Muscles that are not properly warmed up are at higher risk of injury. This can easily be accomplished with a light, active warmup such as dynamic stretching or jogging. Some people are naturally less flexible than others, so it may take weeks of regular stretching to improve joint mobility. Here are four leg stretches she recommends to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.
How To Do The Splits
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Dying to do the splits? Before you embark on the possibly grueling journey to splits-ability, you should know that it's not just a cool party trick—being able to do the splits also comes with some real fitness cred. Plus, being able to do splits is a fitness milestone of sorts. But before you go from zero to splits, know that it's going to take some time to get there. Definitely don't force it in the meantime. From a low lunge position, extend your front leg and shift your weight back. This will stretch the other hamstring. From here, try sliding your back leg back behind you. Then, using your hands or blocks as buffers, lower your body down towards the floor until you start to feel a pull in your hamstrings. Only go as far as you comfortably can in this stretch.
Staying injury-free throughout the sports season requires a proper stretching program. Flexibility is a key component to preventing injury. Stretching before athletic activity helps prepare the muscles for exercise. Stretching after exercise has proven to be even more important for preventing injury. For maximum benefit, young athletes should stretch each of the major lower body muscle groups before and after sporting activity. The exercises below provide options for stretching those large muscle groups. Be sure to warm up before doing any of these stretches. Good examples of warm up activities are slowly running in place or walking briskly for a few minutes.