Recover Properly Through Cool-down Massages

Massages for Cool Down

Sometimes all you want to do after a brutal workout is just sit back on the couch and zone out on whatever’s on the TV screen. But when it comes to preserving your body, what you do after exercising can be just as important as the routines you go through prior to physical activity.

A cool-down massage after you’ve just gotten back from a long run is essential for helping your body recover from the hard work you’ve put it through. From helping your heart rate gradually lower to its normal level, to maintaining blood and oxygen circulation to eliminating lactic acid build up, an efficient cool-down massage is how to keep yourself in pristine condition while providing much needed relief for those sore muscles. Here’s a quick guide to targeting the body parts that require a quick cool-down massage after your running workout:

Glutes

An often forgotten area to massage after a strenuous jog are your glutes. Smoothly rolling over your backside with your personal massager while keeping your abdominal muscles tight can help alleviate any tension that’s building up in your glutes, while keeping them fresh for your next running workout.

Hamstrings

There are three essential hamstring muscles you should focus your attention on during a cool-down massage: the biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus. All these muscles line up the back of your thigh, and providing them with a much need rub-down will help you avoid strains or tightness in the future.

Quads

Addressing your quads depends on three locations of your leg, which include gently massaging the knee cap and working over both sides of your leg. Make sure you spend a few minutes rubbing out your vastus lateralis and vastus medialis by massaging over both sides of your thigh.

Calves

Every runner knows how tough it can be trying to walk on a pair of sore calves the day after an intense sprint or jog. Target your personal massager on the lateral head of the gastrocnemius muscle, so you can loosen up any potential knots that may be forming.

Feet

Finally, good runners should never forget giving their feet some much needed relief after a run! Roll your feet over your massager, specifically focusing on the arch of the foot, stretching out your muscles as well as your plantar fascia. Your body will surely thank you by feeling refreshed and active the next day!

 Cool down massages for runners

 

Jill Lohmann is a Director of Operations for Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers and a certified physical therapist. Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers is a physical therapist owned and operated rehabilitation company with a network of 170 outpatient rehabilitation centers located throughout the Midwest, Arizona and Georgia.