Best Cool Down Exercises to Prevent Injury

Many people think that their workout session ends soon after they finish their last set of any exercise. Unfortunately, many people understand the importance of warming up before they start their workout session, but they do not know that cooling down your body is just as important. You can try certain exercises to cool down after your cardio or weight training session. These exercises help strengthen your muscle and accelerate recovery.

Cool Down Exercises

Your muscle and tissue are obviously tired after a weight training session, but performing certain exercises soon after your training session can significantly reduce risk of injury and improve recovery time. Here is what you can do:

1. Reclining Twist

  • While lying on your back, slowly draw your right leg into your chest. Keep your left leg straight all the time.
  • Twist your bent knee across the center off your abdomen while exhaling gently. Press your other hand onto your bent knee and extend the other arm as well.
  • Maintain the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat the same on the other side too.

2. Cat/Cow Stretch

 

  • To improve your breathing and control your heart rate, try cat/cow stretch by getting on your all fours first.
  • Inhale slowly and then round your spine while exhaling. Also, drop your head while you exhale. This will put you in the "cat" posture.
  • Now, start breathing in slowly. As you inhale, start lifting your head up along with your chest towards the ceiling. The idea is to make that arch in your back like a cow. This will put you in the "cow" posture.
  • Repeat the same for 30 seconds.

3. Walking

One of the best cool down exercises is to walk for a few minutes soon after your regular training session. Keep in mind that you do not stick to power walking when your main aim is to cool down your body. It should be a leisurely stroll with no real urgency and effort. Just keep moving while your body returns to its normal state.

4. Swimming

 

A quick dip is surely going to help you relax and feel better after a tiring workout session. If you have a pool near you, be sure to use the opportunity to cool down your body quickly. You can try Olympic-style swimming for a few minutes to help your body relax in a natural way.

5. Jumping Jacks

 

If you cannot enjoy swimming, you may consider trying the jumping jack that uses the same muscle groups and help your body relax at the same time. That jumping motion while spreading and closing your legs can give your upper and lower body a quick, little workout and help them relax at the same time.

6. Figure 4 Stretch

Looking for cool down exercises? Try this one.

  • Lie on your back with feet flat on the ground and knees bent. Slowly lift your right leg and put it across your left leg.
  • Gently grab your left thigh with your hands without moving your torso up.
  • Press your right knee away using your right elbow while drawing your left thigh in.
  • Maintain this position for 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat the same on the other side as well.

7. Child's Pose

  • Sit back on your heels while making sure that your knees are out wide.
  • Slowly lower your chest while bending forward at hips. Keep bending until your forehead is touching the ground.
  • Slowly extend your arms in front of you until your palms are on the ground.
  • Stay in this position for at least 30 seconds or more if possible.

8. Calf Raise Down

  • Find a raised platform and stand on it with the balls of your feet touching the surface. You can grab a secure object to maintain your balance.
  • Drop your heels slowly while exhaling. You can perform the movement with one foot at a time or use both feet together.

9. Get a Massage

Another good way to help your body relax after a strenuous training session is to get a massage. This improves blood circulation and sends more nutrients to your broken muscle fibers. Not only will it help you recover faster, it will also help you get better gains. It is a good idea to perform a couple of cool down exercises first and then go for a massage.

10. Stretch Lying

  • Lie on your side with the inside of your thighs and both knees together.
  • Start by extending your lower leg while keeping the other leg bent all the time. Use your hand to grab the foot and pull it toward your hips. Exhale slowly while performing the movement.
  • You can wrap a towel around your foot if it feels difficult to grab your foot with your hand.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

11. Lying Trunk Twists

  • Lie on your back with your hands extended out to your sides.
  • Start sliding your legs up towards your arm while keeping your knees together and allowing your body to twist around a little.
  • You can do it with bent legs if you find it difficult to perform the move with legs straight.
 
 
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