Are Your Warmups Preparing You for Practice or Injury?

If you’re doing static stretching before your practice, not only are you not preparing your body properly but you’re actually facilitating injury. Dynamic stretching will prepare your body for vigorous practice and if done properly will increase blood flow to your joints and muscles leaving you prepared and energized.

Static stretching is the old fashioned way to warmup. It involves slow stretches while sitting or standing still. Dynamic stretching is moving and involves rotation and swinging of limbs. At Atlantic Stars Academy we have been using dynamic stretching for warmups for over 3 years now and we teach even our youngest athletes how and why.

Static stretching holds positions for longer periods of time elongating muscles and relaxing them and putting them into a state of rest. This is dangerous when we want the muscles to be engaged and ready for work. Not only are the muscles relaxed but the blood flow slows down cooling them and making them less pliable for exercise leaving the athlete prone to injury in the vigors of practice. With reduced blood flow the athletes’ joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments are denied the nutrients they need for increase physical output. This is like asking them to play a soccer or basketball game without water.

At Atlantic Stars Academy our players learn dynamic stretching and they lead their own warmup with a series of stretches getting their heart rates up, joints moving in full range of motion and activation of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Even our 8 year olds learn to lead warmups and develop and understanding and the importance of good technique and form. It is important not only to run them through the exercises but to teach them so that we build smart athletes who are fully prepared.

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