Make Moves: The Full-Body Cool Down
A few months back, we asked our friend Mike Collette, owner and trainer and CrossFit Prototype, to design a warmup stretching routine that was so quick and easy, we’d actually remember to do it before moving on to the fun part of the workout. Collette, who is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, pointed out that a post-workout stretching routine is equally as important for promoting recovery and getting the body back to its pre-exercise level.
Exercise is stress on the body. According to Collette, pre-workout mobility and warm up is critical to improving acute mobility, increasing blood flow to localized tissue, raising tissue temperature and prepping the nervous system for that stress. The cool down is meant to help aid in the recovery process and decrease soreness by circulating blood to the areas that have been put to work. This keeps you feeling fresh so you can get after it again tomorrow.
We asked Collete to teach us a simple routine that could follow just about any activity and keep us moving day in and day out. He came up with the ultra-simple two-move series below, which can be done in just a couple of minutes and will pay dividends for days to come. To further aid recovery, he also recommends soft tissue work, such as foam rolling tight areas, and a light 5-10 minute active recovery exercise such as a jogging, biking or rowing at a pace at which you can hold a conversation.
Video: The Full-Body Mobility Warmup
Perform our 5-minute warmup before your next workout.
Afterward, practice this short full-body cool down before hitting the showers.
1. Bretzle 1.0
— Start by lying on your right side. Bend your right knee and grab the top of your foot. You will feel a nice stretch through your quad and hip flexor
— Take your left leg and pull your knee into your chest. Hold that leg down to the floor with you left hand. This will keep your lower back and hip set so you will be able to rotate from your upper back
— Rotate and look toward your backside. Try to get your left shoulder to the ground
— Focus on deep breaths to relax into this stretch. Take 8-10 deep breaths, then switch sides and repeat
2. Bretzle 2.0
— Start by sitting on your butt with your right hip flexed and right knee bent at a 45-degree angle
— Take your left leg and swing it back while trying to keep your lower leg flush to the floor with the knee bent
— Rotate your torso to the outside of your right leg and plant your hands on the ground. You need to maintain a straight elbow on the outside arm
— Take big breaths to relax into the position. To increase the difficulty after you gain some mobility, you can drop your other elbow/forearm down to the floor and continue to breath into the stretch. Take 8-10 deep breaths on both sides