Gains are hindered by what we do not recover from, and recovery starts with a good cool down.
The purpose of a Cool Down is to bring the body back to its normal physiological level after fast, vigorous exercise or activity. It is performed by gradually reducing the intensity or slowing the pace of activity. A proper cool-down can be executed by doing a gentle myofascial release and gently “stretching” the muscles/tissues you just worked out.
Here are two important reasons why having a proper cool-down technique is essential to follow after working out:
1) After exercise, a majority of your blood is focused on the major muscle groups and extremities that you just worked out; your heart rate is usually elevated. Following a proper cool-down technique allows your heart rate to return close to its resting state, which allows your body to recover properly.
2) If you stop exercising abruptly without cooling down, your muscles will suddenly stop contracting vigorously. This can cause blood to pool in the lower extremities of your body, leaving your blood without as much pressure to be pumped back to the heart and brain. This can put you at risk for potential injury.
A proper cool-down sequence can vary depending on the type of activity or workout you just completed. Examples include: walking and myofascial release followed by general static stretching of the upper and lower body.
Some of our favorites are those that incorporate multiple muscle groups and cool down the overall body. Here are some recommendations of helpful equipment you may need to get started.
Blog courtesy of:
Launch Physical Therapy & Sports Performance Center
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