Cool Down Exercises in the Martial Arts

Cool down exercises in the martial arts – Learn their importance, how they should be performed, important pointers and more...

Cool down exercises are an integral part of any martial art training and workout.

As we examined in the warm ups article every workout should consist of at least 3 stages:

• Warm Up

• Main body training – the training itself

• Cool down exercises

Their Objective

The cool down process should include 2 elements:

Mental

1. The process needs to bring us back to our “normal” mentality rather than our martial artist one. As we examined in the mental training section the mental elements a warrior needs are not the same as we need in our every day life (or at least we hope so…).

Therefore after training, and after putting emphasis on, for instance, our fighting spirit and aggressiveness, the cool down is the place we can “switch back” to our natural behavior and relax.

2. It’s very important to review the workout in our mind, reflect on it while it’s still fresh and understand what we want to improve for next time, what were the points we were satisfied with and so on…

Physical -

1. Maintaining and improving our flexibility through Stretching.

2. Allowing our muscles to cool down and gradually reach their normal activity and temperature rate.

3. Eating a snack and returning our fluid needs.

* A standard cool down should take around 5 – 15 minutes.

Order of Performance

It is best to begin with our physical cool down first:

• Normalizing our heart rate while moving (if done in a cold climate or an air conditioned one it is best to put on some warm clothing).

• Stretching while our muscles are still warm

* Drinking continuously to restore our fluid needs.

Followed by a mental cool down of our choice:

• Reflecting and “talking it over”…

• Meditation, relaxation...

• Eating a snack

* Drinking continuously to restore our fluid needs.

Attributes and benefits

The Cool down provides a number of important benefits:

1. Reducing pre workout muscle soreness, cramps and injuries.

2. Maintaining and improving our flexibility.

3. Improving our intake from training –

- Going over the workout in our mind

- Understanding what needs to improve (Talking it over with our martial arts instructor / teacher or with our partner is a great way to collect these important pieces of information).

- Extracting the elements and techniques we need to improve and sustain.

For some excellent Cool down drills subscribe free to our

Warriors Project – Drills and Tips E-zine

Conclusions

Cool down exercises are an important part of any martial art training.

When done correctly it can substantially enhance the benefits we gain from our workouts.

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