Stretch Out and Cool Down Part 1
Updated: Apr 6, 2021
Hello all and Happy Easter!
This blog will give you a breakdown of the stretches that we do during the cool down at the end of the session. We work to cool down the whole body but it’s important to not overstretch muscles that have not been used during your workout, so don’t spend too much time on those.
We always start our cool down cross-legged on the floor.
With hands on your knees and closed eyes, slowly tilt your head to one side and roll it around in a circular direction. Do this slowly and really try to hit every angle possible as your rotate your head and stretch your neck. Once you have done this a few times, rotate in the other direction.
We then move onto arm stretches.
Remaining cross-legged (and with eyes closed if you comfortable), lift one arm and cross it straight across your body, using your other arm to fold up and pull it in towards you. You should feel this stretch in your upper arm and your shoulder. Turn your head to look over the shoulder of the workingarm to stretch your neck at the same time. Hold this position for around ten seconds and then swap sides.
Next up, we move to a tricep stretch.
Bring one arm up and around to reach your arm down your spine from the top of your book. Use the other arm to push down on your elbow to increase the stretch. Drop your chin to your chest. Hold here for a while and then swap arms.
Next up, we move into a lateral stretch.
Take one hand across your body to hold onto your opposite knee, using it to twist yourself towards it. Once twisted, take your back arm up and tilt over. Feel the stretch in your back and in your sides. Hold here, then swap sides.
The next movement is relatively similar; a spinal twist.
Unfold your legs and cross one over the other, placing the foot of the top leg flat on the floor. Using the opposite arm, place your knee into the crook of your able with your forearm running up the length of your thigh. Twist away from the knee and place the other hand behind you on the floor for stability. Do this on both sides.
Our last stretch on the floor in this way is the cobbler stretch.
Press the soles of your feet together in front of you and allow your knees to fall to the side. Place your hands behind you on the floor, quite close to your bum, and push into them to sit completely upright with a straight back. Pulse your knees slightly to really feel the stretch in your inner thighs.
To change positions now, come up onto your knees. Place one leg in front of you, folded to the side, and push down into your pelvis; this is called pigeon pose.
Once your front leg is folded horizontally in front of you and back leg is stretched out, fold forwards and rest your head on your forearms. Be sure to relax your glutes and your stomach to feel the full stretch.
In this same video, we transition to the next pose. Lift your body back up to the pose we were in before we folded our pigeon over. Bend you back leg up from your knee and, using the same arm as leg, reach back and pull your foot in towards you to stretch your quad.
From this stretch, release your foot and use your hands in front of you to push up into pyramid pose. Both legs remain straight, your back leg turns slightly outwards as your front leg points forward. Hinge over and reach down towards your front toes. Drop your head to allow the weight of it to assist the stretch.
Next up, and in the same video, we move to a low lunge. Step your front leg forwards and bend down nice and low with your foot flat on the floor. Your back leg remains straight behind you and it is likely that just your toes and part of your ball will be on the floor. Place your hands either side of your front foot, pushing your pelvis to the floor whilst pushing into your back heel.
From here, move into plank to prepare to switch to downward dog.
From a solid plank, raise your hips up and push back into your shoulders to create a triangular shape. Slowly rise and lower your heels one foot at a time, kind of like walking, to fully stretch out your calves. Return to plank ready to repeat the stretches from pigeon up to here on the other side.
To see the final few stretches, come back tomorrow and I will see you there!