To get the full-effect of working out, you've got to do every single thing the right way. If you don't, you can kiss your expected progress goodbye.
And not only during warm-ups and the bulk of the training routine should you pay attention to detail. After you think you're done, there's still this thing called "cool-down" that you need to focus on and execute properly. So, how and why do you need to spend a few extra of your precious time doing it?
We asked Charles "Crunch" Vincent M. Aguila, PTRP, REB, Group Fitness Team Leader and Master Personal Trainer, Fitness First Philippines, Inc. to help us get to the bottom of this.
Why cool down?
"A cool-down provides your body a transition from workout mode to a steady state, and allows your accelerated heart and respiratory rates to return to normal. Proper execution will also rid you of that dizziness or light-headedness caused by blood pooling in the large leg muscles after workouts," says Aguila.
Ignore the cool-down tracks and you'll utter that familiar sound bite around training facilities: "Ayaw ko na, nahihilo na ko."
The main reason people don't cool down is because they're always in a hurry. Come on! You're working out to be fit and de-stress. Stop looking at your watches and start walking on the treadmill or riding the cardio bike without resistance for three to five minutes.
For this one, you've got to use those foam rollers at the gym. Place the roller underneath the sore muscle then apply pressure on it.
Once in place, begin by moving back and forth until you reach the exact location of the soreness. Hold the position with pressure for 30 seconds before rolling again till you catch the next trigger point. Remember to always start from the most remote part of the limb.
We knew it! You thought this is strictly done to warm up. Coach Crunch introduces static stretching, which is done by holding a body part in position while a particular muscle is elongated for around 30 to 60 seconds. Basic examples are the arm-and-shoulder stretch, groin stretch, abdominal stretch, and quadriceps stretch.
A good post-workout regimen may also involve exercises called elastic and plastic stretching. "Elastic stretching," he explains, "is designed for the muscle being pulled to return to its original length and form, while plastic stretching intends to give it a new and permanent length or form."
Some of these may appear to be too complicated to pull off, thus we advice you seek guidance from a licensed instructor if you want to to try them out.