Recovery Zone by:
Stretching & Flexibility
Optimal flexibility is an essential component of injury prevention. It will help to:
- Improve performance / skill control
- Reduce injury rate / prevent re-injury
- Increase comfort in targeted muscle
Stretching aims to:
- Improve/maintain flexibility
- Lengthen muscles and tendons
- Decrease muscle tension
- Enhance muscle blood flow
- Prepare the body for exercise
Stretching should be part of EVERY warm up & cool down.
- Hold in a position of firm stretch, not pain
- Perform the stretch in the correct position
- Maintain good posture whilst holding the stretch
- Should be controlled movements
- Must maintain good core control as you move you limbs
Source: Australian Sports Commission
Stretching is an important part of training as it helps to reduce the risk of injury. Without adequate stretching, muscles lose their flexibility and may be injured. There are seven rules that should be followed when stretching to ensure maximum safety.
1. Warm-up prior to stretching.
2. Stretch before and after exercise.
3. Stretch alternate muscle groups.
4. Stretch gently and slowly, NEVER bounce or stretch rapidly.
5. Stretches should be held for a minimum of 5-10 seconds.
6. Never stretch to the point of discomfort, NEVER PAIN.
7. Do not hold your breath when stretching. Breathing should be slow and easy
Always consult a doctor or healthcare professional before beginning a fitness program.
Try these stretches…
- Inside Thigh Stretch
- Hamstring & Lower Back Stretch
- Spinal Stretch 1
- Spinal Rotation
- Thigh & Hip Stretch
- Shoulder & Upper Back Stretch
- Wrist, Shoulder & Neck Stretch
- Back Stretches:
- Correct Posture and Lifting Technique
Inside Thigh Stretch
Sitting on the floor with the soles of your feet together, pull your heels as close as possible to your body. With your elbows gently apply pressure to the knees, to feel the stretch along the inside of the thigh. Hold the positions for 5-10 seconds and relax. Repeat 3 times.
Hamstring & Lower Back Stretch
Sitting on the floor, place both legs straight in front. Bending out from the waist, bend forward aiming to bring your chest to your knees. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, without bouncing, and try keeping knees as straight as possible. Repeat 3 times.
Lying on the floor, raise one leg over the other, and place knee on the ground. Using the opposite hand to knee, gently press the knee towards the floor, keeping the opposite arm and shoulder against the ground. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat on each side.
Sitting on the ground with both legs outstretched, place one foot on the outside of the other knee. Rotate the shoulders past the knee. Gently press the elbow against the bent knee. Resist and repeat. Ensure that your posture is kept upright, don’t slouch. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat each side.
Thigh & Hip Stretch
Place feet directly below your hips. Pull one leg behind the body and feel the front of the thigh stretch. It is important to keep both hips parallel and knees slightly bent for balance. A wall or chair may provide help with balance. Repeat on each leg.
Shoulder & Upper Back Stretch
Stand with your legs comfortably apart. Bend one knee, then lean forward and clasp your arms around the bent knee. Slowly straighten the knee, feeling a pull between the shoulder blades. Repeat on both sides.
Wrist, Shoulder & Neck Stretch
Against a wall, place a flat hand with fingers pointing back. Tilt your head away from your arm, to feel a stretch along your neck, wrist and through the shoulder.
Stretches for the Back
Lying on your back with both knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms by your side, press your lower back into the floor. Hold this for 5-10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 5 times.
Lower Abdominal Strengthening
Lying on your back, with both legs extended, keeping your head and upper body on the floor, hug one leg towards your chest. Ensure the other leg is extended on the floor. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 5 times with each leg.
Lying on your back with both knees bent, rest your hands on your knees. Ensure that your hips are flat against the floor, and slowly rotate your knees right and then left. Keep your knees slightly apart in line with your hips.
Lying on your back, both knees bent, tighten the buttocks and lift the pelvis. Try and keep your body in a straight line. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
Lying on your stomach, raise your leg 15-20cm off the floor keeping the ankle flexed. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times on each leg. Try not to arch your lower back or lift your leg too high. This exercise can be done with a bent leg.
Single Arm Lift
Keeping the same position as the Leg Lift Stretch Exercise, lift the arm, keeping the elbow close to one ear. Once again only raise the arm 15-20cm. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat 10 times on each side
Keeping the same position as the Leg Lift Exercise, raise opposite leg and arm. Stretch them out as long as possible , to avoid arching the lower back. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat 5 times on each side.
Sitting on the ground with both legs outstretched, place one foot on the outside of the other knee. Rotate the shoulders past the knee. Gently press the elbow against the bent knee. Resist and repeat. Ensure that your posture is kept upright, don’t slouch. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat on each side.