Injury prevention is a cornerstone of the program and should be an integral part of every athlete’s training and development.
Always warm-up before attempting any of these stretches. NEVER stretch a cold muscle. When you perform the stretches listed below, please remember to never bounce, or to force any of the movements. Ease into each position slowly and go only as far as your muscles allow. Consult your family physician or Doctor before starting this or any exercise program or physical training.
1- Walk or jog for 5 minutes
2- Torso Stretch and Swing Through (stretches back, shoulders, arms, legs and feet): From a standing position, stretch up and reach for the sky with both arms raised. Take a deep breath in, and come up on your toes. Release and bend over, feet flat and shoulder width apart. As you come down, exhale, and hang with your hands centered. While hanging down, gently swing your hands and shoulders towards the left foot, back to center, to the right foot, and then back to center again. Your movements should be slow. Repeat two more times, starting from the beginning.
3- Knee Pull In (stretches hamstring and hip flexors): Take a deep breath in and gently pull one knee up and towards your chest. Exhale while in this position and hold for 10-15 seconds. Perform the same movement on the other leg. Repeat two more times for a total of three stretches per side.
4- Quad Stretch (stretches quads): In a standing position, lift one foot up and bend the leg at the knee until your foot is raised and behind you. If you are unable to balance on one leg, hold onto a stationary object. Reach behind you, grab your ankle and gently bring your foot in towards your bottom. Keeping your knees in alignment, squeeze your glutes and hold for 10-15 seconds. Perform this stretch three times per leg.
5- Calf Stretch (stretches back of lower legs): Squat down so that your hands and feet are touching the ground. Raise your bottom up and walk forward with your hands until you are in a bridge position. Keep your back straight, do not arch. Take one foot and place it on top of the ankle behind the other foot. IMPORTANT: Maintain a slight bend in both knees. DO NOT lock your knees! Slowly lower the heel that has the weight on it until you feel a slight pull in the back of that leg. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Switch to the other leg. Perform this stretch three times per leg.
6- Lunge Twist (stretches hips, hamstrings and shoulders): Step forward onto your left foot into a lunge position. Make sure that your knee is directly above your ankle. Raise your arms, up and out to shoulder height. Twist your trunk to the left and touch your right hand to the toes on your left foot. Stretch up with your left hand and look up at it. Hold for six seconds. Return to a standing position, and perform the same stretch on the other side. Repeat two more times per side, holding the stretch for 10-15 seconds on the 2nd and 3rd reps. Remember to breathe. Inhale as you assume the position, and exhale as you hold it.
Now you are ready to perform your workout!