Exercises after running are often used to successfully cool your body down and prevent you from pulling muscles or straining ligaments. While cool-down exercises after running are often reduced to simple jogging and stretching exercises, some cool-down exercises focus on building muscle in your core.
Walking Cool-Down Exercise
Walking is and excellent way to reduce your risk of injury as well as bring your heart rate to a safe level after running. After you finish your run, walk at a constant pace for 10 to 15 minutes. Injury Fix recommends performing deep-breathing exercises during your walk to help bring additional oxygen into your body. If you are looking to build strength during your cool-down walk, you can perform lunges or walk for 30 seconds at a time on your toes as you walk.
Quadriceps Stretch Exercise
This quadriceps exercise will loosen your quadriceps muscles and prevent you from pulling them. Find an exercise bench or wall and place your right hand on the surface for balance and support. With your back straight, take your left hand and grab your left ankle, pulling your leg back until your foot is touching your buttocks. Hold this stretch for a count of 10 seconds before releasing. Repeat with the other leg to complete this exercise.
In his book, "Running Anatomy," Joe Puleo suggests alternating raises to strengthen the core, which can help you keep your pelvis aligned when running. Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight. Stretch your arms straight out in front of you. Raise your right arm and left leg. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides. Repeat eight to 12 times on each side.
This abdominal exercise also helps strengthen your core by developing your rectus abdominis. After your run, lie down on the floor with your legs fully extended. Place both of your hands behind your neck and bend at the elbows to provide proper support for your upper back and neck muscles. Tighten your core muscles and bring your left knee up to your chest. As you bring your knee up, use your abdominal muscles to lift your head off the ground and lift your right elbow to your left knee. Repeat with your other knee and elbow. Alternate sides for 10 to 15 repetitions per side.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.