Monday, May 19, 2014
Stretching Properly Before Playing Sports
Pulling a muscle while playing sports is one of the most frustrating things that can happen, as it can not only take you out of the game itself, but can also put you in a lot of pain for several weeks to come; especially as you get older and the sports you participate in are more “recreational,” it can be easy to forget about stretching, and stretching for a sport that you do not take all that seriously can seem a bit silly. But as silly as it might feel to stretch before playing a sport that is not all that competitive, it is much worse to pull a muscle while playing a sport that is not all that competitive – so take the time to understand how to stretch properly so that you will not have to deal with this issue! Before you move onto anything else, start out by stretching your lower legs – that is, your calves and your ankles; a few great stretches for these muscles are to stand on the back of your foot with the front of the other foot, pushing down until you feel the tendons at the back of your ankle stretching out, and also, to lean forward and push against the wall with your legs stretched out behind you, so that you feel your calf muscles stretching. When you are stretching, it will also be very important that you pay attention to your hamstrings, as these are some of the muscles that are most likely to get injured; a couple great ways to stretch out your hamstrings are to hang down with your upper body and try to touch your toes, and to sit on the ground with your legs spread out as you lean down and try to touch your toes this way. And when it comes to sports, many people completely forget about the importance of stretching their upper body as well; make sure you do a few simple upper body stretches before you engage in any sport – even a sport where you will not be using your upper body – as this will help you to limber up and to avoid the risk of injury.