Kickboxing: 5 stretches to cool you down
It is very important to cool-down after your kickboxing workout. Or else you will feel muscular tension, less unrelated soreness the next day. Cooling down also calms down your entire system which is in a hyper-alert, over-stimulated and over-heated mode.
The stretches also ensure great flexibility. Flexibility training is very important for kickboxing practitioners since how high you kick, how long you throw your punch, how well you jump up after a fall, how well you can twist to attack or defend depends entirely on your flexibility training.
So making stretches part of your work-out has several benefits that cannot be compromised.
The Thai kick-boxing series with Biki Bora have been co-ordinated and compiled by Shameem Akthar, yoga instructor.
For more on Biki Bora's fitness tips visit his site http://bikiboxing.blogspot.com
Disclaimer: Any fitness regimen has to be tailored to individual needs for which you must work in tandem with your trainer and dietician. This series only provides broad guidelines.
Image: Poses to cool you down
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
Sit on the floor, both legs stretched out in front. Keeping the left leg extended, bend the right leg at knee. Hug it with both hands, keeping the foot pointed down as shown, draw the knee towards your face.
Hold for a count of ten, breathing normally. Repeat a few times. Then release and repeat for the right leg.
Image: Knee hug
Sit with both legs extended. Pass right leg over the left leg as shown. Place both palms flat on the ground on your right side. Breathing normally twist firmly to the right side, looking over right shoulder if possible.
Hold for a count of ten. Repeat a few times. Then repeat for the other side.
Image: Torso twist
Stand up straight, with feet a foot or more apart. Raise your hands high overhead. Continuing to breathe normally, arch your back as shown, tilting head up and stretching from lower back.
Ensure knees do not bend. Hold for a count of five. Do thrice.
Image: Back bend
Stand up straight. Bend right leg at knee, taking foot back. Hold it with one hand or both. Ensure legs are aligned as shown. Hold for a count of ten. Then release to repeat for left leg.
If you hold for longer, your balance also improves.
Image: Hip stretch
Stand up straight. Bend right leg at knee. Hug it with both hands, drawing it close to the chest. Simultaneously ensure that the left leg remains straight.
Hold for a count of ten. Release to repeat for the left leg. The tighter your hold, the more relaxed the body becomes once you release the pose.
Image: Leg stretch