Cool Down Stretches for Every Muscle Group
A good workout isn’t complete without the cool down. Stretching is an important part of the cool down, and key for reducing stiffness and soreness the next day. And not to mention, it helps improve your flexibility. So after your next workout, boost your recovery with these cool down stretches.
Cool Down Stretches
Depending on your workout, you may decide to target specific areas or muscles more than others. But this list is a great place to get you started. To get the most from your cool down stretches, hold each one for at least 20 seconds, and make sure you are taking slow, deep breaths to help slow down your heart rate.
- Laying on your stomach on the mat, place both hands near your shoulders and push up, arching your back and leaving your hips and legs on the ground.
- The butterfly stretch: sit with your knees out and the bottoms of your feet together. With your hands on your feet, gently push down on your knees with your elbows and lean forward slightly.
Arms / Shoulders
- Hold one arm straight and parallel to the floor. Gently pull it across your body with your other arm, so you feel a stretch in your shoulder.
- Lift one arm straight up and bend at the elbow so your hand rests on the base of your neck. Gently pull on your elbow with your other hand. You should feel the stretch in your tricep.
- On your mat, sit on your knees with your feet together and your knees slightly apart. Fold over and reach as far forward on your mat as you can, with your forehead resting on the mat.
- Lay flat on your back. Lift one knee towards your chest and pull it across your body with the opposite hand. This will also stretch your glute.
- Stand with your hands on a wall or counter. Step one foot back and bend your front knee, keeping your back heel on the ground.
- Clasp your hands behind your back and pull them back and up, so your shoulder blades come together.
- Standing, cross one foot over the other knee and squat. Use a wall or chair for balance if needed.
- Sit with one leg straight out, and the other bent with your foot flat on the mat. Twist towards the bent leg, gently pulling the knee towards the other side of your body.
- Lay flat on your back. Lift one knee towards your chest and pull it across your body with the opposite hand. This will also stretch your back.
- Kneel on your mat. Keeping your knee over your foot, push your hips forward slightly.
- Standing with legs straight and feet wide apart, grab one foot and gently pull your body towards your leg.
- Sit on the mat with one leg crossed in front and one straight out. Flex your foot and reach towards your toes. This will stretch both your hamstring and calves.
- Sit with both legs straight out in front. Flex your toes and reach as far forward as you can. Then point your toes and reach again.
- Lunge stretch: Kneel on your mat, place your hands down on either side of your front foot, and lift your back knee off the mat. You should feel the stretch in your front hamstring and back quad.
- From the lunge stretch, lower your back knee and fold your front leg down on the mat crossed in front of you. Bend forward over your leg. This stretches your back leg hip flexor and front leg inner thigh.
- Standing with your legs slightly apart, raise one arm up over your head and lean in the opposite direction. You should feel the stretch all the way down the side of your body.
- Standing with your knees together, lift one foot back and gently pull towards your glute with both hands. Use a wall or chair for balance if needed.