Most people realize that they need to stretch before they workout. It’s an important part of the pre-workout ritual. Stretching helps warm up your tendons, ligaments, and muscles, preventing you from getting injured during your fitness routine.
But what about after your workouts? Are there post-workout stretching routines that you need to do? The answer to that question is yes. Here’s why.
The stretches that you do after your workout are just as important as the ones that you do beforehand. Sure, your body is already warmed up before your workout, preventing injury during it.
However, you could just as hurt afterward if you don’t do any post-workout stretches. Many of the experts point out the need for these cool-down routines and compare your body to a machine. You can’t just go from zero to 60 and then back immediately to zero again.
You need to slowly halt your workout and prepare your body for your post-exercise state, hence a post-workout stretching routine.
More Than Your Legs and Arms Are Affected
A good post-workout stretching routine, also known as a cool-down period, is about more than just preventing the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your arms and legs from getting injured. It also can help your circulatory system.
When you work out, your heart rate increases. If you stop your workout suddenly, blood can actually pool in the lower extremities of your body, leading to fainting and dizziness. When you slowly stop your workout and finish up from some stretches, you’re taking your heart rate down gradually, instead of all at once. This helps your body quite a bit.
What Are Some Good Post-Workout Stretches?
Ideally, many of the pre-workout stretches that you do will help you after your workout is complete. Feel free to add some hamstring stretches, back stretches, and others to your post-workout stretching routine. In addition, you can do ones like neck rolls, quad stretches, arm and chest lifts, hip and glute stretches, and triceps reaches.
How to Cool Down Properly
Before you reach the stretching stage of your post-workout routine, make sure to slow your running pace down gradually and do a few laps at a walking pace. This will give your cardiovascular system a chance to slow down and get back to your resting heart rate. After this, you can find a mat or a quiet corner to do your post-workout stretching routine.