If you decide to make stretching a major part of your program I have the following advice for you.

Cool down phase of classes

The cool-down component of the class is important for some members to return to a relaxed state before they leave your class.

It allows time for the heart rate and body temperature to drop slowly.

Stopping exercise suddenly means you have stopped your muscles pumping blood around the body.

This may lead to venous pooling in your legs as the blood returning back to your heart requires movement, without which your members maybe in danger of fainting.

Psychologically the cool-down is important for member’s bodies to recognize the end of a session, for some this part of the class can be the most enjoyable.

Stretching during the cool down

This should involve all the major muscle groups, as Martial Arts training use’s all the major muscle groups. It should involve about 10 per cent of the class time – so for a 60-minute class that’s 5-6 minutes of stretching.

Stretching involves relaxing the muscles. Ideally, the entire body should be relaxing once the heart rate has been reduced. For classes that have finished with some drills or sparring, it is very important that the heart rate is reduced gradually prior to stretching. The best way to do this is to lead the class on a minute or two of walking around the mat.

This is a great time for the class to socialize and bond together.

The cool-down is also a useful time to re-establish rapport with the group, Calm your voice and encourage relaxation.