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What Trainers Do Immediately Post-Workout

Wash Off the Germs

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"As soon as I finish my foam rolling session, I head straight to the bathroom to wash my hands. Let’s be honest: even at the nicest gyms, the equipment is covered with sweat and germs. I don't want to start touching my phone, my face, my purse, or my steering wheel with dirty hands—that’s a surefire way to get sick." —Autumn Calabrese, celebrity fitness trainer and creator of the 21 Day Fix Extreme

Photo: Autumn Calabrese

Keep Muscles Warm

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"I put on pants and a long-sleeve shirt and keep moving: Keeping your muscles warm is crucial to better recovery and less soreness since it keeps them from tightening up. That means no sitting once your last set is done." —Albert Matheny, R.D., co-founder of and trainer at Soho Strength Lab

(Too late? Find out The Best Ways to Ease Sore Muscles.)

Photo: Albert Matheny

Replenish Electrolytes

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"Whether I’m teaching or taking a class, I make sure to drink at least 16 ounces of electrolyte water immediately after. Riders don’t realize how many electrolytes they deplete during a sweat session. Replenishing immediately after helps avoid symptoms like muscle cramps, fatigue and/or nausea." —Natalie Cohen, Flywheel Master Instructor

(Find out the other Post-Workout Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making.)

Photo: Flywheel

Clean Up After Yourself

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"Other than a whey protein shake, the most important thing I do post-workout is put all of the equipment back where I got it and wipe down any benches I was using. Thoughtfulness, cleanliness, and courtesy go a long way in the gym." —Adam Rosante, personal trainer and founder of The People's Bootcamp 

(What's that about a protein shake? 3 Things You Need to Do Immediately After a Workout.)

Photo: Adam Rosante

Reflect

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"It’s important to recognize what you’ve accomplished with your training and how it contributes to your long-term vision—not just for your physical well-being and athletic pursuits, but how such commitment is fueling your success. After a workout, I reflect on how great I feel, and how proud of myself I am for doing it despite all the odds that might be working against me that day. I think it reinforces the behaviors you’ve chosen and is something people don’t do nearly enough." —Samantha Datz, instructor at Real Pilates

Photo: Real Pilates

Cleanse

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"I reach for two sprays. On my face and chest, I use a toner by my facialist Cecilia Wong that moisturizers while disinfecting my skin—which is so important after a sweat fest. I also swear by Dry Bar's dry shampoo. I spray around my hairline to buy me more time in between washes." —Annie Mulgrew, director of programming for CityRow

(Also try these Gym Bag Beauty Must-Haves.)

Photo: CITYROW

Take a Salt Bath

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"If I have extra time, I love taking Epsom salt baths. This is a great muscle relaxer and helps relieve any soreness. I love mixing a touch of lavender oil in there too, because the calming scent makes it easy to wind down after a hard workout." —Natalie Uhling, Radius Master Trainer

Photo: Natalie Uhling

Analyze

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"After my stretch, I like to think about what I could have added to make my workout more efficient so next time I can attack my workout, in the words of Daft Punk, harder, faster, better, stronger." —Seth Maynard, instructor at SWERVE

(Need suggestions? 5 Ways to Make Your Workout Work Harder.)

Stretch

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"I make sure to keep my body moving by going through an active series of stretches to get the blood flowing back to my muscles. Active stretches help lengthen the muscles and get into those tight spots that might have become aggravated during the workout. Using my breath to guide my body really helps me get through the stretches that feel overwhelming and helps bring my heart rate down." —Maria Macsay, instructor at 305 Fitness.

(6 Active Stretches You Should be Doing.)

Photo: 305 Fitness

Make Friends

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"Socialize! If you took a class, chit-chat with other people as you are packing up to head out. The gym is where I met some of my best friends. When you get to know like-minded people, the increased motivation and support that you feel is incredible." —Alison Grzyb, instructor at SLT (Strengthen Lengthen Tone)

Photo: Alison Grzyb

Foam Roll

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"After a run is a good time to get in protein and post-workout nutrition, but since there is a 30-minute window for that and I lose motivation for stretching the longer I wait, I like to spend the first 15 minutes post-run focusing on mobility. I always do dynamic stretches and then foam roll each major muscle—quads, hamstrings, calves, shins, and back—to help flush out the muscles and get the blood flowing." —Joanna Murphy, running coach for CoachUp 

(Try these 8 Moves to Foam Roll Your Entire Body.)

Photo: CoachUp

Moisturize

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"After you sweat, it’s just as important to rehydrate your skin as it is to clean it. I love coconut oil as lotion post-shower because it not only hydrates but it also nourishes the layers of your skin and helps to pull out the fat-soluble toxins. If I'm on the go, I use Life Spa’s Mango Body Butter with Coconut Oil. This makes my skin feel amazing after a cooling shower post heat." —Heather Peterson, senior vice president of programming for CorePower Yoga

Photo: CorePower Yoga

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