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Recovery Drill Exercises | 8 Cool Down Stretches 2023

Recovery Drill Exercises | 8 Cool Down Stretches 2023

The Recovery Drill is a set of stretching exercises in the Army Physical Readiness Training designed to improve a soldier’s flexibility and facilitate muscle recovery after physical activities.

  • They are also referred to as Army Stretches or Cool-down drills.

The recovery exercises offer extensive movements that emphasize structural strength, stability, flexibility, and mobility. The drill includes various positions, such as:

  • Seated
  • Standing
  • Prone
  • Supine

These positions are supported by either one or both the upper and lower extremities. Adapting and transitioning between these positions can be tailored for soldiers who are:

  • Recovering from injuries
  • Deconditioned
  • New to the army

It’s assumed that this drill is typically conducted in formation.

  • However, for individual soldiers, the duration, frequency, and positions can be adjusted according to their specific needs for flexibility improvement.

Recovery Drill

There are 8 recovery drill exercises in the United States Army:

  1. Overhead Arm Pull
  2. Rear Lunge
  3. Extend and Flex
  4. Thigh Stretch
  5. Single-Leg Over
  6. Groin Stretch
  7. Calf Stretch
  8. Hamstring Stretch

Overhead Arm Pull

  • Description: You will focus on stretching your upper body with the overhead arm.
  • Muscles Targeted: This exercise works your trunk, shoulders, and arm muscles.
  • Starting position: Straddle stance with hands on hips.

Rear Lunge

  • Description: With the rear lunge stretch, you will take a deep step back to stretch the front of the hips and thighs.
  • Muscles Targeted: This exercise works on your trunk and hip flexor muscles.
  • Starting Position: Straddle stance with hands on hips.

Extend and Flex

  • Description: The extend and flex stretch increases your flexibility and stretches the back, hips, and core.
  • Muscles Targeted: This stretch will work on your hips, abdominals, hip flexors, calves, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.
  • Starting Position: The front leaning rest position.

Thigh Stretch

  • Description: The thigh stretch exercise works to target your upper leg.
  • Muscles Targeted: This exercises works on your hip flexors and thigh muscles.
  • Starting Position: Seated position with arms at the sides and palms on the floor.

Single-Leg Over

  • Description: The single-leg over-exercise is a simple workout emphasizing holding a particular position.
  • Muscles Targeted: This exercise will work on your lower back and hip muscles.
  • Starting Position: Supine position, arms sideward, palms down, and feet together.

Groin Stretch

  • Description: The groin stretch exercise is one of the exercises that increase flexibility in the hip joint.
  • Muscles Targeted: These stretches work on your hip joint and inner thigh muscles.
  • Starting Position: Straddle stance with hands on hips.

Calf Stretch

  • The calf stretch increases the ankle’s flexibility.
  • Muscles Targeted: This army cool-down exercise works on the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
  • Starting Position: Straddle stance with hands on hips.

Hamstring Stretch

  • The hamstring stretch increases the flexibility of the knee and hip.
  • Muscles Targeted: This exercise works on your knee and hip muscles, primarily your hamstrings.
  • Starting Position: Sitting position, arms at the sides, and palms on the floor.

New Recovery Drill Exercises

There are three new recovery drill exercises:

  • Groin Stretch
  • Calf Stretch
  • Hamstring Stretch

Cool-Down Drills

The table below provides a detailed breakdown of the recovery drill. 

  • It consists of eight exercises, each of which should be held for a duration of 20 to 30 seconds. 
  • Notably, these exercises are not given in cadence, allowing soldiers to transition between starting positions and exercise positions upon the PRT leader’s command. 
  • Importantly, the seconds should not be counted aloud.


  • The major goal of recovery exercises is to efficiently and progressively return the body to its pre-exercise state.
  • During your unit’s PRT session, you will be given a designated PRT area, an approved PRT plan, and a PRT instructor. 
  • You will also dress in a uniform that the PRT instructor has specified. 
  • MOPP 4 conditions do not apply to this task. For specific conditions, refer to the MOPP 4 statement.


  • Perform every drill exercise flawlessly, in the correct sequence, and without errors.
  • Ensure you adhere to the GO & NO-GO criteria, the approved PRT plan, and ATP 7-22.02“Holistic Health and Fitness Drills and Exercises,” ensuring no injuries occur during the performance.


  • To avoid injuries, please execute the exercises in the correct form as indicated in ATP 7-22.02
  • Soldiers should always hydrate; unit leadership and PRT instructors should oversee proper hydration.
  • Injuries due to extreme weather (either heat or cold) can affect soldiers who do not adequately prepare. 
  • Both unit leadership and PRT instructors should monitor based on their Deliberate Risk Assessment.


  • There’s a sudden cardiac event risk during the drill’s execution. 
  • Command chains should be aware of soldiers who’ve self-reported a prior cardiac injury and those who require over-40 screening.

Warning: A visual reconnaissance of the training area should be conducted before the drill’s execution.


  • Muscle Recovery: These exercises aid in the recovery of your muscles after strenuous Army PRT exercises, reducing muscle soreness and stiffness.
  • Muscle Flexibility: Adding recovery stretches to your daily routine enhances joint mobility and the flexibility of your muscles.
    • This will help reduce the risk of injury during other physical activities.
  • Core Strength: Cool-down exercises help strengthen your core and other stabilizing muscles.
  • Enhanced Stability: These stretches also improve a soldier’s balance and stability, essential for operational and combat activities.
  • Enhances Stamina and Physique: These exercises increase your stamina, improve core strength, and sculpt your physique.
  • Many Muscle Groups: This drill has eight stretches that target your back, trunk, shoulders, arms, lower legs, thighs, and hips, making a well-rounded routine that addresses various muscle groups.
  • Efficient Recovery: The mix of exercises in these drills ensures you recuperate quickly and can return to your daily routine quickly.
  • Tailored for Everyone: This drill is versatile and inclusive because it can be modified for soldiers with injuries, deconditioned, or recruits of the Army. 

Recovery exercises are easy, straightforward workouts focusing primarily on stretching and holding positions.

They are generally less strenuous than other workouts and appeal to those seeking an effective yet less intense muscle recovery method.


  • Ease of Execution: This drill is simple, straightforward, and easy for beginners and veterans.
  • Reputation: The Army has been using these drills for many years, which attests to their dependability.
  • Endurance: Its diverse workouts provide immediate recovery and long-term muscle health.

Army Stretching Exercises (Links)

The follwoing are the 8 army stretches and links to individual exercises:

Army Cool-Down Drills
Overhead Arm Pull
Rear Lunge
Extend and Flex
Thigh Stretch
Single-Leg Over
Groin Stretch
Calf Stretch
Hamstring Stretch
Army Stretches
George N.

Emily Pena

Monday 13th of February 2023

This needs to be updated, there are three new exercises at the end of the recovery drill (groin stretch, calf stretch, and hamstring stretch) according to ATP 7-22.02 and an update would really help junior enlisted soldiers.

Matthew Frost

Wednesday 31st of May 2023