Buddy Up to Cool Down

by Brett Klika on Feb 01, 2012


Take advantage of boot camp team spirit and partner up for postworkout stretches.

Boot camp workouts are an intense, multifaceted way to get in shape. People get a chance to experience diverse movements while exploring a range of energy systems. It’s a well-rounded fitness opportunity for everyone, and there’s a bonus: the group training environment facilitates camaraderie and competition. Since intensity is high, heart rates will definitely be elevated, and muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments will experience various levels of overload. It is therefore absolutely essential to end with a cool-down.

To facilitate a gradual transition, ask participants to walk, jog or do anything else that gives the body a chance to return slowly to a pre-exertion state. The cool-down is also the perfect time to incorporate flexibility exercises, because muscle tissue is warm and pliable. To continue the culture of camaraderie, pair people up for some of the stretches. This helps create a cohesive group where everyone enjoys a sense of belonging. When participants feel welcome, they also feel accountable to the group and are more likely to show up for class. This commitment is great for participants and for your business.

Try the following partner-based stretches to create a fun, interactive cool-down for your boot camp class.

Partner Hamstring Stretch
  • Partner 1 lies supine on ground.
  • Partner 2 grabs heel of Partner 1’s straightened right (R) leg.
  • Partner 2 slowly lifts Partner 1’s straightened leg from heel to a point where Partner 1 feels hamstring stretch. Partner 2 holds Partner 1’s leg slightly below discomfort level for 20 seconds. Return to start position.
  • Change legs. If time permits, repeat for multiple 20-second bouts on each leg.

Switch partners and repeat.

Partner Glute Stretch
  • Partner 1 lies supine on ground.
  • Partner 2 grabs Partner 1’s R heel, places other hand on outside of Partner 1’s R knee and slowly bends knee, bringing thigh toward chest.
  • Once thigh is as close to chest as possible, Partner 2 provides pressure to outside of Partner 1’s R knee, bringing it across body toward left (L) shoulder until Partner 1 feels stretch on right gluteus muscle.
  • Partner 2 puts pressure on outside of Partner 1’s R foot while other hand maintains pressure on outside of R knee. Partner 2 holds stretch slightly below discomfort level for 20 seconds. Repeat for multiple 20-second bouts on each leg.

Switch partners and repeat.

Partner Chest Stretch
  • Partner 2 sits behind Partner 1 and grabs Partner 1’s wrists, thumbs facing up.
  • While gently placing foot in center of Partner 1’s back, Partner 2 brings Partner 1’s arms back slowly, slightly below shoulder level. Thumbs still face up.
  • Partner 2 brings arms back until Partner 1 feels stretch across chest. Partner 2 holds stretch for 20 seconds slightly below discomfort level. Repeat for multiple 20-second bouts.

Switch partners and repeat.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 9, Issue 2

© 2012 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Brett Klika

Brett Klika IDEA Author/Presenter

Brett Klika is the director of athletic performance at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, California. He specializes in youth fitness and athletic performance. Brett oversees a staff of eight strength coa...


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