by: Rubie Gaudette, ATC, CSCS
You may ask yourself, why is stretching important? Stretching is not only important in increasing range of motion, it also plays a significant role in recovery. Recovery is broad, and relies on multiple systems and factors to which stretching is one of them. Prolonged stretching takes place either after a workout, or on regeneration days. Stretching after activity will help an athlete regain pre-competition/practice range of motion, hence decreasing muscle soreness and stiffness. Some of my go-to SPRI equipment to use for these six of stretches include the Superband, Kettlebells, and Soft Shell Med Ball.
Using a Superband, attach one end of the band to a stable surface while the other end of the band goes behind the athlete and around their outside arm. While in a quadruped position, pull away from the attached end and place the outside arm in internal rotation on the lumbar spine. Allow the band to pull open your outside shoulder and relax with the resistance. This helps to open the anterior shoulder joint as well as increase thoracic spine mobility.
Attach the green Superband to the lower part of the weight rack and wrap one wrist in the band. Face away from the band and allow the band to pull your wrist back over your shoulder. This can be held as a static stretch or as a contract-relax. This will stretch your lats and open your anterior shoulder and help prep you for activity requiring anterior shoulder mobility.
Lay with your thoracic spine over the Soft Shell Med Ball with your arms overhead holding a dowel rod. This position will increase thoracic spine mobility while also targeting the anterior chain.
Using either the green or red Superband, loop one end around the rack and place one leg inside the band. Place the band high around the hip joint, bring that leg in front of the body, and place it in a pigeon stretch. Place your arms and upper body on a Soft Shell Med Ball to assure complete relaxation of the stretch. This stretch with help open up the posterior hip joint and stretch the piriformis.
Sit on your knees, with feet apart, and lean back against the Soft Shell Med Ball. Relaxing against the med ball assures that the stretch with stay passive. This position will stretch quads, knees and ankles.
Lay supine with the purple Superband attached to a stable fixture about the athlete. Band should be placed high around the hip joint, with knee bent out to the side. Use a moderate kettlebell to place over the knee to help open the hip joint. This stretch is great for joint mobility and increasing groin flexibility.
Rubie Gaudette has been a part of the Athletic and Personal Development Team at IMG Academy since 2015. She attended graduate school at Western Michigan University where she obtained her Masters of Science Degree in Athletic Training. She loves everything to do with mobility/movement and is always looking for ways to help her athletes improve their mechanics. Rubie is also a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer.
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