|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
STRETCHING; Why Should I?
This short article looks at some of the tips, tricks and helpful hints you can use to help prevent sports injury and do-away with stiff, aching muscles & joints. It's been put together to answer some of the more common questions we get regarding stretching and sports injury, and details a number of useful sports injury prevention techniques. I hope it proves useful to you.
If you're involved in the health & fitness industry, whether it be participating in your favourite sport, coaching, training or just keeping fit, you'll know how annoying and debilitating a sports injury can be. In reality, when you have a sports injury you're actually losing on two fronts. Firstly, you're losing simply because your body has been hurt and now needs time and care to repair itself. And on top of this, you're also losing the time you could have been putting into training and improving your sporting ability.
A sports injury is a bit like losing money. Not only do you lose whatever you were going to buy with that money, but you also have to work hard to make up the money you've lost. Take it from me; a sports injury is one of the most frustrating and debilitating occurrences that can happen to anyone who's serious about their health, fitness, sport or exercise.
I recently read an article titled "Managing Sports Injuries" where the author estimated that over 27,000 American's sprain their ankle every day. (And no, that's not a typo, EVERY DAY!) On top of this, Sports Medicine Australia estimates that 1 in every 17 participants of sport and exercise are injured playing their favourite sport. This figure is even higher for contact sports like Football and Gridiron. However, the truly disturbing fact is that up to 50 percent of these injuries may have been prevented.
While there are a number of basic preventative measures that will assist in the prevention of sports injury, there is one technique that has slowly been gaining in popularity. It's still not used as often as it should be by the average sports participant, but with the professionals using it more and more, it's only a matter of time before it starts to catch on. Before we dive into this little used technique for minimizing your likelihood of sports injury, let's take a quick look at some other techniques to help you prevent sports injury.
Most people are coming to understand both the importance and the benefits of a good warm-up. A correct warm-up will help to raise body temperature, increase blood flow and promote oxygen supply to the muscles. It will also help to prepare the mind, body, muscles and joints for the physical activity to come.
While warming-up is important, a good cool-down also plays a vital role in helping to prevent sports injury. How? A good cool-down will prevent blood from pooling in your limbs. It will also prevent waste products, such as lactic acid, building up in your muscles. Not only that, a good cool-down will help your muscles and tendons to relax and loosen, stopping them from becoming stiff and tight.
While preventative measures such as warming-up and cooling-down play a vital role in minimizing the likelihood of sports injury, other techniques such as obeying the rules, using protective equipment and plain common sense are all useful.
So what is this magic technique? Why is it such a secret? And how come you haven't heard of it before? Well chances are you have, and also, it's not that secret and it's definitely not magic. You've probably used this technique yourself at some point or at least seen others using it. But the real question is, how dedicated have you been to making this technique a consistent part of your athletic preparation?
What is it? STRETCHING. Yes, stretching. The simple technique of stretching can play an imperative role in helping you to prevent the occurrence of sports injury. Unfortunately stretching is one area of athletic preparation often neglected. Do not underestimate its benefits. Don't make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won't be effective. Stretching is a vital part of any exercise program and should be looked upon as being as important as any other part of your health and fitness.
In recent time the professionals have been getting more and more serious about stretching and ultimately, their flexibility. The coaches and trainers are just starting to realize how important flexible muscles are to helping prevent sports injury. Flexibility has often been neglected in the overall conditioning of modern athletes. It's only now that its benefits are proving invaluable to all those serious about staying injury free.
One of the greatest benefits of stretching is that you're able to increase the length of both your muscles and tendons. This leads to an increased range of movement, which means your limbs and joints can move further before an injury occurs. Let's take a look at a few examples.
If the muscles in your neck are tight and stiff this limits your ability to look behind or turn your head around. If for some reason your head is turned backwards, past its' normal range of movement, in a football scrum or tackle for example, this could result in a muscle tear or strain. You can help to prevent this from happening by increasing the flexibility, and the range of movement, of the muscles and tendons in your neck.
And what about the muscles in the back of your legs? The Hamstring muscles. These muscles are put under a huge strain when doing any sort of sport which involves running and especially for sports which require kicking. Short, tight hamstring muscles can spell disaster for many sports people. By ensuring these muscles are loose and flexible, you'll cut your chance of a hamstring injury dramatically.
How else can stretching help? While injuries can occur at any time, they are more likely to occur if the muscles are fatigued, tight and depleted of energy. Fatigued, tight muscles are also less capable of performing the skills required for your particular sport or activity. Stretching can help to prevent an injury by promoting recovery and decreasing soreness. Stretching ensures that your muscles and tendons are in good working order. The more conditioned your muscles and tendons are, the better they can handle the rigors of sport and exercise, and the less likely that they'll become injured.
So as you can see, there's more to stretching than most people think. Stretching is a simple and effective activity which will help you to enhance your athletic performance, decrease your likelihood of sports injury and minimise muscle soreness. If you'd like to know more about stretching and how it can help you, visit http://www.TheStretchingHandbook.com/ today.
Article by Brad Walker. Brad is a prominent Australian sports trainer with more than 15 years experience in the health and fitness industry. Brad is a Health Science graduate of the University of New England and has postgraduate accreditations in athletics, swimming and triathlon coaching. He also works with elite level and world champion athletes and lectures for Sports Medicine Australia on injury prevention.
If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to forward it to others, make it available from your site or post it on forums for others to read. Just make sure that this paragraph and URL are included. For more information and articles on stretching, flexibility and sports injury, visit The Stretching & Sports Injury Newsletter at; 101 Stretching Exercises
Bodybuilding Sins That Cause Back Pain and Missed Workouts: Part 4
Welcome to article number 4 in our series "Bodybuilding Sins That Cause Back Pain and Missed Workouts". In this article we are going to talk about how bodybuilders tend to create massive muscle imbalances and what you can do to not be one of them.
Pilates: A Challenging and Motivating Exercise Regimen
Pilates is named after its creator Joseph Pilates. It is an exercise regimen that uses machines and special stretches.
Strength Training FAQs
Do you need some beginner's strength training 'how to' information? I know you must have tons of questions. I will try my best to cover most of the beginner questions with this article.
The Benefit of Back Exercises
Back exercises are often prescribed effectively as an alternative to surgery. Doing daily back exercises can significantly reduce back pain related to a variety of common ailments.
Get Fit From Home-Part 2
---------------------Using The Stairs---------------------Not everybody has stairs in their home, but chances are you know somewhere that you can find a set. Maybe it's a set of bleachers at the high school or a set of steps at a park.
Exercise - More is NOT Better!
Years ago when I was a professional bodybuilder, I fell into the mindset that the more I exercised, the less fat I ate, the better I would look and feel. At the time this seemed like the logical thing to do.
The Importance of Stretching Exercises
Muscles and connective tissues shorten over time and that results in less flexibility. If your muscles have gone some time without being used, they tend to become weaker and quite stiff.
The Right Exercise Intensity
We've all heard the exercise guidelines that recommend we participate in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity 3-5 times per week. That seems easy enough to implement.
The Great Forgotten Exercise -- Parallel Bar Dips
When it comes to building lower pectorals, triceps and frontal deltoids, dips are without doubt one the best exercises I've ever used. They are seldom used nowadays and the reasons are plain to see: you have to be able to handle your own bodyweight for reps - unless you have access to one of those fancy-dan machines that allow you to dip (or chin) with less than body weight.
Life Walking: Dont Walk Just For Exercise - Change Your Life
"Life walking" is more than walking for exercise and fitness objectives. It's the larger ideal of using walking to change your life.
Tone Up While at Work
I know better than anybody that sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on your body. You don't get much movement and you can get what I like to call "spread butt"Here is how you can Tone at your Desk1.
Mixing Things Up
To say that the human body is an amazing machine is an understatement, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Our bodies are constantly trying to achieve a state of homeostasis.
Recognize Your Motivation to Exercise
The positive effects of exercise have been documented and reported through every media outlet available. You can probably walk up to anyone on the street and ask them the positive benefits of exercise and they can most likely list them.
Core Strength Limits Arm and Leg Power
Core training has become such a hot topic in the exercise field recently and rightly so. Ask just about anyone what they understand about the body's core and you're likely to get an answer as it being the abdominal muscles.
Benefit of Pilates
One of the main benefits of Pilates is it refreshes your physical and mental well-being. Pilates is a series of controlled movements that unite the body and mind and creates a direct connection to the muscles.
What is the Right Home Exercise Program for You?
What do you want to get out of the exercise program?What you want to achieve as a whole fitness program has to do with the kind of program that will work for you in the long run. You may want to ask yourself what you want to accomplish, do you want to lose weight, do you want to stay in shape.
Defeating Back Pain Forever
Back pain, one of the most common physical, and debilitating ailments today, affects 70% - 80% of us at one time or another in our lives. However, as a result of the obesity epidemic, that number continues to climb.
No Pain, No Gain Isnt True For Arthritis, But Exercise Is Still Important
Recent studies have shown that exercise may acually help people with arthritis in a number of ways. It can reduce joint pain and stiffness.
Exercise For Any Size
Do you feel that you can barely do any activity at all?That you cannot exercise, play sports, or become more fit?If you are a very large person, you can still be physically active.Very large people face special challenges in trying to be active.
Strategies for Alleviating the Boredom Associated with Exercise
Just about every expert in the ADD field will tell you that exercise is one of the best ADD management strategies there is. According to the book Delivered from Distraction:"When a person exercises, she sets in motion a cascade of events that her brain loves.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.