The Importance of Stretching and Cooling Down

Man Stretching Legs Outside
Man Stretching Legs Outside

Stretching Every Day has Many Benefits

How often do you take the time to stretch before and after your workout? We provide all of our Xercise4Less members the opportunity and space to stretch in our clubs as we understand the importance of doing so. Stretching after your gym session especially helps you to release any built up tension in your muscles, reduces the chance of DOMs the following day(s) and prevents any injuries.

Whilst you’re working at home, make sure that you’re finding the time after your workout to stretch and cool down. It doesn’t have to be long but it should always be done. Just as you’d perform a safe warm up before your workout, you need to cool down too. Stretching helps you to return your heart rate to a normal rate and is crucial for muscle recovery.

Woman Stretching on Yoga Mat

Make Time for a Cool Down

A cool down at the end of every workout is really important. It doesn’t have to be long but it should be done every time you work out. Whether you take 5 minutes or 25 minutes, set aside some dedicated time once your workout is done to really stretch out your body and return your body to its normal working rate.

A cool down and stretching session should always focus predominately on the key muscles that you’ve worked during the workout. This can be much more straight forward on a leg day or arm session in the gym but if you’re doing HIIT or Full Body workouts at home, aim to do full body cool downs to avoid any injury or pain the following day(s).

After a full body session, stretch out your quads and hamstrings the best that you can. You don’t want these to be tight the next day as this can cause discomfort. Next, stretch out your calves. Once your leg muscles are stretched and cooled down, move up towards your core, back, arms and shoulders. You should physically feel a release and pull on your muscles which clearly shows that they’re stretching out and reduce any built up tension from an intense workout.

Woman Stretching Legs

Stretch to Boost Flexibility and Mobility

If one of your goals for 2020 was to improve your flexibility or to be able to drop into the splits, you should be stretching even more regularly than just in a cool down. You can seriously boost your flexibility and mobility by stretching before and after your session. This is because you’re loosening up your muscles before your session, working them throughout and then stretching them off afterwards. Mobility stretches are really good for developing your fitness too. Hip mobility allows you to really elevate your leg day as you’ll be able to squat lower and sometimes heavier too. By neglecting your stretches, you could be really neglecting your ability to progress.

To reach goals and targets such as the splits and advanced Yoga movements, try to stretch in your spare time too. Spare 30 minutes throughout your day to stretch. By doing this ‘little and often’, you will start to notice a substantial impact on your flexibility and hopefully push yourself closer and closer to those all important fitness goals.

Fitness 4 All

At Xercise4Less, we’re proud to offer a wide range of digital tools to help you continue working on your fitness whilst you’re at home. Use this time at home to focus on things that you might otherwise neglect so that by the time our gyms reopen this is part of your normal everyday routine.

We’ve got a number of @Home Workouts that focus purely on Stretching. By follow these regularly, you’ll be able to improve your flexibility and mobility but most importantly, really ease the pressure off your muscles to ensure that you’re minimising any risk to injury. These stretches workouts are perfect to follow at home and include stretches for your full body but also specific focus areas including legs, arms and shoulders.

Don’t forget about our large number of Live Stream and On-Demand fitness classes available to book onto NOW. All of these include a dedicated stretch and cool down session as our expert trainers and instructors understand how important this is for you and your fitness.