You just finished a brutal WOD and your heart is still pounding while you scrape yourself off the floor to survey all the equipment you have to clean and put away before you head out for the rest of your busy day. Between the time you put your equipment away and the time you walk out the door, there is a great opportunity to cool down, stretch, and catch up with friends that is unfortunately often overlooked.
Most of our group classes will end a few minutes early to allow for cool down activities. These cool-down activities can include stretches to help target specific areas used in the WOD for mobility work. While these stretches can be completed quickly, there is a huge benefit to making a habit of performing cool down mobility work that will reduce overall muscle soreness and allow you to achieve mobility ranges and positions that you may not be able to perform before completing the WOD. There are also additional recovery exercises, like a 200m recovery walk, to allow the heart rate to steadily decline which is a good way to calm the body down before jumping into your car with your head still spinning from all those burpees.
While there are many physiological benefits to cool down stretches or exercises, the best part of these cool down activities is the additional time that you can use to socialize with your fellow classmates. Having a chat while moving through a 3-position banded shoulder distraction is a fantastic way to end a class. You get to have a nice conversation while getting in that extra mobility work. This is also a great opportunity to ask the coach or classmates any questions that you may have which can often spark some great group discussions. Try to make the cool down a habitual part of your class experience by completing a stretch or a slow aerobic exercise like a short walk or bike after every class workout and see who you can get to join in. Of course, you can take a couple of minutes to collect yourself and let your legs stop shaking but let’s also take a couple of extra minutes to take a quick walk, pedal on the bike, or open your hips up with a brief stretch.
So next time you finish a brutal class workout, take an extra minute to cool down and make some small talk and you will be happy you did.
Want to join our community? Sign up for a FREE Intro today!