Top 5 Cool-Down Strategies for Post-BJJ Training Sessions

As a Martial Artist, you must already know about the importance of warm-up exercises. Most practitioners realise the importance of getting their bodies ready for training and therefore start their workout with a warm-up. The cool down, however is just as important.

 We generally begin with a simple warm-up such as a cardio-based workout. As you increase the intensity of the session, your heart pumps faster and your body temperature rises. At this time, all the muscles in your body are performing at their peak and you are exerting large amounts of energy.

After this intense session, you cannot just walk away from the mat and continue your day-to-day activities as most people will. You have to keep in mind that your body requires sufficient time to return to a normal energy state. You also need to ensure that your heart rate returns to its resting level and that you begin the recovery process for your muscles.

brazilian jiu-jitsu

What is the difference between Warm-Ups And Cool-Downs?

Warm-ups and cool-downs are pretty different. They exist on the opposite sides of the workout spectrum and have very different impacts on your body.  The warm-up usually consists of dynamic stretching and cardio and this will help you increase blood flow and body temperature to a point where you may begin to perspire. On the contrary, when we talk about the cool-down session, we will see that most of the workouts are gentle and they include routines that can help to slow down your heart rate and bring down your body temperature.

As you read on, you will get some insightful ways to execute a cool-down session after intense training. These exercises can be used in different variations at the end of your workout and you can customize your cool-down based on the type of training and stress that you have placed on your body.

5 Cool-Down Strategies

There is such a large variety of cool-down exercises that you can try after an intense workout session. It helps to add some variation to keep things interesting.

Here are 5 of our favourite cool-down strategies that we use depending on the type of BJJ training session.  You may need to use one or a combination of these to efficiently cool-down depending on the type of stress your body has endured during the training session.

 

Running

Start with a simple 2-minute run. Begin at a pace that matches the intensity of your workout and gradually reduce your speed so as to ease off the intensity.  This will allow your body to return to its normal rested state. The added low intensity activity will facilitate good blood circulation to the muscles that you have just exerted.

running

 

Walking

The cool-down is a progressive process, so you want to transition from running to walking.  Your body will not react to the cool-down right away, and walking will offer it more time to bring down your body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.

 

Low-Intensity Training

A low-intensity workout works just as a great as a running or walking post-workout. Keep in mind that high-intensity workouts like jump rope, weight-lifting or rolling will not be the same as a low-intensity workout. The idea is to gradually decrease the intensity and slow down your movements to reduce the stress on your body while improving circulation and lowering your heart-rate.

low intensity exercise

 

Stretching

Stretching is very important because it will help your muscles recover and lengthen.  It will help you minimise injury when you return to exercise. This is vital because once you step into the cool-down phase, you will start to notice that your muscles are shortened and will ache with the added lactic acid. Stretching will improve blood circulation to the muscle, flushing out the lactic acid and speed-up recovery

stretching

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Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation are great recovery routines that can help you cool-down and normalise your heart rate. Start with simple stretching and end in a seated prayer pose.

Close your eyes and breathe deeply. During deep breathing, fill up your lungs with oxygen and hold it there for 2-4 seconds. Exhale through your mouth slowly for another 2-4 seconds. When breathing, focus on the movement of your diaphragm.

This type of breathing is very important and you should implement this when executing your combat techniques because deep breathing is important for better performance and generating more power.

yoga

 

The Goal of the Cool-Down Session

There are two main goals that you want to achieve by cooling-down. The first goal is to help you avoid injury by helping you regulate and return your body back to normal resting levels. Moreover, the second goal is to help your body get into the recovery process.

Your body undergoes significant stress during intense training.  It is extremely important to cool-down to allow it to recover and prevent injury. Check out some of these basic exercises to formulate the most appropriate warm-ups and cool-downs for your training regimen.

 

Final thoughts

To sum it all up, making progress comes down to the way you workout and how consistent you are. To get the most out of your training, you should prepare your body with a warm-up. After your training, its important to cool-down so that you can kickstart the recovery process.

As a BJJ practitioner or Martial Artist, you need to keep in mind that the recovery phase is as important as your actual training to stay injury free and ensure that your body is primed for your next intense training session.

 

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