Saturday, 15 December 2012

Static Stretches

Static Stretches (SS) are used by athletes after training or racing, or as a standalone training session. The reason for SS is to reduce the loss of flexibility which occurs with completing a large amount of training. It has also shown to increase the body’s natural balance, posture and alignment of joints.

In some studies athletes who use SS after training have shown a reduced rick in injuring themselves as well as benefits to stride length. The reason given for this is increased blood flow and synovial fluid to lubricate joints around the muscle. Other reasons given is that muscle spindle receptors within the muscle react less as they become accustomed to the stretch, increasing the length an athlete can stretch their muscle without feeling pain.

The negative effects of static stretching are that it can cause instability in joints, making athletes more prone to injury, as well as decreasing muscle strength. For this reason SS should never be used before a training session or race, only after or as a standalone session.
Each stretch should be held for between 30 seconds and 2 minutes to gain the most benefit.

Below I have listed 2 basic SS:
Quadriceps Stretch: While standing next to a sturdy object to keep their balance an athlete should stand straight and push their hips forward. The athlete should then lift one foot off the ground behind them, and use their hand to pull the heel of their foot towards the buttocks. The athlete’s knees should be kept together during the stretch.

Hamstring Stretch: The athlete should lie on their back and lift one leg straight up while grasping their hands behind the lifted leg. The athlete should then pull the leg towards them while keeping the leg as straight as they can.

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