The workout shouldn’t end when you yell time. At this point your body has taken abuse, muscles and joints are exhausted from the constant pounding from lifting weights or just moving your own body. Now this is all well and good, since the point of training is to provide a stress level that will force your body to adapt to and hopefully return stronger and fitter.
When we choose to not perform adequate cool downs, and just hop in our car and head home for the day (or to work for you early birds!), your body is now cooling down in crappy, fixed seated positions. Ever wonder why you feel stiff and tight the following day? Granted there are numerous variables that come into play here, choosing to not do a cool down can be a big player in this uncomfortable result.
So what do I mean cool down? I mean taking just 10 – 15 minutes to roll out and stretch out the major muscle groups that took a beating in the day’s training. Hopefully by now you’ve started picking up different myofascial release methods (lacrosse ball and foam roller work) and static stretches. Just in case you have no clue, ask one of the coaches that are around for some ideas on what to do. Remember, training is just the first step to improving your fitness levels. Recovery is absolutely essential to ensure you continue progressing each session, so make that just as much a priority as you do just getting to the gym.