Stretches To Increase Flexibility In Athletes
Flexibility is an athletic attribute that is sometimes overlooked by coaches, parents, and athletes. An athletes flexibility will help to determine the range of motion the athlete can take an extremity too, partially determining the amount of force the athlete will be able to create.
An athletes flexibility also effects the durability and likelihood the athlete will suffer an injury at some point in their athletic career. Lack of flexibility means athletes are unable to take their bodies through the proper range of motion, altering their natural movements, and forcing the body to compromise by placing stress on the joints and ligaments attaching the muscles to skeletal bone.
Athletes should regularly perform stretch exercises which lengthen the athletes range of motion and also allow the muscles to effectively recover after a training session. Athletes should go to the Recovery Section and explore the stretch exercises and flexibility routines which can be utilized with the Kbands Stunt Strap and the Recovery Foam Roller. Exercises for flexibility and increasing the range of motion of the arms, legs, and torso should be implemented so the joints, along with the muscles, can go through a full range of motion in preparation for physical activities. Stretch exercises like the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility are a great training drill for cheerleaders and dancers to use when performing stretches to increase flexibility.
Exercises For Flexibility
Exercises for flexibility include any training exercise or maneuver which forces the athlete to actively stretch a certain muscle past a normal range of motion. One of the most basic cheerleading moves, the Heel Stretch, is one of the great stretches to increase flexibility in cheerleaders and other athletes alike. The movement not only helps the athlete to have great flexibility in the hamstrings and glutes, but also helps the athletes to increase strength in the quads and abdominal muscles.
Outside of cheerleaders and dancers, mixed martial artists may have the most to gain by performing exercises for flexibility like the Resisted Heel Stretch. Mixed martial artists require great flexibility while on the defensive and must also be able to pair this flexibility with strength in order to fight off their aggressor. By performing the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility mixed martial artists will develop flexibility and strength to avoid things like single and double leg takedowns, along with instances in which their opponent has grabbed and gained control of one of their legs. Both of these scenarios require a great amount of flexibility and strength which can only be gained by performing exercises for flexibility like the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility.
Performing Exercises For Flexibility
To perform the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility athletes will need a set of Kbands. Athletes who are new to the exercises for flexibility like the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility should begin with the yellow or red leg resistance bands, while more advanced athletes can use the green leg resistance bands during the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility Drill. Once athletes have chosen the correct amount of resistance they will securely attach the Kbands just above their knees.
Athletes will begin the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility by standing next to a wall or tall object, for stability and support, powerfully drive one of their legs up, catching their foot at the top and holding for 3-5 seconds. Athletes should try to use their stability object as little as possible during the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility. Athletes will keep their leg completely straight throughout the drill. After cheerleaders hold their foot at the top of the flexibility exercise they will return the leg to the ground and perform the same motion and hold with the opposite leg. Athletes will perform 6-8 repetitions on each leg performing 3-5 total sets on each leg. Athletes should take 60-90 seconds of rest between sets. After athletes have completed all resisted repetitions and sets of the Heel Stretches For Flexibility they will remove the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands and perform 1-2 sets of the stretch exercises with no resistance. During unresisted sets of the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility Drill athletes should focus on form and taking the leg through the entire range of motion.
For athletes who are still perfecting their Heel Stretches and cannot perform the holding portion of the stretch exercises they should perform Resisted Front Leg Raises to increase the strength and mobility of the hips and legs. Beginning athletes needing to use other stretch exercises for flexibility can perform Resisted Lateral Leg Raises to increase the strength of the hip flexors. Athletes who are struggling with the flexibility portion of the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility can go to the Training Section and explore the Flexibility Stretching Routine which contains exercises for flexibility specifically tailored for cheerleaders and dancers.
Continuing With Stretch Exercises
After athletes have completed their Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility Training they should move into other types of exercises for flexibility which will help them master other challenging cheerleading stunts and moves. The Kbands Arabesque Training is a great cheerleading stretch exercise to move into after the Heel Stretches To Increase Flexibility Drill has been completed.
Cheerleaders can also go to the Cheerleading Training Section to learn other exercises to strengthen the hip flexors, quads, and abdominal muscles. Along with the Arabesque Training cheerleaders can find breakdowns and training drills for other cheerleading moves and stunts like the Scorpion, Toe Touches, and Spirit Kicks.
Cheerleaders looking to improve on other cheerleading aspects such as strength or jumping ability will greatly benefit from performing some of the resisted cheerleader drills which can be found in the Training Section. Cheerleaders can also explore the Recovery Section to discover new ways to keep their bodies healthy and free of any knee, hip, or shoulder injuries which could take time away from training and competing.