A sports injury can have you sidelined for weeks or longer, and bad ones may even need medical treatment. Some of the most common sports injuries involve a pulled or strained muscle, ligament, or tendon, and one of the chief causes of these is working out or practicing without being fully warmed up or stretching.
Many athletes understand the value of a good stretch after a long practice or workout, helping ease the tightness and speed recovery. However, many may wonder, can stretching prevent sports injuries? Maybe! Here’s how.
The Importance of Stretching the Major Muscle Groups
Flexibility exercises help get the blood flowing to all the major muscle groups. And it’s especially important before you have a heavy training session. When your muscles are tight, they’re more prone to tearing and overextending the ligaments and tendons that attach the muscles to the bone.
When you gently stretch for flexibility, you improve your ability to perform more complex athletic moves. Plus, stretching before and after working out helps reduce muscle cramping and eases your heart rate back down after a vigorous workout. Finally, regular stretching can reduce neck and back pain, plus help with your standing and seated posture.
The Best Stretching Exercises For Athletes
For the lower legs, calf raises can help open up both the muscles in the shins and the calf muscles at the back. Stand on a stair and raise and lower your heels. This can also help gently stretch your Achilles tendon.
Your quads and hamstrings benefit from the downward-facing dog yoga position. This position allows people of all abilities a comfortable position to gently stretch without overextending. Be careful to move slowly and not bounce.
For the Arms and Shoulders
Stretch the neck by gently resting one hand on the side of your head, and lean your ear to the opposite shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
Open your chest and shoulders by reaching one hand over the shoulder, and the other around your waist, meeting at the back. Repeat on the other side.
Synergy Health – Comprehensive Physical Therapy
The team at Synergy Health in Naples can help you with recovery after a sports injury, allowing you to recover your range of movement and get back to your favorite activities. We can also help athletes achieve greater flexibility and range of motion with proactive treatments. Give us a call today or visit us online to learn more about how our treatments can help you!