The cool down is the counterpart to the warm up. The warm up prepares your body for the upcoming training session. The cool down, on the other hand, marks the end of your training session.
How does a cool down help you?
With the cool down, your overheated body is slowly cooled down. A regular cool down can achieve better training results in the long term and prevent injuries.
Cooling down has many important functions for your body and muscles:
- Your regeneration is supported and accelerated.
- The cardiovascular system and breathing return to normal.
- Faster breakdown of metabolic products (e.g. lactate)
- Your muscles are relaxed and muscle tension decreases.
- Muscle soreness is reduced.
- You’re going down – mental relaxation.
Cool down exercises - this is how you warm down properly
There are many exercises to shape the cool down. An optimal cool down program consists of 2 phases.
The first phase concerns the regulation of your cardiovascular system. The 2nd phase is specifically dedicated to your muscles. You can also design your cool down with exercises from phase 1 or phase 2.
1st phase: cycling out
After your workout, you should easily cycle or run for 10 minutes. Pick a cardio machine of your choice. Choose a moderate pace. You shouldn’t get out of breath. If you can have a relaxed conversation on the side, you’re at the right pace.
Extending and coasting will cause your cardiovascular system and breathing to calm down.
Metabolic products that result from training (e.g. lactate) are better removed. Your regeneration time will be shortened. You are fit faster for the next training session.
Our tip: Cycling out or running out is particularly recommended after strenuous and intensive training sessions.
Stretching and stretching
You can reduce the tension in your muscles through stretching and stretching exercises. Your blood circulation is improved and metabolic products can be removed more quickly. Adapt the exercise selection to your training.
Avoid bobbing and dynamic stretching that is too fast. Moving too quickly will do the opposite. Your muscles are in an alternation between tension and relaxation.
Sauna or hot shower
You can also go to the sauna or enjoy a warm shower after your workout. Warmth dilates the blood vessels, your blood circulation is improved and regeneration is promoted.
Muscles and mind relax and recover. Heat can have a positive effect on sore muscles and accelerate healing.
Our tip: give your body a short break before going into the sauna. So your circulation can calm down. Make sure you are hydrated.
Ice bucket or cold shower
You do not like hot showers? No problem! Ice bathing or a cold shower are also great. The ice bin is especially popular with competitive athletes. The cold draws the vessels together.
Inflammatory processes are inhibited. After a cold shower or ice bucket, blood circulation is stimulated and the breakdown of metabolic products is improved.
Our tip: No ice bin at the start? You can also achieve a similar effect with alternating showers. Shower with hot water for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of cold water. Repeat for at least 2 minutes.
Massage and fascia roll
Massages or rolling out with a fascia roller can also be used to cool down. Your fascia and muscles will be loosened and tension will be released.
Muscle soreness can be reduced or prevented. Try to work with light and gentle pressure. Massaging or rolling out too much has a counterproductive effect on your muscles.
Summary: Cooling Down
- Cool down is the counterpart to warm up and ends the training.
- Your overheated body is cooled down and regeneration is improved.
- Injuries are prevented.
- The cool down should consist of 2 phases.
- You have the following options: cycling, running out, stretching, stretching, sauna, warm shower, cold shower, ice barrel, massage or fascia roller.