Stretching & Cooling Down After Exercise Training

By Steve Silverman

Exercising is great for your body and your muscles. However, after a workout, it's not enough just to grab a bottle of water and step in the shower. To get the most out of your exercise program, it's best to stretch your muscles and give them a chance to cool down. Not only will this help you get the most out of the work you have done, it will prevent muscle cramps after your exercise routine is over.

Cooling Down After a Run

After you have run 2 miles or more, it's best to engage in walking to help you cool your leg muscles. Drink water after you finish your run. Walk about 400 to 600 yards in order to prevent cramping. If you have run in temperatures below 40 degrees F or temperatures above 80 degrees F, turn around and walk backwards after you have completed the front walking. Walk at least 200 yards backwards.

Stretch Your Calf Muscles

Put your arms and both legs on the ground, and get in a raised push-up position. Push your left foot backwards in a rocking motion, trying to touch your heel to the ground. Keep this up for 20 seconds. Do the same with your right foot.

Stretch Your Quadriceps

Stand up and bend your right leg at the knee so that your heel is close to your buttocks. As you balance yourself on your left foot, grab your right foot and try to pull it toward your buttocks for 15 seconds. Let go of your foot and let it fall to the ground. Then do the same stretch with your left foot and leg.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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