release the tension in your right thigh. To get out of the position, push your hands back, lift your hips, and return your legs to all fours. Repeat on the other side.
4. Upward facing dog
Upward Dog Pose is an energy-boosting pose that can help relieve back pain. It can also help prevent slouching and kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine). This is a great posture to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. To perform this relaxing stretch, start by lying on your stomach with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands near your lower ribs. Extend your legs and press them with 10 nails to activate your quadriceps.
Rotate the inner thigh toward the ceiling and press the outer ankle toward the midline. Press with arms and legs. Now you have to straighten your arms and then lift your legs when you inhale. Arms perpendicular to the floor, feet locked, and legs moving, pulling the chest forward and up. Stretch your shoulders by pulling them back, and finally, rest your hands. Make sure the curve of your neck is a continuation of the curves of your mid and upper back. Hold your breath five times and release.
The knee-to-chest pose relieves tension in the lower back and massages the abdominal organs. This pose reduces swelling, improves circulation, and restores energy balance. Lie with the support of your back and pull both knees close to your chest. Slowly pull your knees toward your shoulders until you feel a stretch in your lower back. Hold the pose from knees to chest for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Stretching the knees toward the chest helps relax the erector spine, latissimus dorsi, gluteus medius, minimus, gluteus maximus, and thoracolumbar fascia. Do not practice this position if you are recovering from abdominal or hernia surgery. Also, avoid this position if you have a spinal, knee, or hip injury. Do not lift your head if you have a neck injury. Pregnant women should not practice this position after the first 3 months.
6. Doorway Stretch
Go into the open doorway. Raise each arm out to the side, palms bent at a 90-degree angle forward. Place your palm on the door frame. If this is too painful, lower your elbows slightly. Take a slow step forward.
This will result in the stretch in areas of your shoulder and chest. Stand upright and do not lean forward. Hold for 15 seconds or as directed. Take a step back and relax. Or repeat three times as directed.
7. Cat cow
Cat/Cow Pose is a great way to warm up your spine on or off the mat. Because breathing is a synchronized movement, asana sequences from Cow Bend to Cat Stretch have many powerful health benefits. Using your hands and knees, get in a table pose with a neutral spine. Inhale and move into Cow Pose, lifting your seat bones and pushing your chest forward, allowing your stomach to drop. Look straight ahead with your head up and your shoulders away from your ears.
As you exhale, come into Cat Pose, rounding your spine outward, pulling your tailbone in, and pulling your pubis forward. Lower your head to the floor. Don’t put your chin on your chest. The most important thing is to relax. Depending on the intention of this practice, you can enjoy playing by holding your breath for 3-5 seconds while fully inhaling in the small bend and exhaling fully in the cat stretch. Focus on breathing through the flow, aiming for 5 to 10 seconds for both inhalation and exhalation.
8. Child’s pose
Child’s Pose gently stretches the back, massages and tones the abdominal organs, and stimulates digestion and excretion. This cool-down stretch is beneficial in relieving back and neck pain and reducing muscle tension. For the mind, this grounding pose is a great way to release anxiety, relax, unwind, and rejuvenate. To perform this cool-down Stretch, exhale as you lower your hips to your heels and your forehead to the floor.
Kneel down or, if more comfortable, spread your knees slightly. The arms can be above the head with the palms on the floor, the palms or fists can be folded under the forehead, and the arms can be at the sides of the body with the palms facing up. As you inhale, inhale slowly and deeply, pressing your belly vigorously toward your buttocks. Inhale and hold your breath 4 to 12 times. To release, place your palms under your shoulders and inhale slowly from a seated position.
Wrapping It Up
You can integrate cool down stretches, also called recovery exercises, at the end of your workout to eliminate strenuous activity. Cool-down and stretching exercises reduce the chance of injury, improve blood flow, and reduce stress on the heart and other muscles. Set aside at least 10 minutes of exercise to cool off.