FITNESS: How To Structure Your Exercise Part 3 | Great Health Guide
FITNESS: How To Structure Your Exercise Part 3

FITNESS: How To Structure Your Exercise Part 3

‘How To Structure Your Exercises Part 3’ by Tanya Doherty published in Great Health Guide (Sep 2015). In this article, Tanya demonstrates how to do the cool down and stretching exercises to prevent injury after a workout.
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FITNESS: How To Structure Your Exercises Pt 3

written by Tanya Doherty

The last and mostly forgotten part of a workout program is the cool down and flexibility section. Another often overlooked part of these programs, is that it is most important to check with your General Practitioner to determine your health and fitness suitability in performing these exercises.

The cool down allows your body to return to its normal resting heart rate and can assist with preventing the delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS). This should take around five to ten minutes and is an imperative part of your programming.

After you have completed your main exercise session you should take a few minutes to lower your heart rate. This can be done as a gentle walk or cycle, gradually reducing the intensity and speed.

Once you have completed this, it is the ideal time to work on your flexibility. Your body is still warm enough to be stretched but your heart rate should be lowered. Depending on what muscles you have worked during your session will depend what stretches you do, but try and hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds to achieve maximum results.


You can do this stretch lying down on your back, or using a wall or step to rest your heel on. Flex your toes towards your face which will also stretch out your calf muscle. Keep your leg as straight as possible, holding onto your thigh or calf depending on your flexibility.

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Hip Flexor

This stretch is also a great stretch for anyone that spends a large amount of time sitting, which is most of us! On your knees, put one foot forward as far as you can, whilst keeping your back knee on the ground and drop your back hip towards the floor. Ensure that your front knee doesn’t go over your toes. If you can’t feel the stretch or want to go deeper, you can take your front foot further forward and ‘resink’ in.



Standing upright take hold of one foot by your shoe laces (you can hold onto something to assist with balancing). Gently draw the leg backwards so your heel is touching your backside and until your knees are inline. Gently push your hip forward to stretch your front thigh muscle.



Standing Back Stretch

Raise both hands over your head and with straight arms gently hold one of your wrists. Bending from your waist lean towards one side (i.e. not leaning to the front or back). This will stretch the side of your back and your rib cage.



These are five great stretches that will only take you a few minutes to do, but will help reduce muscle soreness and increase your range of motion which is so important, especially as we age.

Standing Chest

Using a tree, a door frame or a piece of gym equipment, place the inside of your forearm on your stable structure. Your arm should be at a right angle at the elbow. From here take a small step forward and twist away from your body, moving your feet as well to help twist. This will stretch the inside of your arm and across your chest and is a great stretch to do if you spend lots of time at a computer.



Author of this article:
Tanya Doherty is the founder of ‘Beachfit and Wellbeing’ and a Personal Trainer with MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Level 1 Fitness. She is also a Charles Poliquin Biosignature practitioner. Based in Sydney, Tanya works in assisting women and men to live in optimum health. Tanya can be found at her website or her Facebook page.

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