How are you feeling? Stronger? Faster? Taller? Keep up the good work!
We’re going to talk a little about two types of stretching this week, Static and Dynamic. Stretching is important! It helps keep our bodies flexible and moving fluidly. If you don’t have stretching in your workout schedule, you’re not getting the most out of your workouts and you’re not at your top playing abilities. Flexibility is affected by age and gender (among other factors), so is especially important as we mature, but it is important at any age!
Static Stretching will:
- Increase flexibility
- Increase range of motion
- Decrease your chance of injury
Dynamic stretching will:
- Improve explosive power moves.
- Increases range of movement, blood and oxygen to your muscles.
- Improve your performance.
- Decrease your chance of injury.
1) Static Stretching- stretching without movement. You stretch a muscle (or group of muscles) to its farthest pain-free point and then holding that position 30-60 seconds. Ease into it, a stretching sensation and pain are two different feelings so don’t confuse the two.
When to use static stretching: when you have tight, sore muscles and/or after practice. Keep in mind, muscle soreness is not necessarily a bad thing but you want to work the soreness out in order to keep progressing your fitness and performance level.
You need to treat joint soreness differently than muscle soreness. Joint pain can be a sign of injury, which you don’t want to push through. If a nagging pain is not improving and it’s affecting your practice, call me for a free sports screen and one of our ATCs will evaluate what’s going on. Our goal is to keep you playing safely, now and the years to come.
So, if a muscle feels tight, stretch it statically but don’t overstretch, and hold 30-60 seconds.
2) Dynamic stretching- what you want to do before practice or games. It prepares the body for physical exertion and optimal sports performance.
Dynamic Stretching- stretching that involves movement as you move the width of a basketball court.
- Simple leg, arm and trunk motions (with or without the ball) that gently bring you to your full range of motion (ROM).
- Start with small motions and end with big ones, gently propelling your muscles towards their maximum ROM.
- Don’t use jerky or forced movements (this may cause injury).
- Don’t move past the limits of your ROM but you should feel the muscles stretch as you warm up.
There are great routines for stretching. Here’s one you can try:
There is a lot of controversy about stretching but one thing to keep in mind is…..a program with consistent dynamic and static stretching will make you a better player and increase your longevity and the court.
Yours in Sports,
Lorie Allison, LAT, ATC
St Luke’s Sports Medicine