Do these stretches to cool down after working out.
Static stretches are best done post-workout. (Photo: magiceyes / www.123rf.com)
After a particularly gruelling training session, the last thing on your mind is a proper cool down exercise. What have you got to lose skipping a few stretches, anyway? While experts disagree on whether cool down exercises can prevent injuries, cooling down post-exercise allows heart rate and blood pressure to recover gradually.
To cool down effectively, do static stretches, says Lim Hun Teck, chief physiotherapist at Raffles Rehabilitation Centre. That’s because your muscles are already warmed up. Conventionally used as warm up exercises, Hun Teck warns that static stretches done pre-workout can actually decrease your performance. Read more on Warm Up Exercises: What You’re Doing Wrongly.
Static stretches are ideal for specific muscle injuries, and improves flexibility and performance. These are best done after or in between sports, says Hun Teck. He recommends cooling down with these five post-exercise static stretches:
1. Post-exercise Static Stretch: Arm Crossovers
Place your left arm across your chest and hold it in stretch position with your right arm.
2. Post-exercise Static Stretch: Quadriceps Stretch
Hold left foot up against your butt for 10 seconds. Repeat with right leg.
3. Post-exercise Static Stretch: Trunk Rotation
Lying down with your knees bend, point your knees to the left and hold for 10 seconds. Swap direction and repeat.
4. Post-exercise Static Stretch: Hamstring Stretch
Stand with one leg to the front and the other to the back. Bend your back knee and rest your body weight on it.
5. Post-exercise Static Stretch: Groin Stretch
Side lunge and hold for 10 seconds. Reverse legs and repeat.
This article was written by Magdalene Lee and first appeared in Raffles Healthnews. It has been adapted for www.shape.com.sg.