After you crush a good workout, don’t brush off a good cool-down.  Taking time to cool-down helps prevent injury, improve flexibility and regulate blood flow.  Just take a few minutes to move through these 4 cool-down moves to show some love to your tired muscles. After all, you’ve earned that post-workout breather!

4 Effective Cool-Down Moves You Need to Try

Cross-Legged Fold

Bend at the waist and hang over, and cross your left foot behind your right, pressing your left big toe down into the floor.  Next, twist your upper body to the left holding onto your right leg.  You should feel a gentle pull on the outside of your right leg.  Hold that stretch for one minute.  Uncross your legs and switch legs to the other side.  (courtesy of Popsugar)

Downward-Facing Dog

This stretches your entire body, with specific focus on the calves, hamstrings and shoulders.  Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.  Here’s how to do it properly.  

Neck Stretch

Take your right arm overhead and place fingertips on the left side of your head.  Pull gently toward your right shoulder until you feel a stretch along the left side of your neck.  Hold this stretch for 15—30 seconds and return to starting position.  Repeat on the other side.

Child’s Pose

This stretch tends to be a crowd favorite.  Child’s pose releases your lower back while stretching hips, ankles and quads.  You can add a reach side to side to gently stretch the sides of your body.  

You’ve worked hard and it’s important to take a few minutes to stretch out all the major muscles you used.  Now pat yourself on the back and go have a big drink of water!

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