The essential post-workout cool down for your home workouts this winter 
25.05.2021

The essential post-workout cool down for your home workouts this winter 

Words by Lauren Groff

While the gyms are open, working out at home is pretty damn appealing in winter. Here's how you can prevent muscle pain at home from your bedroom workouts.

Many people have taken to working out at home over the past few months as gyms have closed and concerns about coronavirus have changed our daily lives. Developing a home workout is a great way to save time and keep on top of your fitness regime, but in the absence of a PT or the gym environment, it’s easy to start taking shortcuts. One thing you don’t want to do is to skip the post-workout cooldown.

That’s because stretching is an integral part of any workout. When we strengthen our muscles they naturally tighten, so some stretching is essential to counteract this effect. What’s more, a thorough cool down works to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (also known as the dreaded DOMS) and will leave you feeling fresh for the next sesh. You only need to spend around a minute in each of these poses so it’s not a serious time commitment, and the space that a cool down makes for reflection can be as valuable for the mind as for the body. Don’t go rushing into the next activity, life is hectic enough. Take the time to cool down with this set of stretches.

Stretch Those Pecs

Chances are that if you’ve done any push-ups or anything involving a kettlebell in your workout then your pecs will have been put to work. Stretch these off by linking your hands behind your back pulling back with them. “This will open your shoulders and stretch your pecs. This is a really good one for improved posture, because tight pecs can often lead to habitual hunching forward,” says Arlene Adams, a fitness blogger at Write My Australia and Revieweal.

 

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Hip Flexors

During a tough workout, it’s easy to concentrate on the big muscles doing the work – our glutes, hammies, or the upper body. And by doing so, we neglect things like our hip flexors. Taking care of these is an essential element of the cool down. Runner’s lunges are a great way to stretch off the hip flexors: make sure to do both sides!

Hamstrings And Calves

If you’ve had a tough workout with the lower body and you want to be able to descend a set of stairs in the next few days then I highly recommend some stretching! The yogi’s forward fold is a fantastic stretch for the hamstrings and the calves. Hinge at the hips with your legs straight and let gravity pull your head to the floor. Stay in this position for around 60 seconds to feel the benefit on your calves and hammies.

 

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Glutes

Getting the glutes fired up is an essential part of any good workout so they need to be taken care of. The seated twist not only gives the glutes a great stretch but throwing in a twist can feel great in the spine and fix any fussiness you may feel in your lower back. “Sitting with your legs flat, bend your right leg at the knee and cross it over the left. Then hook your elbow around the knee and twist right to feel that glute stretch. This is another one for both sides, and a long breath out as you twist can help you get even deeper,” explains Helen Oliver, a writer at Assignment Help and AustralianReviewer.

Knees To Chest

Another stretch that releases your back, gets your glutes working and ultimately feels like you’re giving yourself a big hug – which you’ve definitely earned! Flat on your back bring your knees to your chest and squeeze. This one always feels great.

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose feels different for everyone – if you have tight shoulders then walking your hands forward will stretch across the top of your back and give you a great release in there. If it’s your lower body that’s been working extra hard you’ll feel it in your hamstrings and glutes. This is a fantastic pose to spend some time in at the end of a workout because it’s a gentle stretch that opens up the space to reflect on your workout and embrace a bit of mindfulness that can follow hard exercise.

Recovery Drink

That’s your perfect post-workout recovery journey. Spending as little as 30 seconds to a minute in each of these positions can work wonders to stretch off those worked muscles and prevent muscle pain in the coming days. Don’t forget your recovery drink – you’ve earned it.

 

Lauren Groff is a freelance writer at Essay Roo and Bigassignments. She’s a yoga instructor and personal trainer and feels so good after a workout that it’s her mission to spread that feeling around the world. She loves travelling, hiking and spending time in nature. Also, she blogs at Assignment services.