Five Flexibility Stretches for Sports Injury Prevention
Participating in sports is a great way to stay active and healthy, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you could end up with an injury. While warming up before your race, game, or match is important, so is a proper stretching program that is utilized after the athletic activity and throughout the season.
Remaining flexible is an important aspect in staying injury-free. Following this stretching routine before and after sporting activities will help keep you healthy and flexible for a safe and injury-free year.
How Can Flexibility Help Prevent Injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, stretching can improve flexibility along with the range of motion of your joints. And better flexibility has numerous benefits, including:
- It improves your athletic performance.
- It lowers your risk of injury.
- It helps your joints move through their full range of motion.
- It increases blood flow to your muscles.
- It improves your ability to perform daily tasks.
Stretching before and after physical activity will help your body perform better in many ways and is well worth the time and effort involved.
How Do I Utilize Flexibility Exercises?
These exercises, while helping with flexibility, still require a warm-up prior to beginning. Try walking quickly or gently running in place as a warm-up.
Be careful and precise when performing these exercises and stretches. Do not speed through them and do not bounce while stretching. Bouncing can be dangerous and might cause a muscle strain or other injury.
If you already have an injury, seek professional advice before beginning any flexibility program, which may irritate your current injury rather than helping it.
What Flexibility Exercises Should I Do?
Young athletes should stretch each of the major lower body muscle groups before and after sporting events and practices. These exercises help target appropriate muscle groups and offer increased flexibility and strength.
One: Forward Lunges
Stand with your feet together. With your left foot, step forward, landing on the heel. Drop your hips straight down, keeping your back straight and bringing your right knee toward the floor. Both legs should be in a right angle form.
Hold for five seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat three to six times and then switch to the opposite leg to repeat.
See a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE_hU8XX48I
Two: Side Lunges
Stand with legs apart. Bend the left knee while leaning toward the left, keeping your back and right leg straight.
Hold for five seconds before returning to the original position. Repeat three to six times. Switch to the right leg and repeat.
See how to perform this exercise here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvqLVxYqEvo
Three: Curtsy (or Crossover) Lunges
Stand with your feet together and step forward with your left foot. Bring your right foot behind and to the left of your left foot. Keep your left knee aligned with your left foot as you drop your body down, forming right angles with both legs.
Hold for five seconds before straightening back up. Repeat three to six times. Switch to the right leg and repeat.
Watch a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix_SFZVDy0I
Four: Butterfly Stretch
Sit on the floor, bending your knees and placing the soles of your feet together. Drop your knees toward the floor. Hold your feet and use your forearms to gently press your knees to the floor, feeling the stretch in your inner thighs. Lean forward from the hips and move the feet towards your body as you become comfortable with the stretch to increase difficulty.
Hold for five seconds. Repeat three to six times.
Watch how to do the butterfly stretch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdE_Cj6ChLo
Five: Seat Side Straddle
Sit on the floor and spread your legs, placing both hands on your left ankle. Bring your chin toward your knee, keeping your leg straight.
Hold for five seconds. Sit upright. Repeat three to six times and then repeat using your right leg.
See how to do this stretch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IswHRo0mrpI
Can Chiropractic Help With Flexibility?
Flexibility and range of motion are not only important in sports activities, but in life itself. While these exercises can help you achieve greater flexibility, you can also visit your chiropractor to increase flexibility and improve your overall range of motion.
Your chiropractor can help improve your range of motion in your spine, neck, and other joints by aligning your spine, which offers benefits for the whole body. As well as increasing flexibility in your joints, bones, and muscles, it can help to reduce pain and provide other benefits as well.
In addition to these exercises and others provided by your chiropractor, regular chiropractic adjustments and manipulations can help you improve and maintain flexibility and range of motion. Ensure that you are a healthy athlete with regular flexibility exercises and chiropractic visits. To meet your flexibility goals, get in touch with us today by scheduling an appointment with us online or calling 256-721-9696.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.