After working out and being fully exhausted the last thing anyone wants to do is cool-down. Everybody just wants to lie down and fall asleep. The cool-down is the part in a workout that is skipped most often. People feel they are done with the workout and that is it. What people don’t know though is that skipping the cool-down could actually end up hurting them even more.
While working out, even if the workout is safe, you are putting strain on your muscle fibers, ligaments, and tendons. The strain and the work that your muscle fibers, ligaments, and tendons are all undergoing build up of metabolic waste in your body. Having a proper cool down can help flush out these toxins that build up and can prevent soreness and stiffness from occurring. Cooling down properly also helps to slowly bring your heart rate back to normal. This is important to prevent dizziness, fainting, and blood pooling that can occur from suddenly stopping a vigorous workout. Blood pooling occurs when you suddenly stop exercising because the force that pushes blood back to the heart slows as well. If a cool down is not performed then the blood that builds up can cause swelling and pain. Thus, cooling down can help prevent blood pooling from occurring by slowly reducing the heart rate. Something like a light jog can even help by causing small contractions forcing the blood vessels to continuing pumping blood back to the heart.
At Athletic Lab we recognize that having a proper cool down is important and we never skip it. Here are some exercises that are good to include in cool downs:
Lying down Quadriceps stretch
Pigeon Stretch (Hip stretch but also stretches the Gluteus Maximus)
Cobra (Stretches the Rectus Abdominis)
Lying Hamstring Stretch