We have some tips for you on how to finish off a training session well.
Physical training has three well-defined and fundamental phases to be carried out for exercise to be beneficial to health:
- First of all, there’s the warm-up, which prepares your body and the muscles for the next phase.
- Then the active phase, consisting of the training itself.
- Last but not least, after finishing the activity there should be a warm-down.
Sometimes the warm-down is underestimated, without realising its crucial role in letting the body recover properly, allowing you to to resume the next practice with greater vitality.
What is the warm-down?
The warm-down consists of an post-activity process following physical activity, with the aim of restoring the body to the metabolic and neuromuscular values that were present before the start of the training.
After the activity, it’s essential we adapt from this state of physical intensity back to the calm of our physiological muscular system.
- Schedule only a light number of activities.
- Perform the activities with a regression in intensity.
- Include static or dynamic activities that help in the regression.
- Stretch at the end of the process.
Why stretch after training?
Stretching after training is essential, as it not only reduces muscle tension, but also brings significant physical and psychological benefits.
Stretching makes the muscle groups more flexible, as the contracted muscles return to their comfortable state, making the body more flexible, which allows you to perform movements more easily.
Helps get rid of lactic acid
When training, the body produces lactic acid that causes the muscles to ache and tire.
Stretching reduces lactic acid build-up and relaxes the muscles.
Improves blood circulation
In an intense training session, the body pumps blood round your body faster, accelerating your heart rate.
Prevention of injuries and less aches and pains
Stretching after training won’t eliminate muscle soreness, but it will greatly minimise it.
On the other hand, stretching your muscles properly reduces your susceptibility to injury and helps you recover better.
Improves your range of movement
If you stretch your muscles after a workout, you’ll be able to use them through a greater range of movement.
This will allow you to achieve better results by using your muscles to their maximum capacity.
Improves muscle coordination
Stretching tired muscles gives them better functional mobility to synchronise properly.
Stretching also helps find balance between your mind and body.
It lifts your mood and helps de-stress.
How to stretch after a training session?
Stretching should be done with proper body alignment and posture, taking into consideration the fact that we all possess different levels of resistance, flexibility and strength.
It’s also necessary to stretch with gentle and sustained tension, in a gradual and relaxed way, preferably without bouncing.
Amongst the techniques used for stretching are the following:
Static or assisted passive stretching of the muscles involved in the workout session
The aim of this stretching is to relax the muscle as a whole and return to a basal state.
It can be done with the help of a partner to provide resistance.
To do the stretches, adopt the stretching positions in a relaxed manner, until you feel a moderate tension, then hold the position for 20 seconds.
There are a few steps in this method:
- First, you seek the maximum stretch position, which facilitates inhibition of the myotatic reflex;
- Followed by relaxation;
- Then isometric contraction of the muscle to be stretched.
Tips for finishing each exercise
At the end of each training session, there are some highly advisable points to take into account for the success of the practice as a whole, in accordance with the nature of the exercises performed.
The body needs to return to its normal state properly and gradually to reduce the risk of injury and avoid discomfort the following day.
Here are some of the most interesting ones.
The best way to finish is with 25 or 30 seconds at a high intensity.
How to finish a training well after running: a light jog followed by 1-2 minutes of walking.
If the training has been very intense, massage the quads and calves with ice for about 5 minutes in an upward direction, from bottom to top.
Rest for 5 minutes, stretch again and then continue ice massaging for another 5 minutes.
Perform 5 or 6 slow dives while completely exhaling underwater.
Then run 1/10 of the total distance you’ve swum that day at a gentle, relaxed pace.
Muscles and weights
You need to stretch all the muscles you’ve worked for about 30 seconds each.
How to finish a training well after the gym: massage the worked area to eliminate possible contractures (you can use a foam roller).
- “Ejercicio terapeútico” Carolyn Kisner y Lynn Allen Colby 1996
- “Periodización del entrenamiento deportivo” Tudor O. Bompa Phd 2004
- “Fisioterapia del deporte y el ejercicio” Gregory S. Holt y Lynn Snyder.Mackler 2004
- Personal contributions.
- Do yoy know how to use a Foam Roller for massages? Click here and we’ll talk you through how to use it.
- Everything you need to know about active recovery stretches. Go now.
- How to improve muscle recovery in cycling? We offer some tips in this link.