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"Cool downs" aren't mandatory/necessary after workout

ninerbuff
ninerbuff Posts: 45,770 Member
I just responded to a client online asking about "cooling down" after doing a decently intense "Bodypump" class. She asked if it was necessary because she has little time left near the end of class to clean up and go back to work.
Cool downs usually are slower paced movements of low impact usually about 5 minutes long done near the end of many group fitness classes. I had to research it to see the validity (even though in my Organization is basically a mandatory thing to do if you're a group fitness instructor).
And in researching I've not found anything actually supporting that cool downs (unlike warmups) provide any faster recovery, reduction of lactate, or recovers heart rate faster.
I think of guys playing pro basketball. Once a hard fought game is over, do they line up and march in place to cool down? Most all just WALK back to the locker room. Same with pro football or just about any pro sport. And these are professional athletes so it would make sense for their million dollar bodies to do things that are important to stay fit and in shape right?
When I'm done running sprints, I just pace in a small circle while catching my breath. No high knees raises, light jog, etc. I WOULDN'T advocate after running hard sprints to just stop and sit down. Blood is still pumping and could pool in your legs. Then when you get up, you could get really dizzy and even pass out. But pacing around or just a leisure walk till you catch your breath should be fine.
There's nothing wrong about "cooling down" if one wishes. No harm, but again it's not aiding in any real recovery.
My whole point is, that you DON'T have to do a "cool down" if you don't want to. It's a matter of preference.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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Replies

  • I’d also read that stretching after exercise which is usually part of a cool down in a group exercise class is a waste of time!
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 45,770 Member
    I’d also read that stretching after exercise which is usually part of a cool down in a group exercise class is a waste of time!
    Not a waste if keeping one's flexibility is important to them. It's a good time then because the muscles are really warm and dynamic action as already stretched them a bit. But yeah, it's NOT necessary to do. Which is why I would have my classes go as long as I can and have maybe a couple of movements at the end where it's just lower intensity.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • pondee629
    pondee629 Posts: 2,487 Member
    "I think of guys playing pro basketball. Once a hard fought game is over, do they line up and march in place to cool down? Most all just WALK back to the locker room. Same with pro football or just about any pro sport. And these are professional athletes so it would make sense for their million dollar bodies to do things that are important to stay fit and in shape right?"

    But what do these pro athletes do after a hard work out? I'm going to bet there is a cool down involved. A game situation, no matter how hard fought, is much different from the constant activity of a hard work out. Athletes often say that the game, as compared to the work out, is much easier.
  • dragon_girl26
    dragon_girl26 Posts: 2,180 Member
    Is the same true of warming up? I have an instructor or two who doesn't seem to believe in it.
    I don't always cool down, per se..if I take a long walk or do a dance workout I may or may not stretch my legs but that's about it. Other, more intense stuff I tend to do slower movements to bring down my heart rate. I think it's just a nice mental exercise for me once a workout is finished.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 45,770 Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    "I think of guys playing pro basketball. Once a hard fought game is over, do they line up and march in place to cool down? Most all just WALK back to the locker room. Same with pro football or just about any pro sport. And these are professional athletes so it would make sense for their million dollar bodies to do things that are important to stay fit and in shape right?"

    But what do these pro athletes do after a hard work out? I'm going to bet there is a cool down involved. A game situation, no matter how hard fought, is much different from the constant activity of a hard work out. Athletes often say that the game, as compared to the work out, is much easier.
    The cool down is walking to the locker room. Some may sit in sauna or ice bath, BUT that's not cooling down. That's just plain recovery.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    Is the same true of warming up? I have an instructor or two who doesn't seem to believe in it.

    Yes, but usually it shouldn't be static stretching (holding), but rather dynamic movements - ideally, lighter versions of the exercises you're about to do. This increases circulation in the target muscles & joints, and lets your mind practice the form.
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,173 Member
    pondee629 wrote: »
    "I think of guys playing pro basketball. Once a hard fought game is over, do they line up and march in place to cool down? Most all just WALK back to the locker room. Same with pro football or just about any pro sport. And these are professional athletes so it would make sense for their million dollar bodies to do things that are important to stay fit and in shape right?"

    But what do these pro athletes do after a hard work out? I'm going to bet there is a cool down involved. A game situation, no matter how hard fought, is much different from the constant activity of a hard work out. Athletes often say that the game, as compared to the work out, is much easier.

    I've attended training camp practices for the Green Bay Packers for years. When practice ends the team generally gathers in a group for a minute or two while the coaches/captains say something, then they take off shoulder pads (if a padded practice) and walk or ride a bike to the locker room. The team practices at a facility across the street from the stadium so with the parking lot it's 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

    No formal group cool down.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 45,770 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    pondee629 wrote: »
    "I think of guys playing pro basketball. Once a hard fought game is over, do they line up and march in place to cool down? Most all just WALK back to the locker room. Same with pro football or just about any pro sport. And these are professional athletes so it would make sense for their million dollar bodies to do things that are important to stay fit and in shape right?"

    But what do these pro athletes do after a hard work out? I'm going to bet there is a cool down involved. A game situation, no matter how hard fought, is much different from the constant activity of a hard work out. Athletes often say that the game, as compared to the work out, is much easier.

    I've attended training camp practices for the Green Bay Packers for years. When practice ends the team generally gathers in a group for a minute or two while the coaches/captains say something, then they take off shoulder pads (if a padded practice) and walk or ride a bike to the locker room. The team practices at a facility across the street from the stadium so with the parking lot it's 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

    No formal group cool down.
    One of my good friends and a former peer trainer was Robert Brown. We worked together in VA at George Mason University. He played DE for the Packers from 1982-1992. Lol, I asked him in all those years he played with the Pack, how many times he tackled Barry Sanders. He said "NONE". Closest he got was grabbing his shirt tale jersey.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,173 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    pondee629 wrote: »
    "I think of guys playing pro basketball. Once a hard fought game is over, do they line up and march in place to cool down? Most all just WALK back to the locker room. Same with pro football or just about any pro sport. And these are professional athletes so it would make sense for their million dollar bodies to do things that are important to stay fit and in shape right?"

    But what do these pro athletes do after a hard work out? I'm going to bet there is a cool down involved. A game situation, no matter how hard fought, is much different from the constant activity of a hard work out. Athletes often say that the game, as compared to the work out, is much easier.

    I've attended training camp practices for the Green Bay Packers for years. When practice ends the team generally gathers in a group for a minute or two while the coaches/captains say something, then they take off shoulder pads (if a padded practice) and walk or ride a bike to the locker room. The team practices at a facility across the street from the stadium so with the parking lot it's 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

    No formal group cool down.
    One of my good friends and a former peer trainer was Robert Brown. We worked together in VA at George Mason University. He played DE for the Packers from 1982-1992. Lol, I asked him in all those years he played with the Pack, how many times he tackled Barry Sanders. He said "NONE". Closest he got was grabbing his shirt tale jersey.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Too bad, his last year was the first for Brett Favre. He was unfortunately in GB in the dark ages of the 70s/80s.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 45,770 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    pondee629 wrote: »
    "I think of guys playing pro basketball. Once a hard fought game is over, do they line up and march in place to cool down? Most all just WALK back to the locker room. Same with pro football or just about any pro sport. And these are professional athletes so it would make sense for their million dollar bodies to do things that are important to stay fit and in shape right?"

    But what do these pro athletes do after a hard work out? I'm going to bet there is a cool down involved. A game situation, no matter how hard fought, is much different from the constant activity of a hard work out. Athletes often say that the game, as compared to the work out, is much easier.

    I've attended training camp practices for the Green Bay Packers for years. When practice ends the team generally gathers in a group for a minute or two while the coaches/captains say something, then they take off shoulder pads (if a padded practice) and walk or ride a bike to the locker room. The team practices at a facility across the street from the stadium so with the parking lot it's 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

    No formal group cool down.
    One of my good friends and a former peer trainer was Robert Brown. We worked together in VA at George Mason University. He played DE for the Packers from 1982-1992. Lol, I asked him in all those years he played with the Pack, how many times he tackled Barry Sanders. He said "NONE". Closest he got was grabbing his shirt tale jersey.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Too bad, his last year was the first for Brett Favre. He was unfortunately in GB in the dark ages of the 70s/80s.
    Yes. Dickey and Magic man. Oooofh.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • Speakeasy76
    Speakeasy76 Posts: 917 Member
    For me, I feel more relaxed after I dedicate some time to stretching plus I have some chronically tight muscles (working on those). I've actually been stretching a bit more just a way to wind down/calm down and more as a mindfulness activity, and it's almost always after some kind of exercise since my muscles are warm. However, I don't do it after every workout because of the reasons you've mentioned.

  • dragon_girl26
    dragon_girl26 Posts: 2,180 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Is the same true of warming up? I have an instructor or two who doesn't seem to believe in it.
    I don't always cool down, per se..if I take a long walk or do a dance workout I may or may not stretch my legs but that's about it. Other, more intense stuff I tend to do slower movements to bring down my heart rate. I think it's just a nice mental exercise for me once a workout is finished.
    No WARMING UP is essential regardless of what the exercise is. To go in strong without sufficient warm up increases the likelyhood for an injury. Think of taking out a rubberband from the freezer and then just stretching out quickly. It's likely going to snap. But if you apply small stretching movements then gradually increase it, the band will warm up and become more pliable. Muscles basically work the same way. Which is why in all pro sports, teams warm up well before the game starts.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    That's a good visual for describing it. Makes sense to me. I think lockdown has been helpful in one regard..I've been taking time away from group exercise classes that I thought were good, but maybe not so much. I definitely don't want injuries.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 45,770 Member

    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Is the same true of warming up? I have an instructor or two who doesn't seem to believe in it.
    I don't always cool down, per se..if I take a long walk or do a dance workout I may or may not stretch my legs but that's about it. Other, more intense stuff I tend to do slower movements to bring down my heart rate. I think it's just a nice mental exercise for me once a workout is finished.
    No WARMING UP is essential regardless of what the exercise is. To go in strong without sufficient warm up increases the likelyhood for an injury. Think of taking out a rubberband from the freezer and then just stretching out quickly. It's likely going to snap. But if you apply small stretching movements then gradually increase it, the band will warm up and become more pliable. Muscles basically work the same way. Which is why in all pro sports, teams warm up well before the game starts.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    That's a good visual for describing it. Makes sense to me. I think lockdown has been helpful in one regard..I've been taking time away from group exercise classes that I thought were good, but maybe not so much. I definitely don't want injuries.
    Being in the gym everyday, I'll occasionally see dudes jump on the bench press with no warm up and attempt to do a single or double with max weight. Oddly enough, those same guys end up coming in later down the road with shoulder issues, pulled chest muscle, etc.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,210 Member
    I like really long warm ups and cool downs. My yoga cool downs are 17 minutes long. However, the point of the asanas at the end of yoga is not just, and probably not even primarily, physical though.

    My hamstrings thank me if I include more foam rolling at the end. So after all the yoga is done I do hamstrings, obv, quads to balance that out, and lower back. I do 7-10 min of foam rolling before starting anything, and then get into more warm ups, which have gotten super long because I've kept all my original yoga warm ups and now also include the PT exercises I got for my knee, hip, and elbow issues. Sometimes I even get to yoga :lol:

    I had back issues for decades and other yoga teachers' classes would often aggravate it, so I tended to do warm ups before strange teacher's classes, and just kept the habit of very long warm ups. It's getting a little out of control these days though :)

    Someone on another thread mentioned "Yoga Body Sculpt," with which I was not familiar, so I found a 30 minute video and did it. There was around 90 seconds of cool down at the end. I tried to go on to a non exercise thing after than, but it just felt wrong, so I did my yoga cool downs, and then felt complete.