Stretching is often times underrated by athletes and non-athletes. In my book “Don’t worry: My Mom is the team doctor” book link here I talk about the importance of stretching. In this blog I want to give you some practical tips of ways to warm up your muscles and therefore avoid injury.
A good way to get the circulation going is about ten minutes of light running or cycling before practice. For runners, a jog and a few sprints thrown in is a good warm-up. It is a good idea to do gradual aerobic exercise to warm up before stretching. The muscles will be warm up and respond better. Jumping rope is a good substitute for running, and a jump rope is easy to stow in a sports bag if the team doesn’t have equipment.
Six essential stretching exercises:
1. Shoulder stretch: This stretches the back of your shoulders. In a standing position, bring the first arm across your chest while using your second arm to pull it toward your chest. You will feel the stretch in the back of your shoulder. After fifteen to thirty seconds of stretching our first shoulder, switch arms.
2. Triceps stretch: This is done in the standing position. Bring your first arm up and place palm of your hand down the center of the back with the elbow in the air. Place your other hand on your elbow and gently hold in place as you stretch your triceps. After fifteen to thirty seconds, switch arms.
3. Crossover: This is a great stretching exercise. Stand with the legs crossed and keep the feet close together and the legs straight. Try to touch your toes. Hold for five seconds and repeat three to five times and then repeat on the opposite leg.
4. Standing quad stretch: Stand with support by holding onto a wall or a chair, if you need to. Pull the foot behind you to the buttock. Try to keep the knees close together. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat three to five times.
5. Forward lunges: Knee on the right leg and place the left leg foward at a right angle. Lunge forward and keep the back leg straight. The stretch should be felt in the right groin. Hold on for five seconds. Repeat there to five times and then switch legs.
6. Sitting side straddle: Sit on the floor with the legs wide apart and spread. Place both hands on the same shin or ankle. Bring the chin toward the one and keep the leg straight. Hold for five seconds and repeat three to five times. Repeat the exercise on the opposite leg.
If you want to find out more about stretching exercises or need to schedule an appointment to discuss. Feel free to click on link below to reach out. We are always here for you.