Stretch before sports
Research shows that stretching before playing sport can help prevent the number of injuries in sport. Muscles need to be kept flexible so that when sport is performed and an extreme movement is needed, the muscle will perform to it’s full ability and so reduce the risk of injury.
- Lengthen the muscles and tendons.
- Muscles will be flexible and not tense.
- Bring blood and oxygen to the muscles and lubricate the muscles joints and connective tissue.
- Improve performance.
HOW TO STRETCH
Allow time for stretching. Arriving at the sports hall or football pitch with only a few minutes before play begins will mean stretching will be rushed or inadequate. Stretching should be relaxed, gentle, slow and thought of as important preparation before the activity. Ideally a mild warm up should precede the stretching.
Stretching should never be jerky or performed with a bouncy movement. This is known as Ballistic stretching and can cause muscles, tendons or connective tissues to tear. Only stretch to the feeling of tension or discomfort and breath slowly and rhythmically throughout the routine.
Stretching is as important after an activity as before an activity as muscles tend to tighten up after being worked.