DIY Cool Downs
We pack as much Strength and Conditioning into our Group Classes as possible. A basic template for what a class looks like is something like this:
Couplet or Triplet Warm-Up
Some Targeted Stretching
Barbell Strength Work
Conditioning or Assistance Work
or Like this
Soft Tissue Work (Foam Roll/Lax ball)
Barbell or Movement Review/Warm-Up
What's missing? Well, it's the oft overlooked cool down. We've done a pretty good job of doing away with allowing people to remain sprawled out on the ground after workouts but something we need be better at is getting you guys doing DIY cool downs. By finishing a hard effort (the workout) with a medium to long cool down, you flush out the metabolites in your blood stream with oxygen rich blood. What that means for you is quicker recovery time, less soreness and helps shift your central nervous system back into a normal state.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
5-10 minute Row at 20-22 s/m
You could just as easily row for a set distance like 500m, 750m or 1000m but using a time stamp ensures you'll be on the erg for enough time to get your blood flowing and actually settle into your cool down. Focus on technique at minimal intensity. You should be able to have a conversation with the person next to you about how awesome cooling down is.
2+ Easy Laps Around The Block
Roughly 2/3 of a mile, don't be afraid of that third lap if you're up for it. Again, this should be very light and easy, the basic test is that you should be able to hold a conversation during it. You can also focus on a soft landing and upper body mechanics. My recommendation would be to also add in some upper body DROMs in at the end of this.
DROMS + Informed Freestyling then Foam Roll
Similar to the DROMS we do at the beginning of most classes. When I do these on my own, I like to count our the reps in my head. Usually 10-15 reps each side makes for a thorough cool down. Remember that since this can be less vigorous than the other modalities you'll have so spend enough time moving to get the benefit. Check a clock and intend on 10 minutes of cooling down. You can go through Greg A's warm-up DROMS and then some light calisthenics like squats, sit-ups, jumping rope or dynamic mat based movement like downward dogs to hip mobs etc. Finish off with some foam rolling on the the primary muscle groups you just worked.
Remember, none of these are a second workout or should in any way be described as "hard". You might mentally feel like they're hard since you just want to peel your shirt off and walk home, but really they're not and you'll get back to "normal" much quicker this way. Also- in terms of length, the above cool downs are all about 10 minutes, which isn't set in stone. If you ask coach Nick, he'll tell you that the cool down should be twice as long as the workout, if you've got the time, go for it, otherwise do at least 10 minutes.
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