Top Tips for how to finish a training session well

Top Tips for how to finish a training session well

We have some tips for you on how to finish off a training session well.

How to finish a training session well - info

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.

Within a routine structured to include this phase, it is essential to include stretches corresponding to the intensity and type of training performed.

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.

Effort

After the activity, it’s essential we adapt from this state of physical intensity back to the calm of our physiological muscular system.

During this process, we can consider the following steps:
  • 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.

Increases flexibility

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 - How to Finish a Training Session Well

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.

With stretching, blood flow to the muscles resumes a normal rhythm, which allows your heart rate to return to its original resting rate as well.

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.

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.

Mind-body connection

Stretching also helps find balance between your mind and body.

Mind-body connection

It lifts your mood and helps de-stress.

In doing so, stretching helps you tune in to your body, allowing you to detect any muscle or joint pain that needs attention or rest.

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.

It can take between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the intensity of the training.

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.

We can do isometric contraction work for all the antagonist muscles in this way.

Stretching

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.

Holt 3-S

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.
Finally, there’s a contraction of the antagonist muscle, activating the reciprocal innervation reflex.

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.

To finish any exercise or training well: it’s crucial you give the body a good warm-down.

Here are some of the most interesting ones.

Running

The best way to finish is with 25 or 30 seconds at a high intensity.

Running

How to finish a training well after running: a light jog followed by 1-2 minutes of walking.

You can repeat this 2-3 times and then stretch the quadriceps, calves, hamstring and hip flexor muscles, which were the main muscles involved in the activity.

Cycling

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.

This ice technique could also be applied to the above case.

Swimming

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.

In the water and taking advantage of the buoyancy, you can do some regular stretching.

Muscles and weights

You need to stretch all the muscles you’ve worked for about 30 seconds each.

Foam-roller - How to Finish a Training Session Well

How to finish a training well after the gym: massage the worked area to eliminate possible contractures (you can use a foam roller).

When it’s time to shower, start with 3 minutes of hot water and end with 1 minute of cold water.

Bibliography

  1. “Ejercicio terapeútico” Carolyn Kisner y Lynn Allen Colby 1996
  2. “Periodización del entrenamiento deportivo” Tudor O. Bompa Phd 2004
  3. “Fisioterapia del deporte y el ejercicio” Gregory S. Holt y Lynn Snyder.Mackler 2004
  4. Personal contributions.

Related Entries

  • 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.
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About María José García
María José García
María José has been connected to sport throughout her whole life. She has competed in several sport disciplines such as skating, swimming or gymnastics since she was a little girl.
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