Published on August 7th, 2013 | by AC Magazine
Mix Up Your Stretching Routine
DID YOU KNOW?
- Aerobic exercise is the best way to warm-up the body and maximize activity
- Dynamic stretching before physical activity prevents injury
- Stretching after activities prevents soreness
- Flexibility can prevent serious injury
Everyone knows when coach says “stretch out!” what usually gets a work out is the conversation. So how do you get your squad to stop socializing and start stretching? Here are a few helpful tips to stretch out your squad.
Pair up members of the team to assist in partner stretches. Assign partners that don’t usually work together. This ensures accountability and can also build community within a team while keeping things fun and interesting!
Use upbeat music to get the team motivated. Running a few laps while chanting the school fight song or executing jumping-jacks to counts seems much easier when there is music to move to. It is also a good idea to have squad members come up with a warm-up and stretching routine to music. This will get their creative juices flowing. And who knows? You may even end up with some useful material!
Practicing skills in a warm-up can accomplish two things at once. Use easy skills like motions, tuck jumps, straddle jumps and round-offs to get your team moving. Just remember to use proper technique at all times.
Short on time? No problem! Instead of counting out the reps, use a stopwatch to time the stretches and exercises. Have a different exercise designated for each minute, for 5 minutes or more. This way you can make sure every squad member finished the exercise and doesn’t cheat.
Use you space to keep your team interested. Split the team into groups and designate stations on a timed rotation. For one minute at each station, use bleachers for step-ups, court lines for lunges, or a wall for jump and taps. Be creative!
MIX IT UP
Always change up stretching routines to keep the athletes interested and on their toes. Put different team members in charge of creating and running warm-ups and cool-downs. This can be a good job to delegate to captains or older members of the team.
by Jessica Baker