The Importance of Stretching Routines for Young Athletes – ChildrensMD

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Stretching is a subject that comes up each in my workplace and at dwelling with my little ones.  One of my kids, a gymnast, is extremely versatile, and stretching is a pretty standard portion of her exercise routine.  Another one particular of my kids, a soccer player, struggles with tight muscle tissues and connected soreness.  Not a great deal stretching occurs just before or immediately after her practice unless one thing is currently sore.

Prevent injuries and stay clear of soreness

Every sport has a diverse strategy and areas diverse levels of significance on stretching.  In my workplace, when an athlete comes in for an injury or discomfort connected to sports, I uncover we usually talk about flexibility and stretching as it is usually connected to what is going on with them.  The hyperlink in between flexibility and injuries is not normally a direct one particular, but we know that tight muscle tissues can usually lead to discomfort and most likely contribute to some acute injuries as nicely.

These discussions in the workplace usually lead to a excellent query, what is the greatest way for an athlete to stretch?  Stretching should really be a portion of every single practice or game in varying degrees.  Obviously, particular sports like dance and gymnastics will call for more in depth and time-consuming stretches, but all athletes should really have some sort of routine.  Especially in the teenage years, when athletes are increasing, frequent stretching and establishing a stretching routine can aid hold them versatile.

Below is a basic outline for when to do particular stretches:

  • Start with one thing light to get muscle tissues a small bit warm—like light jogging about the field or court.
  • Develop a routine of dynamic stretching—I like to assume of dynamic stretching as “moving” stretches. Examples of dynamic stretches are walking lunges, walking and bringing the knees to the chest, and side shuffling.  This will loosen up the joints and the muscle tissues and get them prepared for the sports activity.  This should really take about 5-10 minutes.
  • Save static stretches for immediately after a sport when the muscle tissues are warm—Static stretches are stretches you hold. These are what we assume of as more “traditional” stretching.  These are more valuable when your muscle tissues are currently warm.  Keys to productive static stretching are holding each and every stretch for 30-60 seconds.  Don’t bounce when you are holding the stretch!  Make positive to do each and every side a handful of occasions.

If they have a history of a certain injury, they may possibly want to commit further time on that muscle group.  Or if their sport puts more certain demands on particular muscle tissues (i.e., hockey goalies and groin muscle tissues), this can also be a focus.

Your young athlete may possibly have to arrive a bit early and leave a bit later from a practice or a game, but this will be time nicely spent in terms of stopping injuries and possibly enhancing muscle soreness as nicely.



Originally published in childrensmd.org

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