What do you do after an intense workout session? Gulp down a gallon of water and then rush into the shower? Aren’t you missing something though? A cooldown session perhaps?
Why is cooldown stretches important you may ask. Think about it, after you have finished the hardest part of your routine, you need to slow down your heart rate and let your muscles “decompress”.
Decompression or cooldown sessions initiates your bodily recovery process and helps bring your muscles back to their resting length since the intense weight training leaves them stressed and taut. This will affect your performance.
With that being said, we would suggest that you try these cooldown stretches before you hit the showers.
#1. The Chair Stretch
This stretch is the best way to ease the tension in your hamstrings and hips. To begin with, place a strong chair against the wall. Stand at about two feet away from your chair. Set your right foot on the seat while you place your left foot firmly on the ground. Keep your hands on your hips and your knees soft while you shift your weight forward and stretch. Shift sides after 30 seconds.
#2. The Overhead Arm Stretch
The overhead arm stretch works wonders on your triceps. Stand with your feet apart, just about the width of your hips. Relax your shoulders. Stretch your arm up to the ceiling. Bend the elbow to place your palm towards the middle of your back.
Try and stretch your right arm as much as possible. Now place your left hand on your right arm on the area above the elbow. Apply pressure to the region and deepen the stretch as you do so. Hold this position for 30 seconds before you shift to the next side.
#3. The Doorway Stretch
The doorway stretch is the best to open your chest muscles. For this one, you must face a doorway. Now place your palms flat, at ear level, on either side of the frame. Remember to keep your elbows bent through the stretch. Now inch forward on your feet while keeping them firmly placed on the ground until you feel your chest and arm muscles stretch.
#4. Laydown Side Stretch
This stretch is aimed to help restore your quadriceps. For this stretch, you must first lie down on your right side on a mat or if you prefer the floor, that would do too. Make sure you keep your body in a straight line. Next, bend your elbow and gently rest your head on the bicep.
As you do this, slowly bend your knee such that it moves towards your left buttock. Next, inhale while reaching out with your left hand and grabbing your left foot while trying to keep your posture neutral. Hold the posture for about 30 seconds. Now exhale and move back into the initial position and then switch sides.
We know feeling like a human stink bomb post-workout can put you off. But a cooldown session can really bring up your endurance and ease your body. So next time, don’t neglect your cooldown stretches.
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