Why Do I Need to Warm Down?
If you work yourself hard enough, you’re going to be sore the next day. Sometimes, this ache is a nice reminder of the work you put in the day before, but other times it can be debilitating and make the simplest of tasks feel impossible. If you’re struggling to walk up the stairs or to walk in general, maybe a stretch could’ve made your life a hell of a lot easier.
While your yogi friends swear by their hour-long stretch sesh, let’s be real: you do not have time, and you probably won’t benefit that much from static stretching.
If you hold your stretches for 30 seconds without any bouncing or movement, you’ll feel the tension, but not any pain – and reap all the benefits.
We’ve put together a stretch routine that won’t take all day and is perfect for your everyday exercise regime.
Quick post-workout stretch routine:
Standing Quad Stretch
Standing with your feet hip-width apart, bend your leg and bring your heel towards your rear. Reach back with one or both hands and hold on to the raised foot. Press the hip forward of the side you’re stretching. You’ll feel your back lengthen and your quad and hip flexor release.
Repeat on the other leg. Hold onto a wall (or teammate) if you’re finding it hard to balance.
Flex one foot out in front of you, shift your hips back and keep your chin and chest lifted. Let the back of your leg release and switch sides.
Cross one ankle over the opposite knee so that your legs make a figure four. Sit back and let the hips open up. Then repeat with the other leg.
A wall or a teammate would be useful for maintaining balance in this one too.
Crossed Ankles & Side Reach
Bring one ankle across the other, reach up to the side, lengthening from the outside of your heel all the way up to your fingertips. Repeat with the other side.
There’s nothing to it
Taking a few short minutes to stretch will make a huge improvement on your day to day soreness levels after a workout. Feel free to delve deeper and do more intense stretching sessions, but this should have you covered when you’re in a rush after your workout.