What’s the point of stretching?
This is just as important to your overall fitness as strengthening and endurance exercises. The ultimate aim being to increase your range of motion, prevent injuries and reduce DOMS otherwise known as delayed onset muscle soreness. i.e. being sore the day after a game. Having tight muscles will result in increased stress making it more likely for your muscles to tear.
- It reduces your chance of injury and onset of DOMS, allowing you to play AFL for longer
- Your range of motion determines how far a joint can move. An increased range of motion results in greater potential ability to produce more power and therefore pass the footy further
- Other factors include stress relief which is vital in relaxing the body and the mind
- All aspects will contribute to improved performance.
i.e. conditioning works a well in creating an increase in muscle and therefore greater support for surrounding joints
Should be used as a warm up prior to exercise. During this movement the stretch will take your muscle to the end of its end range with the aim to target sport specific movements i.e. sprinting if AFL. This helps increase flexibility, strength, muscle coordination and balance. The reason why dynamic stretching is used prior to exercise is because it utilises your strength and power potential.
Should be used as a cool down although if performing outside of training it is important that the body is warm before statically stretching. It is also a safe and effective way of improving overall flexibility and requires you to stretch and hold.
Key points to remember:
- Avoid bouncing
- Push into the stretch
- Feeling of mild discomfort but not pain
- 3×30 seconds
Starting position- standing straight, approximately 30cms from the wall with feet shoulder width apart. Re-adjust to suit you considering the following:
- Stand close enough to the wall so you have you eblow at 90
- Place palm and elbow against the wall – both must vertically align
- Keep foot of side your are stretching furthest forward and your opposite leg behind
- Remain in a neutral position. i.e. do not sway closer or away from the wall.
- Push stretch through hips. Do not bend through the chest
Starting position – standing in a neutral position with feet shoulder width.
- Lean forward and place palms of hands on the wall.
- Slowly shuffle your feet back until your back is flat and arms are straight
- Making sure your legs are straight and shoulder width apart
- Making sure your legs are straight and shoulder width apart• To engage the stretch, push your hips away from the wall whilst still keeping palms on wall
Starting position – standing upright with feet shoulder width apart
- Place right arm across chest
- Supporting arm placed just to the right of elbow as seen in picture
- To increase stretch pull supporting arm towards chest
- Keep a straight and neutral back throughout
Starting Position – Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms aligned with your shoulders
- Bend your left knee towards your chest, keeping your right leg straight on the floor
- Place right hand on left knee and pull across your body you will want to pull your knee to 90 degrees in realtion to your upper body
- Keep resting arm inline with shoulders
- Both shoulders to remain on the ground throughout the stretch
Starting Position – Lie on your back with your legs extended and your back straight.
- Keep your hips level and your lower back down on the floor.
- Bend your left knee towards your chest, keeping your right leg straight on the floor.
- Pull foot towards ceiling
To increase stretch pull toes towards shin.
Starting position-Lie on your back with your legs extended and your back straight
- Lie on back with legs in air, knees bent at 90 degrees
- Place left ankle just above right knee.
Grasp the back of your right thigh and pull legs toward chest until you feel a stretch in the left glute.
Starting position- sitting on the ground
- Sit up tall with the soles of your feet pressed together and your knees dropped to the sides as far as they will comfortably go
- Pull your abdominals gently inward and lean forard from your hips
- Grasp your feet with your hands and carefully pull yourself a small way forward
- Increase stretch by carefully pressing your thighs toward the floor as you hold the position
- Do not hunch your shoulders up towards your ears
- To reduce stress on the knee move the feet away from the body
- To increase the stretch bring feet closer to the body
Starting position – Kneel on right knee, with toes down, and place left foot flat on the floor in front of you keep toes and heels on the ground, knee bent and aligned with ankle.
- Push hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your right thigh
- Making sure you keep a neutral spine
- Feet placement should be shoulder width apart
- Hands can be placed on the hips or alternatively on out stretched knee
Starting position- Kneel on right knee, with toes down, and place left foot flat on the floor in front of you keep toes and heels on the ground, knee bent and aligned with ankle.
- Take a few moments to find balance, and once you’re stabilised, with your left arm, reach back for your toes on your left foot. Using your other arm as support
- You may want to perform this close to a wall as it will provided some support if feeling unstable
Starting position- Lying on the ground
- Keep arms straight – no bend in the elbow
- Shoulders over wrists
- Weight on toes trying to push heels into the ground
- Spine remains neutral
- To increase the stretch, bring your feet closer to your body