Whether you enjoy playing soccer, football, baseball, or any other team sport that involves a lot of running and strenuous activity, it’s important that you stretch after every game. By helping to protect you from pulling a muscle or tearing any ligaments, stretching is an easy way to ensure that you can play your sports week after week. The next time you play a game, try incorporating these three stretches into your routine. Read on to learn more.
1. Calf Stretches
Your calves are what help you to start and stop quickly. Whether you are trying to block your opponent or you are trying to take the ball on your own, it’s important to have the proper leverage that your calf muscles naturally provide you. To ensure that your calves stay strong and healthy, it’s important that you do calf stretches after every game. To do a proper calf stretch, use a wall as a form of support and bring one leg forward, leaning it into the wall with your back foot flat on the floor— you should feel the stretch in your back leg.
2. Shoulder Stretches
As a part of your body that is often neglected after a workout, it’s especially important to stretch out your shoulders. To do this, raise one of your arms and bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle. With the other arm, reach across and press on the other arm to add to the stretch.
3. Heel Drop
It’s easy to pull a hamstring when you’re playing a sport where you are running a lot. To help protect yourself from pulling your hamstring muscle, make sure that you are stretching by using the “heel drop” stretch. During this stretch, you are going to want to find either stairs or a ledge in which you can balance on. Take both of your feet the edge of the stairs and allow your heels to drop— you should immediately feel the stretch.
Take the best possible care of your body after your workout by doing the stretches listed above. If you would like to learn more about other ways in which you can take care of your body after a workout, contact Great Lakes Orthopedics and Sports Medicine today!