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What Kind Of Stretching To I Need To Do If I Play Sports?

Feb 25, 2008
In order to reduce the risk of injury while exercising it is important for one to have flexible joints and toned muscles. This can be achieved by doing simple stretching exercises that form the basis of most workout routines.

The main goal should be to attain a wide range of motion and exercise according to your body type and fitness levels. There are several ways to achieve this goal.

One way is to do a short warm up before starting any routine. This helps to keep the joints and muscles flexible and more elastic while at the same time also enables a safer and higher intensity workout.

Cold muscles often tear or get stretched leading to acute pain so it is always recommended to do some stretching exercises before beginning any vigorous exercise. Even ten to fifteen minutes of basic stretching exercises or low impact jogging is enough to get the joints and muscles toned.

There are different kinds of stretching exercises which can be very useful. Static stretching is the more old fashioned stretch which involves stretching the arms, trunk, legs or neck and holding them for around 30 seconds. Dynamic stretching and ballistic stretching on the other hand involve more vigorous weight assisted or bouncing style stretches where extra force might be applied.

Dynamic stretches can even include holding your arms out sideways and twisting them from left to right across the front of the body and repeating for 30 seconds. Another interesting technique involves the use of a short bar that is placed across the neck with the support of the shoulders. The hands should be placed on the bar and then the body is bent slowly to the left and then the right so that the head is moved towards the edge of the foot.

For abdominal exercises, using a large rubber ball is very effective. One should lie backwards on the ball and slowly raise the arms above the neck and repeat 10 times. If you want to loosen the pressure on the hamstrings then you can lie on your back and raise one leg upward and stretch. You can even take the help of a towel by wrapping it around the leg that is outstretched and pull the ends toward you slowly.

If you want a full back stretch, lie on your back and bring both knees to the chest. Clasp both hands around the knees and gently rock your body so that when you roll forward your feet hit the floor and when you roll backwards your head touches the floor. Repeat this exercise at least 10 times.

In order to tone the groin muscles you can also make use of a large rubber ball. Place one knee on the ball and slowly rotate the ball backwards and forwards just a few inches away from your body.

Touching your toes is an excellent warm-up exercise to stretch the leg and back muscles. However, people who suffer from problems pertaining to the lower back should first consult an experienced physician before attempting these exercises.

The key to flexible and supple joints and muscles is to do stretching exercises at least a few times a week. This will not only help to decrease the risk of injury but will help you attain maximum flexibility.
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