After a hard workout, it’s all too easy to skip your cool down—especially if you’re tired, hungry or short on time.
However, this is a key moment to improve joint and muscle health through stretching, said Lisa Fleming, Personal Training Program Manager at Blink Fitness. After a workout when the body is warm, stretching can increase blood flow to the muscles and can also increase your flexibility and range of motion, providing numerous benefits to your body.
“When you move a joint through its full range of motion, it increases the synovial fluid inside the joint and it’s like getting an oil change in your car,” Fleming explained. “This makes the joint more lubricated and the bones can slide better on one other.” In this way, a proper cool down can even help prevent arthritis, she said.
The best way to reap these benefits is through static stretching, according to Fleming. At Blink Fitness, trainers recommend the following moves at the end of any work out. Click on the name to see an example of the move.
- Reach for the toes
- Knee hug
- Strait leg toe touch
- Side lying quad stretch
- Standing calf stretch
- Tricep stretch
- Hands clasped behind back chest stretch
Fitting in even a few of these stretches is a great way to end your workout and gain the benefits from a proper cool down.