Stretching for Becoming Athletic
An important part of becoming more athletic is taking stretching as seriously as training. “Stretching improves and maintains range of motion, reduces stiffness in your joints, reduces soreness, reduces the risk of injury, improves mobility, and performance.”
We provide stretching exercises that will ensure you are fully warmed up and ready to take on your workout. Check out the exercises included in our head to toe warmup below and how they can prove to be beneficial.
Neck Stretch: When the head and shoulders drift forward, certain muscles shorten and become tight. This perpetuates the posture that causes neck pain (spine-health). Stretching your neck can relieve pain as well as prevent strain.
Arm and Shoulder Stretch: Incorporating shoulder stretches in your exercise routine can increase the flexibility of your shoulder muscles and improve your range of movement as well. Shoulder movement can impact upper exercises as well as your core.
Overhead Arm Pull: Do you want to one day be able to do pull-ups and perfect overhead presses? Not without this proper stretch incorporated into warm-ups and cool-downs. This stretches the external and internal obliques, triceps, and upper back.
Abdominal Stretch: An abdominal stretch helps pave the way towards practice of muscle building exercises that can help achieve goals such as flat abs and better balance and agility. This stretch brings about better posture and enables your obliques to be more complex.
Chest Stretch: Stretching your chest is beneficial to your upper back, as well as opening up your airways. As an athlete, you should have a controlled breath. As Patrick Lerounge says on Linkedin, “connected with taking in more air. The more breath you’re taking, the more air you’re receiving, the more your fight or flight mechanism naturally shrinks and drops. What you want to think about as you open up the chest is your fight or flight instinct decreasing and focus more on healing.”
Quadricep Stretch: Tight quadriceps can lead to knee and back pain, and may result in injury. Overtraining commonly leads to knee pain and even more commonly in athletes. Take the time for this stretch to reduce the chances as you may be enduring high impact exercises.
Seated Hamstring Stretch/ Hamstring Stretch Standing: Did you know that tight or weak hamstrings pull on the hip bones pulling the pelvis out of line resulting in muscle tension up the back and into the neck triggering headaches? Also, they can pull your pelvis down, increasing your risk of throwing your back, hips or knees out of alignment during times of physical activity (healthyliving). Limber hamstrings can keep your hips and back in proper alignment and reduce the likelihood of many common hamstring injuries.
Calf Stretch: The calf muscles main job is to pull the foot down, like when you point your toes. Calf muscles can increase your jump. Perfect for sports such as cheerleading and basketball. . Runners, walkers and those who play team sports benefit from strong lower leg muscles that keep the mechanics of the lower leg in line (livehealthy).
Butterfly Stretch: This stretch offers a good stretch for the inner thighs, groin and knees. Tight and inflexible hip adductor muscles are a common problem. When they are tight, it increases your risk of lower back injury during any activity that has you extending, or straightening, your hip joint (azjoint).
Kneeling Hip Flexor: Tight hip flexors can prevent glute activation which provides from hip rotation and that means the pelvis cannot move as far forward over the stance leg, and we instinctively shorten our stride. This isn’t good for running or even walking.
Lower Back Stretch: Stretching your lower back increases muscle and body coordination and enhances blood circulation. When it comes to exercises that require agility, your lower back will need to be stable and this is an exercise to guarantee so.
Now that you’ve learned the benefits of each of the stretches try it out for yourself and reap the benefits. Happy stretching, Sworkiteers.