On previous post we have discussed about the importance and benefit of warming up before performing any sports activity. The simplest technique of warming up is stretching. Stretching can play an imperative role in helping you to prevent the occurrence of sports injury. Unfortunately stretching is one area of athletic preparation often neglected.
Do not underestimate its benefits. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won’t be effective. Stretching is a vital part of any exercise program and should be looked upon as being as important as any other part of your health and fitness.
In recent time the professionals have been getting more and more serious about stretching and ultimately, their flexibility. The coaches and trainers are just starting to realize how important flexible muscles are to helping prevent sports injury. Flexibility has often been neglected in the overall conditioning of modern athletes. It’s only now that its benefits are proving invaluable to all those serious about staying injury free.
One of the greatest benefits of stretching is that you’re able to increase the length of both your muscles and tendons. This leads to an increased range of movement, which means your limbs and joints can move further before an injury occurs. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
If the muscles in your neck are tight and stiff this limits your ability to look behind or turn your head around. If for some reason your head is turned backwards, past its’ normal range of movement, in a football scrum or tackle for example, this could result in a muscle tear or strain. You can help to prevent this from happening by increasing the flexibility, and the range of movement, of the muscles and tendons in your neck.
The hamstring muscles
The hamstring muscles are put under a huge strain when doing any sort of sport which involves running and especially for sports which require kicking. Short, tight hamstring muscles can spell disaster for many sports people. By ensuring these muscles are loose and flexible, you’ll cut your chance of a hamstring injury dramatically.
How else can stretching help? While injuries can occur at any time, they are more likely to occur if the muscles are fatigued, tight and depleted of energy. Fatigued, tight muscles are also less capable of performing the skills required for your particular sport or activity. Stretching can help to prevent an injury by promoting recovery and decreasing soreness. Stretching ensures that your muscles and tendons are in good working order. The more conditioned your muscles and tendons are, the better they can handle the rigors of sport and exercise, and the less likely that they’ll become injured.
So as you can see, there’s more to stretching than most people think. Stretching is a simple and effective activity which will help you to enhance your athletic performance, decrease your likelihood of sports injury and minimize muscle soreness.