3 Reasons to Cool-down After Your WOD (+ the Key Stages of an Effective Cool-down)
3 Reasons To Cool Down After Your Workout:
1) You Are Not Ready For A Warm Up!
You may have heard the saying “you’re not ready for a warm up” before. But when you feel like your body is going to explode from all the hard work you’ve put into training, then it’s time to start warming up.
However, there are certain things that must happen first before starting any kind of warmup routine.
First, you need to get yourself mentally prepared. If you haven’t done so already, do some light stretching and move around a bit.
Make sure that your muscles are loose and don’t feel tight. Also make sure that they aren’t sore from previous workouts or other activities. Next, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated during the warmup period. Finally, try to relax as much as possible while performing these exercises.
2) You Need To Have A Good Goal Before Starting Your Warm Up!
If you want to increase strength, then it makes sense to warm up first. And if you want to improve your endurance, then it makes sense too.
But what if you just want to lose weight? Or maybe you just wanted to get fit? Then how do you decide which goal is best suited for warming up?
Well, that all comes down to your “final goal”. If you’re happy with just being in shape and having more energy, then there is no reason to do a lot of endurance training. If you want to be in superior cardiovascular condition and have the stamina of an athlete, then you’ll need to put in the work first.
Warm up activities can also enhance your recovery as well as your performance. Many exercises can help prevent injury due to their increased blood flow and range of motion.
And if your goal is strength, then getting warmed up first can actually increase your strength output so you can lift more.
3) You Can Actually Make Your Workout Easier With A Warm-up!
Warming up doesn’t just prepare your body for the actual workout ahead; it actually makes the whole process easier.
Don’t believe us?
Just try doing jumping jacks until you’re out of breath. Then, stop and try doing as many push-ups as you can. (Be sure to stop if you feel any pain!)
Did you do more push-ups after your jumping jacks?
Most people do because they were able to get more blood flow to their arms, which made them stronger. This is just one of many reasons why warming up is so important!
If you find yourself struggling with weight training, then you might want to consider a proper warm-up routine. These are usually composed of low impact movements that gradually bring your blood flow to the muscles you’ll be using.
This helps prevent injuries and allows you to use proper form while lifting.
4) You Should Have Specific Warm-up Routine (The Exercises)
As we mentioned before, the best way to go about warming up is through a routine that gradually brings your blood flow to the areas that you’ll be using. This could include anything from jogging on the spot to jumping jacks to arm circles.
With that being said, not all warm-up routines are equal. Some of them are better than others for different goals.
For instance, if your goal is to improve your vertical jump, then you’ll need to perform more dynamic movements. If you’re trying to improve muscle endurance, then you’ll want to perform lighter movements with less rest in between.
While we can give you a general guideline of what to do, the best thing to do is to find a routine that fits your personal goals from an expert in that field.
5) You Should Have A Cooldown After Each Workout (The Cool-down Exercises)
Just like warming up prepares your body for the physical activity ahead, a cool down helps it return to its resting state. This is important because it helps bring your heart rate back down to normal after your workout.
It also helps improve the elasticity of your muscles and prevent injuries from straining them after the workout.
Another important aspect of a cool-down is that it allows your body to gradually adjust to being stationary again. This helps prevent a condition known as post-exercise oxygen consumption (or the “afterburn effect”).
In fact, studies have shown that doing light exercise after lifting can increase the amount of calories you burn afterwards by up to fifteen percent!
Just like with a warm-up routine, you can come up with your own cool down exercises. This can be as simple as just walking around for 5-10 minutes or stretching the muscles you’ve been using.
The Bottom Line
We hope that you now have a better understanding of why warming up and cooling down are so important to your workout. Not only do they help prevent injuries and allow you to use proper form, but they also help improve your overall workout.
Just remember the five key points we discussed here and you’ll be well on your way to having amazing workouts!
Remember to have fun and enjoy the process!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Thermal effects on microstructural heterogeneity of Inconel 718 materials fabricated by electron beam melting (WJ Sames, KA Unocic, RR Dehoff, T Lolla… – Journal of Materials …, 2014 – cambridge.org)
- Stress characteristics of plate-fin structures in the cool-down process of LNG heat exchanger (H Ma, W Cai, W Zheng, J Chen, Y Yao… – Journal of Natural Gas …, 2014 – Elsevier)
- Effects of combined exercise training on body composition and metabolic syndrome factors (CH Ha, WY So – Iranian journal of public health, 2012 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)