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6 Cool Down Stretches to Prevent Post-Workout Muscle Pain

Never forget to stretch!

cool down stretches, post workout stretch Kelsey Wells

With gyms all over the world being forced to close for several months earlier this year, many of us have taken to conducting our own workout sessions at home or in the local park. And while it's been great in some ways, not having the support of an exercise class leader or a PT keeping an eye on the gym floor means we're somewhat going it alone when it comes to the all-important post-workout stretch.

It might not feel quite as vital as the exercise itself, but both the warm-up and the cool-down stretches are hugely important parts of a workout.

"Taking the time to cool down after your training session can help to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness and ease post-workout muscle tension," explains ​SWEAT Trainer ​Kelsey Wells. And what's more - it doesn't need to be complex. Just a few minutes of cardio and some static stretching will "help you to gradually lower your heart rate back to normal levels and help your body to cool down after your session," she says.

And there's another reason it's worth spending that bit of extra time stretching after exercise. "Cooling down also gives ​you a moment to reflect on the workout session you’ve just completed and feel those post-workout endorphins," notes Kelsey 

With that in mind, the PT has devised a very simple, six minute full-body cool-down routine you can easily do at home, in the park, or in the gym after almost any workout. All you need is yourself and the space for a workout mat, and you'll be thanking yourself later when you're not crawling up the stairs sideways because your glutes are in agony from a HIIT class.

PS. Don't forget to deep-breathe during your stretches for maximum impact.

Follow this cool down stretch routine after every workout:

Pecs - for 60 seconds

Child's pose - for 60 seconds

 

Hip flexor - for 60 seconds (30 seconds per side)

Calves and hamstrings- for 60 seconds

 

Glutes seated twist - for 60 seconds (30 seconds per side)

Knees to chest- for 60 seconds

 

When it's that simple, why would you pass up on a cool-down stretch?