5-Minute Full Body Cool Down Exercises - 11 Ways to Relax Your Muscles

Your body needs time to cool down and recover from an intense workout. Adding cool-down exercises to your routine reduces muscle soreness and stiffness, prevents injury, and improves range of motion.

Walking or Jogging

  • Slow down your workout pace and take deep breaths.
  • Continue for 5-10 minutes until your heart rate returns to normal.

Benefits: Gradually lowers your heart rate and prevents blood pooling. Walking or jogging brings your body back to its resting state.

Standing Quad Stretch

  • Stand up straight and bring your right foot towards your buttocks.
  • Grab your ankle with your right hand and hold it for 15-20 seconds.
  • Release and repeat with your left leg while keeping your right leg straight.

Benefits: Stretches the quadriceps to prevent knee and lower back pain.

Shoulder Stretch

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and reach your right arm across your chest.
  • Use your left hand to gently push your right arm towards your chest.
  • Stretch until you feel a stretch in your shoulder.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Shoulder cool down Improves posture and reduces tension headaches. It stretches the shoulder blades and upper back.

Child’s Pose

  • Start on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart 
  • Keep your knees hip-width apart.
  • Lower your hips towards your heels 
  • Stretch your arms forward.
  • Deepen the stretch and Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute

Benefits: Releases tension in lower back, reduces stress, and stretches hips, thighs, and ankles.

Seated Spinal Twist

  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee and place your foot on the outside of your left thigh.
  • Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee 
  • Now gently twist your torso to the right.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Improves spinal mobility and reduces lower back pain by stretching the spine and hips.

Cobra Stretch

  • Lie face down on the floor with your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Press down on your hands and lift your chest off the ground
  • Rise and keep your elbows close to your body.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds and release.

Benefits: Improves posture and reduces upper back pain. It stretches the chest, shoulders, and abdominal muscles.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Reach forward and try to touch your toes.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds, breathing deeply. If you can’t reach your toes, you can use a towel or strap to help you stretch.

Benefits: Improves flexibility, reduces the risk of injury, and relieves lower back pain by stretching the hamstrings.

Butterfly Stretch

  • Sit on the floor with knees bent and soles of feet touching.
  • Gently push knees down towards the floor and hold for 15-20 seconds.

Benefits: Stretches hips and groin, improves flexibility, and alleviates lower back pain.

Women Doing a Butterfly Stretch
Women Doing a Butterfly Stretch

Standing Forward Bend

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart
  • Maintain standing position and bend forward
  • Extend your arms to reach the ground.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds

Benefits: Stretches hamstrings and calves, improves circulation, and reduces stress and anxiety.

Standing forward bend exercise illustration
Standing forward nemd exercise illustration

Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Kneel on the ground with your right knee bent and left leg extended behind you.
  • Place hands on the right thigh and gently push hips forward until you feel a stretch in your left hip flexor.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Stretches hip flexors, improves posture, and can alleviate lower back pain.

Tricep Stretch

  • Lift your right arm above your head
  • Bend your elbow, and place your right hand on your upper back.
  • Use your left hand to gently pull your right elbow towards your head.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Stretches triceps, improves upper body flexibility and mobility, and can reduce the risk of shoulder injuries.

What are The Benefits of Cool Down Exercises?

  • Reduce muscle soreness and stiffness 
  • Gradually decrease your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Prevent blood pooling and reduce the risk of fainting or dizziness.
  • Remove waste products, such as lactic acid, from the muscles
  • Reduce the risk of muscle or bone injury
  • Promote proper body alignment and posture.
  • Help prevent post-workout fatigue 
  • Relax your muscles and reduce stress.
  • Enhances overall workout performance and recovery.
  • Improves flexibility and range of motion 
  • Lower risk of muscle cramps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to cool down after exercise?

Cooling down after exercise is important to gradually bring your heart rate and blood pressure back to their resting levels. They reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, prevent injury, and relax your muscles. 

What is a cool down exercise in PE?

A cool down exercise in physical education (PE) is a low-intensity activity. It is done after a workout or physical activity. It includes stretching, walking, or light aerobic activity . 

What is a cool down for strength training?

A cool down for strength training involves stretching exercises focused on the muscle groups used during the workout. They target muscle groups like hamstrings, quads, and shoulders. It includes other low-intensity cardio workout routines such as walking or cycling.

Is breathing a cool down exercise?

Breathing exercises are a part of a cool down routine. They are not necessarily a complete cool down exercise. Breathing exercises calm the mind and promote relaxation after a workout.

Is stretching a cool down?

Stretching is a common component of a cool down routine – not an exercise. It lengthens the muscles to prevent muscle soreness and stiffness. However, a cool down includes other low-intensity activities such as walking or foam rolling.


These 5 minutes full-body cool-down exercises make a huge difference in how you feel after a workout. Follow these stretches and exercises to reduce sores, relax your muscles and boost your mood.

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