When you workout you should always incorporate a warm up before and a cool down afterward. Warm ups are best for loosening and preparing cold muscles and joints for intense workouts but stretching moves (particularly non-dynamic, static stretches held for any period longer than 5-10 seconds) should be saved for after your workout is complete.
Coming in at under 5 minutes in length, this cool down was built especially for people with limited time for exercise - just because your schedule is tight doesn't mean your body will forgive you for skipping warm ups and cool downs! These feel good stretches are enough to bring your heart rate down gradually and stretch out the muscles, without adding a significant amount of time to your overall exercise session.
- Start with very light cardio to bring down the heart rate, then move into stretches for a wide variety of muscle groups
-15 Seconds per exercise or stretch
- Under 5 minutes in length, total
- You will need: an open wall
In this Routine:
Roundabout Toe Touch
Arm Pull and Hip Flexor Stretch (Left and Right)
Wall Shoulder Stretch
Wall Chest Stretch (Left and Right)
Wide Toe Touch Stretch
Bent Over Quadricep Stretch (Left and Right)
Standing Glute Stretch (Left and Right)
Inside Thigh and Over Head Tricep Stretch (Left and Right)
Though it might be sometimes hard to justify taking the time to include the warm up and cool down portions of your workout, especially if your free time is limited, it's an important part of your routine that's not only good for the body and helpful in avoiding injuries, but also an important variable that allows you to push yourself harder and perform at a more intense level than if you tried to leave it out.