All of us who try to keep fit are well drilled in the idea of stretching out the muscles before, and after, exercise. And for many of us, in spite of the known benefits of stretching, it’s merely a rather boring, time-consuming part of the exercise activity. However, we are assured it is necessary to avoid muscle soreness or risk of injury. Now two Australian physical therapists have published a survey of medical publications that examines the benefits of stretching in relation to exercise.
Basic Stretch Routine
Sitting on the floor keeping your tummy firm and back straight. Have one leg extended in front of you and the other leg bent so the sole of your other foot touches your extended leg’s inner thigh. Lean slightly forward, keeping your back straight, don’t slouch over, touching your ankle with your hand. Flex your extended leg’s foot back when leaning forward. Hold for 10-30 seconds then swap legs.
Lower Back and Abs
Lying face down on a mat place your hands, palms down, directly under your shoulders. Have your legs extended and flat on the floor. Now press upward raising your upper body off the floor until your arms are straight. Make sure you exhale as you press up and keep your head and heck inline with your spine. Don’t over
extend your back – your palms should remain flat on the floor. Hold this position for around 5 seconds then lower yourself down again to the floor. You should feel the stretch in your abdominals. Repeat 3-5 times depending on how advanced you are.
Benefits Of A Simple Stretching Routine
In today’s world, everybody is busy and rushing about doing something extremely important and urgent. We almost have no time to enjoy our lives anymore. We find ourselves, running, running, running all the time – to complete our education, to get a job, to marry, to start a family, to support a family, to make a career, to buy a car, to buy a house and so on. We move from one target to another without realizing when our lives have passed us by and we are middle aged and creaky at the joints and old-age pains have crept up on us.
Many people conceive exercise as a strenuous workout that needs special equipment, a nutritionist, a gym manager and a bodybuilding expert. The image conjured usually deters the common person from starting it, though everybody knows they need some physical exercise.
One of the greatest benefits of stretching is that you’re able to increase the length of both your muscles and tendons. This leads to an increased range of movement, which means your limbs and joints can move further before an injury occurs.
The good news is that exercises need not be as cumbersome as conceived here. You can start with simple stretching routines that would not take more than 2-3 minutes of your time, and it would be able to give you excellent results too!
You may want an exercise mat to use during seated or floor postures. You don’t have to go out and purchase one, though, just use a firm pillow or folded up blanket. All you really need is a quiet spot where you won’t be distracted. Look for a level area large enough for you to stretch upwards as well as to the sides.
Before beginning your stretching routine, walk around for three or four minutes to make sure your muscles are warmed up. Don’t try to go beyond your limits – you could strain your muscles.
Reasons Your Stretching Routine is Making You Worse
They don’t stretch at all
Girls’ hockey players may be naturally more flexible than boys, but this does not mean that they don’t need to stretch. In over a decade of working with aspiring female hockey players, I have never met a single player who couldn’t benefit from greater flexibility. Stretching is a critical component of all-around fitness and neglecting this component can lead to both short-term and long-term injuries.
They stretch at the wrong time
A great number of teams and players do static (stationary) stretching as part of their warm-up routines – and this is probably the worst time to static stretch! Players muscles’ need to be maximally activated before heading out on the ice – and static stretching relaxes the muscles. Static stretching is great, but it should be left for after the training session.
Stretching is a key component of athletic performance and cannot be neglected. Girls’ hockey players must focus on stretching the right muscles in the right way at the right time if they want to take their performance to the next level.