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Foam Rolling Cool-Down Moves for Better Flexibility Over 50

Got stiff joints and muscles? A cool-down is lower-intensity exercise – such as stretches or mobility drills – performed directly after a vigorous training session. Foam rolling can cool down your joints and muscles and is a winning idea for reducing your risk of injury and improving your mobility and posture.

Flexibility movements while foam rolling make a positive difference in your body and help improve the quality of your future workouts.

See the video lower within this article for movement examples that help keep your synovial fluid moving freely around your joints.

Benefits of Foam Rolling During Your Cool-Down

A good cool-down can accelerate blood lactate recovery while helping reduce depression in your immune system and promoting speedy recovery for your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Also, when your muscles are pumped full of warm blood and oxygen directly after a workout, it’s the perfect time to improve muscular flexibility and joint mobility.

As modern humans become increasingly sedentary from texting, computing, and driving, the neck and hamstring muscles also require enhanced flexibility movements to unstick the tissues in these areas:

  • The ball-and-socket joints of the shoulders and hips are where injuries commonly occur from exercise and the sensitive vertebrae of the lower back.
  • Injuries aside, certain key exercises – such as pressing and squatting – can only be done effectively if there is already a certain level of mobility in the shoulders and hips.

A joint is where two or more bones meet. From an ancestral perspective, joints are meant to be supple.

“…the cool-down is not just about the immune system or about glycogen restoration, it’s about leaving the workout in the right frame of mind and body. Right after intense training is a good time to reflect on the workout, as well as see how the body is operating after an intense session.”

Carl Valle

What is Synovial Fluid and Why Does It Matter During a Cool-Down?

Your body produces a substance called synovial fluid to lubricate its joints.

Just as car engines have motor oil, your physique has synovial fluid within it so that your bones can move past one another effortlessly.

The more sedentary you are, the less your body thinks you need fluidity. If you don’t use it, you lose it – as the saying goes – and soon, your joints become sticky, abrasive, and at risk for injury the next time you move quickly, spontaneously, or under a weight-bearing load.

This is why, with each passing year, doing a cool-down properly after exercise becomes even more important.

cool-down foam roller after 50

What is Spinal Compression and Why Does It Matter During a Cool-Down?

Our spines are meant to be long and bendy.

During pre-history, our ancestors did not sit in chairs.

On the other hand, modern life involves sitting for absurdly long periods, which can shorten spines.

A compressed spine means vertebrae are too close to one another, which can put undue pressure on spinal nerve endings resulting in slipped discs, extreme pain, or – at the very least – unattractive posture.

Try This Foam Rolling Cool-Down

This series of movements is designed to mitigate sticky synovial fluid and spinal compression – and restore joint and muscular mobility.

Refer to the video to see how each specific movement is executed.

two mature adults over fifty and fit and firm
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This cool-down is for both men and women. Modify the movement to accommodate your unique fitness level and limitations.

As always, consult your medical doctor before beginning any new movement regimen.

Cool-Down Movement Series with Supported Spine:

  • Robot Arms
  • Around the World
  • Crunch and Hold
  • Bird Wings

Foam Rolling Movement Series with Elevated Hips:

  • Knee Circles
  • Hip Flexor Stretch
  • Helicopter
  • Bridge

Cool-Down Reclined Series:

  • Foot Rolls
  • Point-and_flex
  • Knee Hug
  • Twist
  • Human Ball
  • Lower Back Stretch
  • Hamstring Hug
  • Happy Baby
  • Adductor (Cobbler’s) Stretch
mature man does cool-down on foam roller after workout.

Sitting While Foam Rolling:

  • Glute Roll

A glute roll involves crossing one leg, then leaning over to the side of that crossed leg, and foam rolling to massage out the side of your buttock and outer thigh.

When rolling, the idea is to try to relax the area you are targeting deeply:

  • You’re looking for the sweet spot – where the muscle feels tight or uncomfortable.
  • Then, you roll the area while taking slow deep breaths to loosen the tight fibers surrounding that particular place.
Dane Findley helps others cool down and achieve stellar wellness and a healthier physique.
Dane has a master’s in Depth Counseling and has spent decades as a professional fitness and Pilates trainer. Today, Dane is a Healthy Lifestyle Advocate who curates the popular Quality of Life Newsletter – a free weekly update for creative types who want to UP their joy levels.

Conclusion on the Benefits of Consistent Foam Rolling

Foam rolling has become a popular self-myofascial release (SMR) technique over the past couple of decades.

Foam rolling is often attributed to Canadian physiotherapist Sean Gallagher who began experimenting with using foam cylinders for SMR in the 1990s.

He found it to be an effective way to replicate the pressure and motion of manual therapy techniques used to release myofascial tension.

Gallagher worked with OPTP (Orthopedic Physical Therapy Products) to develop the first commercial foam rollers in the early 2000s marketed specifically for SMR and triggering point release.

Foam rolling began growing in popularity in the 2000s among athletes and trainers as a method of self-massage to aid muscle recovery, flexibility, and soreness.

Its popularity boomed in the 2010s as the fitness industry began heavily marketing foam rollers to consumers as must-have gear for exercise, injury prevention, and myofascial release. Retail sales grew over 500% from 2013 to 2018.

Research on foam rolling has shown it can effectively increase short-term flexibility and range of motion.

There’s moderate evidence it may relieve muscle soreness and aid athletic recovery when combined with other therapies.

However, its ability to provide lasting pain relief or tissue changes is debated. Overall, the research is inconsistent, and more high-quality studies on precise impacts are still needed.

Today, it’s generally seen as a helpful supplemental training tool for flexibility and circulation.

Many athletes find foam rolling helpful during their post-workout cool-down. However, foam rolling can also be helpful before and during a workout.

Since most people in developed countries today lack flexibility and mobility in their spine, joints, and muscles, foam rolling as a regular part of your exercise program would likely be beneficial to you.

Additional Sources:

Narrative Review of Cool-Down Effects – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-018-0916-2

Research of Cooling Down Benefits – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Scientific Validation of Cool-Downs – https://simplifaster.com/articles/cool-down-exercise/

More Cool-Down Ideas – https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045517