Stretching

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.

Benefits

  • 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

Dynamic stretching 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.

Static stretching 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

Go to the stretching section of the conditioning page to see some stretches you can use for AFL: Click here