Major sporting events have a unique way of uniting entire cities or countries together in support of a favored team. And with the Chicago Cubs' recent victory in the World Series, your eyes and thoughts have probably been turned to baseball, regardless of whether you’re typically an avid fan or not. Before you knew it, everyone was talking about stolen bases, RBI’s, and batting averages. And, as you probably heard a couple renditions of the traditional “seventh inning stretch” song, we’d like to take another opportunity to talk about the importance of your own “seventh inning stretch.”
We know, you’re busy. After your workout is done, you’ve got places to go and things to do. It’s so tempting to skip out on the seemingly frivolous actions of stretching out each part for the required several seconds and just get on with your day. Because after all, the important part is done, right? You got your sweat on, and now it’s time to go!
Not only is stretching after working out necessary to prevent future injury or sore muscles, it happens to be an ideal way to prime yourself for the winter sports in your future. Want to know how? Start with a workout, and then stretch your muscles with winter sports in mind. Here are our top favorites. Just be sure to hold each stretch listed for 20 seconds, and then switch it up so that both sides are stretched.
- Lying Knee Rollover: lying on your back, raise your knees up with feet on the floor. Now let your knees fall to one side, letting your hips rotate slightly as your knees fall down.
- Standing Achilles Stretch: standing up straight, rest the ball of one foot on the edge of a step. Press down with your heel until you feel a gentle stretch of this fragile muscle.
- Hip Flexor Stretch: Stand with your right front forward and your left foot straight back. Bend your right knee so that it is at about a 90-degree angle, making sure that your two feet are are enough apart to keep your knee above your ankle. This should put you into a forward lunge position. Place your hands on your forward knee and push down with your hands. Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch from the front of your hip, groin and thigh on your left side.
- Lower Back Boarder Stretch: Get into a lunge position with your right leg forward, dropping your left knee to the floor. Keeping your spine straight, put your right elbow on the inside of your right knee, and twist to the left. Reach your left arm behind you until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower back and groin.
- Have you stretched your piriformis lately? For your vocabulary lesson for the day, your piriformis is the muscle inside your buttocks that, when strained, can lead to significant pain with every step and seat. To stretch this winter sport-crucial muscle, lie on your back and put your right foot flat against the wall so that your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Bring your left ankle up to rest on your right knee. If you don’t feel a piriformis stretch, move your body closer to the wall.
Winter is great, until you get injured doing what you love. Priming the muscles that will be onstage while you board and ski will enable to do strut your best slope self, minus the injuries. Have questions about any of the above stretches? Just ask your trainer the next time you’re in the studio. We love answering questions, and we’re ready to get YOU ready.