After a hard workout, the last thing I want to do is spend more time in the gym. After I finish that last movement and bang out those final few minutes, my brain and body are both checked out. The last thing I want to do is those cool down exercises that I know I need to. But I know that cooling down after a workout, especially a difficult and strenuous one, is equally as important as warming up before.
It takes about five minutes to lower your heart rate to a steady 120 beats per minute after a workout, so you only need about five minutes to cool down. You can fit that into your schedule. Cooldown exercises don’t have to be long and tough. They can short, quick, and even relaxing.
Here are some suggestions for cool-down exercises that you actually might enjoy doing:
A staple in yoga that’s equally as good for cooling down. Start on all fours with your palms flat on the floor. As you inhale, arch your spine and look up at the ceiling. As you exhale, curl your stomach upward so that your back is in a C-curve.
Start by standing straight up. Pick up your right foot and cross your shin over your left thigh. At the same time, hinge at your hips, and while keeping your left leg steady, bend by coming into a half-squat position.
3Side Bench Stretch
Start by standing straight up with your feet hip-width apart. Place your right hand on the right hip and lift your left hand overhead and lean to the right. You should feel a stretch on your left side. Return to starting position and repeat on the right side.
4Legs on the Wall
Sit sideways next to a wall and put your legs up on the wall. Move your butt as close to the wall as possible as you bring your torso to the ground. Put your arms to your side and breathe.
5Standing Quad Stretch
Start by standing straight up. Pick up your right foot and hold it behind you while pulling your foot as close to your butt as possible. Make sure you stand up straight, keep your supportive leg steady, and don’t lean forward or back. Also, keep your core engaged so you can get a stretch on your legs and hip flexors.
Do these exercises for a minute each, and boom- your cooldown will be finished in no time.