Stretching is one of the most important steps to exercising, and yet it’s easy for a young athlete to skip this step. They’re usually excited to start or wrap-up their activity and the last thing they want to do is take time to stretch. However, flexibility and strength are two key areas to work on to prevent injury.
“The primary method to help increase flexibility is stretching,” notes 321Go Athlete Trainer Lexie. “Stretching is best done before AND after workouts.”
Lexie notes that there are three main types of stretches- static, dynamic, and ballistic.
• Static- holding one stretch for a long period of time. This type of stretching is ideal for after exercising and completing a cool-down. Static stretching is great for increasing flexibility.
• Dynamic- stretching that is done during an activity. Dynamic stretching is great for preventing injuries which is why it is usually performed during warm-ups before an intense exercise. These stretches aren’t intended to be held for a long period of time. Examples: lunges with a twist or walking while pulling one knee to your chest.
• Ballistic- while using momentum of a limb, stretch beyond your normal comfortable range of motion. This type of stretching is not recommended for warm-up due to the likelihood of injury during the stretch, such as a muscle strain.
Specific stretches are based on the type and duration of activity your athlete is performing. For a stretching routine designed specifically for your athlete, contact 321Go Kids for an appointment.