dismiss the warm down as a waste of time or unimportant but the warm down is
every bit as important as the warm up. While the warm up is to prepare the
athlete for the task ahead, the warm down at the end of the session plays a
The main aim
of a warm down is to return the athlete to a pre work out level. During the work
out muscle fibres, tendons, ligaments get damaged and lactic acid builds up
within the body. The warm down completed properly
will assist the
body in its repair process and will also help with post exercise muscle
is caused by a number of actions within the body. Firstly during the work out
tiny tears develop within the muscle fibres. These small tears cause swelling of
the muscle tissues which in turn puts pressure on the nerve endings and result
exercising your heart is pumping large amounts of blood to the working muscle
(blood shunt). This blood is carrying oxygen and nutrients to the working
muscles. When blood reaches the muscles the oxygen and nutrients are used up.
Then the force of the contracting muscles pushes the blood back to the heart
where the blood is re-oxygenated.
When you stop
the work out so does the force that pushes the blood back to the heart. This
blood as well as lactic acid stays in the muscles, which in turn causes swelling
and pain (blood pooling). So the warm down helps all this by keeping the blood
circulating, which in turn helps to prevent blood pooling and helps remove
lactic acid from the muscles. This circulating blood brings with it the oxygen
and nutrients needed by the muscles.
of the warm down should be :-
All parts are important for an
effective warm down
for 5/10 minutes include some deep breathing as well as this will help
oxygenate your system.
is followed by stretching from top to toe for 5/10 minutes. Stretching is better
at the end of the session because improved range of motion is achieved when
muscle temperature is at its warmest and the athlete is psychologically relaxed.
Suggested stretches :- calves; groin; hamstrings; quads; neck; shoulders; etc.
–drink plenty of water or a good sports drink. The best type of food to eat
after the session should be easily digestible. Also food with a high Glycemic
Index for example Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (GI=89) or Jelly Beans (GI=80).
The GI index will be featured in a future newsletter.
the session the longer the warm down should be to return the body to a
resting state. Following the above should help the athlete recover quicker from
the session and be recovered for the next