The cooling down is an important and yet neglected part of ones CrossFit training. It usually functions as a way to get your body back to it´s normal condition (homeostasis), this is vital for proper recovery of the training session. It can also function as a small mobility piece, so if you felt something went bad during the training, you could try to get some relief during the cool down and evaluate what went wrong. It is especially important when you just finished a high-intensity WOD.
We like to cool down from a workout in the next few steps:
1. monostructural piece
As soon as we are done, we don´t want people sitting or lying on the ground. We want individuals to actively recover from the effort as this makes it more effective for the individual to clear lactate (Menzies P, Menzies C, McIntyre L, Paterson P, Wilson J, Kemi OJ. J Sports Sci. 2010;28(9):975-982. doi:10.1080/02640414.2010.481721). So as soon as you´re done, try to walk, bike, row or ski. Slow and easy movement while decreasing the heart rate and gaining control over the breathing pattern.
2. Breathing exercises
While you are on the monostructural piece, you could try some breathing exercises to calm down the body, something like
Try to breath slow and calm, through the nose into the belly.
3. Light movement
After you have relaxed the body a bit, we advise getting some light movements in.
air squats, bear crawls, lunges, scap pull ups, pass throughs, etc.
Move the body through the ranges it just moved in with the workout but now in an easy, intensity absent setting.
4. (bonus) mobility
If you noticed any restrictions or pain, try some soft tissue work on the affected area (never on bones, joints, ligaments etc.). Spend approximately 10 minutes working on releasing the tissues. Stretches are also fine.
Again, the cooling down is an important piece of the puzzle. It aids the recovery which is important to gain the adaptations that we are aspire through training. Proper cool down will result in proper recovery which will evantually make you the athlete you want to be.