Stretching can help you maintain a full range of motion, prevent sports injuries, and feel your best. It helps you keep your muscles strong, flexible, and healthy. Whether you’re a committed athlete or new to the world of sports and wellness, stretching exercises for sports provide huge benefits, and boost your performance.
Where to Start
Your quads, hamstrings, calves, hips, shoulders, and lower back are crucial for mobility, regardless of your sport. If you’re intimidated on how to start incorporating stretching exercises for sports into your daily life, this is where you can start.
Consider including regular sports massages into your schedule to boost your range of motion and improve your stretching. A Wayne Massage sports massage therapist helps you work through knots or old scar tissue that blocks your range of motion and holds you back. A regular massage can also show you which areas are tight and in need of more attention in your stretching routine.
To get the most out of your stretching exercises for sports, perform a quick warm-up. This can be just a few minutes of jumping rope, jumping jacks, push-ups and bodyweight squats. You can also start with a quick, brisk walk to get the blood flowing to loosen up your joints, relax your muscles, and prepare your body to be receptive to the stretches.
Place both hands against a wall. Step one foot back approximately two feet behind the other, keeping your toes pointed towards the wall. Sink your weight into your back heel.
You should feel this stretch in the back of your lower leg. If you don’t, try straightening your rear leg and pressing your heel deep into the floor.
Perform on both sides and hold the stretch for thirty seconds.
To perform a quad stretch, put your left hand against a wall for balance. Lift your right foot up and behind you. With your right hand, reach back and grab your right foot, pulling it towards your buttocks. You should feel this stretch in the front of your thigh. If you do not feel a stretch, focus on drawing your knee simultaneously towards the floor and further back.
It’s important to increase the difficulty of this stretch slowly, even if you’re flexible. However, if you still do not feel a stretch, keep your torso upright and focus on drawing your leg as far back as is comfortable. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides.
Now that your quads and calves are stretched out, focus on stretching out the front of your body. Reach both hands to the sky, tilt your chin, and look up: You should feel a slight stretch in your neck.
Focus on drawing your shoulders away from your ears and your shoulder blades down and back even as you reach upwards. Add a slight backbend if you feel comfortable in your balance and remember to breathe deeply. Hold for 30 seconds or for 10 deep, slow breaths.
After you’ve stretched out the front of your body, reach forward towards your toes. Rather than rounding the back, focus on hinging forward from your hips and maintaining a long, neutral spine. If you can reach your toes, that’s great! If not, walk your hands gradually down your legs until you feel a stretch.
You may feel it in your back, hamstrings, or buttocks, but you should predominantly feel this stretch in your hamstrings. However, you shouldn’t feel a strain in your lower back–if you do, pause and back out of the stretch. Focus on maintaining a straighter spine and be less aggressive.
If you can reach your toes with ease, it’s still useful to focus on maintaining a long, straight spine. Pull your shoulders away from your ears and breathe into your legs, relaxing them more deeply. If you want an extra challenge, slide your hands beneath your toes and gently pull yourself further into the stretch.
Hold this stretch for at least 30-60 seconds and focus on breathing deeply. Slowly return to the standing position and repeat ten times.
Our shoulders and upper back are often neglected in our busy-but-sedentary modern lives. Focus on shrugging your shoulders forward slowly in a circular motion. Push them all the way down, pull them all the way back, bring them all the way up to your ears, and pull them all the way forward. Repeat 10 times and then reverse directions.
Wide Toe Touches
Take a wide stance, with your feet a foot wider than hip’s width apart. Reach towards your right foot, keeping your leg straight. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides. To finish, reach both hands towards the floor right in front of you and hold for 30 seconds, breathing deeply.
Contact Wayne Massage Today
Begin your journey to wellness today with Wayne Massage. We can help you master a stretching routine and use the art of sports massage to boost your sense of well-being, your energy, and your vitality. This can help improve your performance in sports as well as help you feel more energised and focused throughout the rest of your everyday life. Contact us today via our online contact form or call any of our Sydney-area locations to schedule an appointment: