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The Fencing Training Cool-Down:

Cooling-down is just as important as the warm-up. Cooling-down helps the body to recover gradually to a resting state. It plays a role in the process of recuperation. The physical effort may leave muscles tight and fatigued, which in fencing can often be linked to the effects of lactic acid production in muscle groups. The Cooling-down and stretching provides an opportunity for an appropriate recovery (depending on activity an active or passive recovery may be better). In general after fencing an active recovery which incorporates static stretching is beneficial.

The Cool-down Routine:

Cooling-down aids in recovery from exercise and consequently assists in minimizing the injury risks. An effective fencing cool-down routine should be about 5-15 minute and begins with very light aerobic exercise, primarily to assist in eliminating any lactic acid remaining in muscle groups. Then is followed by stretching, preferably static stretches, to promote greater flexibility and help loosen up tight muscle groups. Finally fencers should manage their recovery with good nutrition and injury management.

Cool-down Aerobic Exercise:

Slow jogging around the gym or pistes is one of the best ways to begin the cool-down. Activity should be low intensity and low impact. Alternatives to jogging would be low-intensity cycling or brisk walking.

Cool-down Stretching:

Approximately 10 minutes of static stretching will aid loosening of tight muscle groups and to increase the range of movement through greater flexibility, hold each of the stretches for about a minute.

Cool-down Recovery:

After exercise make sure fencers re-hydrate fully, by drinking adequate water. For periods of heavy and intensive training, to ensure full restocking of energy reserves, it also helps to eat a good quality meal with adequate carbohydrates as soon as possible after training or competition. Finally, complete the cool-down recovery with any required rehabilitation exercises and appropriately treat any bruises, strains, sprains or other injuries sustained. Use the R.I.C.E.R. or R.I.C.E.D. procedure and seek medical assistance as appropriate.

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