One of the best things that any athlete can do is develop a stretching routine. The worst thing you can do as an athlete is to get lazy with your stretching routine. Then problematic areas get tight, and it increases your chances of injury. The key to being healthy is either taking caring of yourself or using Kho to find therapists to help you. The reality is that you need both but the if you want to spend less money you need to take care of yourself better. The stretching routine is where this begins.
You do not need to do all of these stretches daily, but you should try and take one day a week where you run through them all. For the rest of the week focus on the stretches you need based on the demand that day. If you have a day where you do a lot of upper body work, focus that day on a stretching routine for the upper body.
The Full Body Stretching Routine
Pec and Shoulder Stretches
- Some of the most important stretches for people who lift a lot and sit at a desk
- Pec stretches pair well with foam rolling or massage of the chest
- Traps are chronically tight and stretched in modern society due to the amount we sit and look down
- Best way to fix tightness, in the long run, is to work on your posture
Proper Shoulder Stretch
- This stretch is often done wrong
- You want the shoulder to be lower
- Also, use a flat palm for a better fascial stretch
- Lat stretches are often forgotten
- The muscle takes up a significant portion of the back
- Also plays a major role with a hip function
Arm Line Stretch
- The arm line runs from the chest to the fingertips
- You must think of the arm line as one long muscle instead of many muscles
Tricep and Lat Stretch
- Best combo stretch for the triceps and the lats
- Great one days when you work the triceps hard
If you lift, a lot think about how much you use your forearms! Every time you grab the bar or dumbbell; your forearms are doing some form of work. If you want to be successful in the long run, you need to take care of the arms.
- The forearms are used in many athletic movements
- The muscles of the lower arm rarely get stretched
Hip and Quad Stretches
All movement begins with the hips. If they make no move well, other parts of the body need to compensate to make up for the slack hips. It could be the back, groin, or even the ankles. We sit down so much in modern society that it does a number on shortening the hip flexors. You fight this problem by stretching them daily.
- Most essential stretches for athletic movement and health
- Should be done daily
Full Body Stretching Routine
- Great stretches for stretching entire fascial systems at one time
- Think of the body as one long muscle from head to toe
Key to Success for Your Stretching Routine
- Try and stretch at the same time every day
- Make sure your body is warm before stretching
- Avoid stretching too much before intense activity
- Stretching should never be painful
- Hold stretches for at least 1 minute
- Breath deep into your belly and out through your mouth
- Thinking of stretching as relaxation and meditation
- Areas that more susceptible to injury should be stretched daily
Develop your routine and stick to it. What I would do is stretch my lower body every day as a sprinter. Then I would stretch the full body out on weekends. That made the most sense for me regarding time and regarding what I needed to do. Your stretching routine needs to be for you. The stretches above give you some ideas of what you can do to make this work.
For you, this may look much different. You have to build the stretching routine so that it helps you to succeed in your sports. If you swim, shoulder stretches may be the most important. If you play hockey, maybe the sideline is the most important place for you to hit.
Mental Benefits of a Stretching Routine
One of the biggest benefits of stretching daily is the fact that it helps you to relax and focus. Stretching gives you an opportunity to really be in tune with your body and what it needs. When you stretch, you focus on nothing but relaxing, breathing and mentally picturing your muscles getting longer. By doing this you will be able to reap the mental benafits of stretching.
As an athlete you can never forget that the battle is won or lost in your mind. You can feel like you are too tired to do something one moment, and the next moment your crush walks by and all the sudden you have the energy to succeed. Nothing changed physically, but what changed in your mind. Stretching is a great time to start training your brain for greatness.
Getting Help With Your Stretching Routine
There are also therapists that can help you with your stretching that you can find through the Kho App. The purpose of the app is to get guidance with all your health care moves as an athlete. Whether you have questions or you’re are looking for help we got you covered. The therapist you want to look for is called fascial stretching.
Fascial stretching is just one of the many skills a sports medicine provider can you to get your body to feel better. What we believe here at Kho Health is that you should never wait until you are injured to get treatment. You should see healthcare providers when your body is feeling good already.