How to Cooldown After Your WOD
Written by: Coach Slater
In a past article, we discussed how to warm-up before your class warm-up. Now, let’s move on to how to cooldown after a DCCF WOD. We want to get your body back to homeostasis so you can increase your recovery. WOD + No Cooldown = Progress, but WOD + Cooldown = Even More Progress.
The goal of a cooldown is to gradually bring your heart rate back to its resting level. This is usually about 5min long, but could be longer depending on the workout. Longer workout (i.e., 20min WODs), shorter cooldown. Shorter workout (i.e., “Fran”), longer cooldown.
First, we want to have you foam roll the entire body, paying close attention to the areas most used in the workout. Deep breathing is wonderful for down-regulating your body to aid recovery, and foam rolling post-WOD can make it easy to kick-start the process of focused breathing. Essentially, you’re helping your tissues relax.
Make about 15-20 pass-throughs over these areas:
*Mid-Upper Back (hug yourself then roll your back)
*Thoracic Mobility (hands behind head, roller mid back, bend back and over roller, hold 3-5sec x 5-7)
Second, we want you to stretch a little. Static stretching is terrible for warming up, but great for cooling down. With that said, some of your muscles may not be tight, but you may instead have bad positioning which creates tone in muscles that are overactive. So, you can stretch every major muscle for 30sec each (or 10 rounds of 3sec holds) or you can work your breathing drills to reset your positioning. Breathing drills can help relax your central nervous system, to reset the signals your muscles are receiving which create tension due to a lack of stability, thus creating so-called “tight” muscles.
As long as you’ve got your positioning dialed in, then we realize that stretching is a relaxing way to cooldown and we endorse anything that will help relax your body after a WOD. So basically, we’ll have you perform all/most of the same lengthening drills from the warm-up: couch stretch, activated active straight leg raise, banded ankle distraction, overhead mobility mobilization, banded lat stretch, and banded wrist mob.
Yea, we’re going to make you click on some links to see videos… sorry. Trying to explain all of those stretches is much more difficult than just sending you to a few YouTube links.
So, that’s it! Just two things to do to cooldown from your WOD. Foam roll and stretch. We’ll hit on Post-WOD nutrition in a different post; so for now, checkout those vids and bookmark this post so you can refer to it again in the future.