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Do you want to help improve your athlete’s performance? Introduce stretching to your team to lengthen muscles, promotes flexibility and increase speed. Read on for tips…

Increase Performance With Stretching

An important role of being a coach is showing your athletes ways to improve their performance. Stretching is an essential tool that can contribute to an athlete’s success. Many athletes skip stretching because they feel they are not going to get hurt and at times are invincible. Warming up before any physical activity can help improve performance and reduce risk of injury. Stretching also helps to lengthen muscles, delivers increased oxygen to muscles and promotes flexibility. Before any physical activity athletes should stretch at least 5 to 10 minutes.

It is important to remember not to teach your athletes not to stretch to the point that he/she feels pain, he/she should just feel a slight tension. Also, it is important not to bounce when stretching or stretch torn or injured muscles.

Here are some stretches to do with your team to get you started:

Thighs – Stand on your left foot, with your right hand pull your right foot toward your buttocks. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then switch and stretch your left side.

Calves- Lean against a wall and place your right leg behind you. Bend your left leg at the knee and make sure to keep your foot flat. Hold this position for 30 second and then switch legs.

Hamstrings – Sit on the floor and straddle your legs. Extend your arms in front of you and slowly move your chest to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.

Lower Back – Lie down on the floor and bend your knees in a 90 degree angle. Roll your knees both to the right side and keep your shoulders on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and then roll your knees to the left side.

Shoulders and Chest – Stand up and place both your arms in back of you and grasp both your hands. Make sure you pull your shoulders down, so the blades are touching. Remember not to arch your back and hold for 30 seconds.

At the end of physical activity it is important to spend another 5-10 minutes cooling down. The cool down should include at least 5 minutes of cardio at a slower pace, example walking on a treadmill along with stretching exercises. The cool down is important because it helps reduce muscle soreness and risk for injuries, it also brings your heart rate down.

Remember, Always consult a physician before starting any exercise routine.