Workouts · Oct 22, 2021

Why You Should Cool Down With These 5 Post-Workout Stretches

You’re dialing up the intensity in every sweat-inducing Litesport workout. As your fists are flying your heart rate elevates, your blood flow increases, and your muscles fire on all cylinders to keep up with your workout. 

That type of effort is demanding of your body. After you finish your workout you need to bring your body back to baseline. This is where a cool down comes in as a crucial part of your workout routine. With only a few extra minutes, you can do your body a lot of good. 

Read on to learn more about the importance of a cool-down and what you should do after each class. We’ll share five of our trainer's favorite post-boxing stretches you can try after your next full-body Litesport workout.

The importance of a cool-down

Recovery is an essential part of your workout routine. It’s key to keeping your body healthy, reaching your goals, and avoiding injury along the way. And your recovery starts with a cool-down

The purpose of a cool-down is to transition your body from a high-intensity workout to a normal baseline by slowly bringing your heart rate and blood pressure down. This helps prevent any nausea or dizziness that can sometimes result from abruptly switching from a high-intensity workout to no activity too quickly. 

Elements of a cool-down

A cool-down often consists of a few minutes of a less intense version of the workout you just completed. For example, if you’re going for a run a cool-down could be a slower jog or a walk. With Litesport, your trainers will walk you through smaller movements and stretches at the end of class to help lower your heart rate.

No matter the workout, there are three important elements to any cool-down: 

  • Stretching: Helps keep your muscles strong, healthy, and injury-free while increasing the range of motion in your joints, leading to better flexibility. Since your muscles are warmed up immediately after completing a workout, the muscle fibers easily lengthen during a cool down, deepening the stretch.
  • Breathing: Focus on taking deeper breaths and keeping your chest open to let in as much air as possible as you stretch and move post-workout.  
  • Hydration: Make sure to load up on plenty of fluids. This helps replace what you sweat out and also helps regulate your body’s temperature so you can cool down.

And it doesn’t need to last long! Depending on the intensity and length of your workout you might only need a few minutes for your heart rate and breathing to return to normal. 

5 great post-workout stretches

While our trainer classes offer a small amount of stretching at the end of each class, if you have more time in your schedule it’s always a good idea to add in more stretches depending on where your body needs it most. 

With these five stretches from our trainers, you can target the major muscles you’re using throughout class including your glutes, hamstrings, quads, spine, shoulders, and hip flexors. 

Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat for three rounds for a full cool-down. 

 

 

Chest opener

Our trainers uses a fence for this stretch but you can also grab onto a table or chair, or lay down on a foam roller if you have one. 

If you’re using a table, chair, or fence:

  1. Turn your back to face the table, chair, or fence 
  2. Keeping your hips extended and core engaged reach back to grab hold of the chair, table, etc with your hands until you feel an opening in your shoulders and chest
  3. Lift up through the center of your chest as you breathe into this upper body opener 

If you’re using a foam roller:

  1. Place the foam roller on the floor 
  2. Sit down and slowly lower your back and head until your entire upper body is laying on the foam roller 
  3. Bring your arms into a cactus position and slowly let your shoulders and chest fall open to the side 

Quad stretch

  1. Position yourself next to a chair or table for balance
  2. Lift your right foot off the ground as if you’re trying to kick your butt with your heel
  3. Reach back and grab the outside of your foot with your right hand
  4. Squeeze your inner thighs together as you press your right heel close to your body
  5. Bring your right knee next to your left and even out your hips until you feel a stretch in your quads
  6. Repeat on the left side

Dancers Yoga Pose

  1. Position yourself next to a chair or table for balance
  2. Lift your right leg and reach back to grab the inside of your foot or shin with your right hand 
  3. Hinge forward on your standing leg as you kick back into your right foot
  4. You should feel an opening in your chest, hamstring, and hip flexors 
  5. Repeat on the left side

Figure 4 stretch

  1. While grabbing hold of a counter, fence, or some other unmovable object, cross one ankle over your opposite thigh
  2. Sit your hips back and bend until you feel an opening in your hip flexors
  3. Breath into this spine and hip stretch for a few moments
  4. Repeat on the opposite side

Hamstring stretches

Here are two great ways to stretch your hamstring in both the sagittal and lateral planes: 

Using an elevated surface:

  1. Using an elevated object like a chair or a bed bring your right heel to rest on the surface, keeping a slight bend in the elevated right leg 
  2. Press your right hip back as you slowly lower your chest towards your elevated leg
  3. Go only as far as feels right to you and breathe into the stretch
  4. Repeat on the left side

You can also get a stretch using the floor:

  1. Straighten your right leg and lift your toes, keeping your right heel on the ground 
  2. Press your right hip back and bend into your left leg as you slowly hinge your chest towards your right leg
  3. Reach for your shin or toes depending on your hamstring flexibility 
  4. Repeat on the left side 

    It’s easy to get excited about focusing on full intensity boxing workouts. But an equally important (and often overlooked) part of your fitness routine should be made up of rest and recovery.  all that full-body fitness is another equally important (and often overlooked) part of your workout: rest and recovery. Learn more about how to rest and recover with Litesport

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