Post-practise mobility analysis reveals – why is cooling down important

Athlete’s bodies are constantly put through hard practises. If you don’t recover, the body is left in an unbalanced condition. One of the most important reasons for cool-down is to recover the body’s symmetry after working out. This will never happen by itself, which is why we need precise movements to the problem areas.

Sanna Kämäräinen is one of Finland’s most accomplished female discus throwers. She has won 5 Finnish championships (2 in shot put) and represented Finland in top-level sports events 5 times. However, her ultimate dream has always been the olympics and after deciding to end her career after this year, she is going for the dream and aiming for the Tokyo Olympics in summer 2020.

Photo: Anssi Mäkinen,

Sanna has been close to that dream before. In 2015, she threw over the limit to attend the Olympics of Rio de Janeiro, but suffered a severe serious spinal disc herniation in her back in December 2015. That almost ended her career and consequently, she suffered several back injuries. However, something always kept her going.

Two years ago Sanna wasn’t sure if she could return to the ring healthy, but now she is all-in. Also, taking care of her body has never been more important. For the past months, she has been monitoring her body mobility with TE3’s trainer Senni Hirvelä before and after exercising. How does an athletes body look like post-practise?

These are Sanna’s results after practising (December 2019):

The side differences in her body were massive:

  • 28° side difference in t-spine rotation (trunk rotation)
  • 11° side difference in hip flexors (hip extension 1)
  • 15° side difference in shoulder external rotators (shoulder internal rotation)

These are Sanna’s results without practising (January 2020):

What happens if you neglect cool-down?

Often athletes leave their body maintenance in the minimum and the body’s imbalance follows them from practise to evening chores and bed. This affects recovery significantly, causing the athlete to wake up poorly rested the next morning. As the athlete continues to the next practise, the body needs a lot of repairing and feels tighter. These imbalances should be, of course, balanced, but often the athlete will underestimate consequences. This is how a negative asymmetrical twist develops. Recovery slows down, the risk of injury increases and performance decreases.

Sanna has been training with TE3’s Mobility Exercises and monitoring her body mobility for 3 months now and she can feel the difference. With the information on her body mobility, she can now focus on the right areas. This January, she threw her first indoor competition in five years with the result of 54,04 meters. She was satisfied with the result at this point of the season, especially because her body is now healthy enough to compete. 

“I was happy to notice, that the day after the competition I wasn’t hurting anywhere. It has been a long time since I felt like that, which means that the body maintenance has paid off. Overall, my body is feeling a lot more functional and my back is not as tired as before. The greatest thing has been that I’m a lot more aware of my body’s condition and the numbers show me precisely, where I am at the moment.” Sanna tells.

We wish Sanna all the luck in her upcoming season!

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