Prevent muscle soreness and injury after an intense athletics training session with these cool-down & stretching exercises.
Cooling down after a training session or competition is just as important for your performance as an effective warm-up programme. A warm-up prepares you for the training session, while a cool-down brings your body back to a state of homeostasis (= balance of physiological body functions). In short: your body regenerates better so you will be fit for the next training session more quickly.
Get the most out of your cool-down:
Work the muscle groups you use most during sprints and jumps. These specifically include:
If you skip your cool-down, you miss out on a simple, well-deserved shortcut to your training progress. Plus, that post-workout massage and stretching feeling you get from an athletics session with a few intense sprints is priceless.
You should do cool-down exercises after every athletics training session. If you don’t have a lot of time, skip individual exercises. Or only massage/stretch areas of the body that are particularly tense.
Current research shows that targeted fascia training has a positive effect on the muscle soreness that develops after a training session. Self-massage helps you squeeze out depleted fluids. Your tissues can fill up again with fresh nutrients. It also has a positive calming effect on the autonomic nervous system. Self-massage exercises will help you relax.
Stretching can increase the mobility of your joints, increase blood flow and reduce feelings of stiffness. Other potential benefits of stretching: