The fall sports season is here and practices are under way. Practice usually starts by having the team perform some type of warm-up. For most teams it includes “static” stretching, holding a particular stretch for 15-30 seconds. This is how we were taught as the way to warm-up. That was how everybody did it. Get in some type of body position and start bending, pulling, and pushing different parts to stretch & warm up.
Well, guess what? There have been recent studies that question the benefit of static stretching before any type of workout or exercise. The traditional or static stretching may lead to decreased performance and if the body has not been warmed up properly it may also lead to slight muscle damage. In addition it promotes the body cooling down not warming up. What you really need is for the muscles and tendons to become warm and pliable. Think of it like silly putty. We all remember silly putty from when we were kids. If you pulled out the silly putty and started to pull and stretch, it was somewhat hard to do. It may even break apart. Yet if you took it and rolled it around in your hands to “warm it up” it became more flexible and easier to stretch. It`s the same with your muscles.
So, what`s the best way to warm up before practice or a workout? Use a dynamic warm-up, one that last 3-10 minutes. About 3-5 minutes for players K-4 and up to 10 minutes for grades 5-8. A dynamic warm-up gets the muscles warm and ready to go. It should consist of things like a slow jog, backpedals, monster walks, high knee grabs, high knee jogs, butt kicks, side shuffles, arm circles, arm scissors, inch worms, and bear crawls, going from one to the next. For the younger groups keep it simple and pick 3 or 4 and just do a couple rounds. Remember their attention span.
Ease into the warm up and gradually increase the pace as you go along. For the older groups you can make the warm-up more challenging and progressive. Add in some bodyweight exercises towards the end like squats, lunges, pushups, mountain climbers, and burpees, just to name a few.
Once you have the muscles warm then “active” stretching is ok. For active stretching hold for about 3-5 seconds, release and then do the stretch again for 3-5 seconds. Then move on to the next stretch. You could even add an active stretch in after a few of the warm up movements. Remember you want the team warm and ready, not stretched.
Static stretching is better at the end of a practice or game. Stretch all the major muscle groups: shoulders, back, legs (upper and lower), and arms. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds then move on to the next one. Static stretching does help relax the muscle, increases blood flow, and prevents injury.
Below are some things to remember when stretching (compliments of Kids Health):
Stop if it hurts. Stretching can be slightly uncomfortable but should never hurt. If you have reached a point in your stretch where it hurts, relax to where it feels comfortable and hold the stretch.
Maintain each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Holding a stretch for any less won’t sufficiently lengthen the muscle. Holding a stretch for longer may have negative effects on future performance. Stretch the muscles gradually and don’t force it. Avoid bobbing. Bobbing or bouncing while stretching may injure the muscle you are stretching. This damage may even cause scar tissue to form. Scar tissue tightens muscles and can get in the way of flexibility.
Remember to breathe. Breathing is a necessary part of any workout, including stretching. Remind the kids to keep breathing in and out and not hold their breath.
There you have it, the proper way to warm up and stretch. If you have any questions or want to know more just shoot me an email. My address is below.
ACE, Certified Personal Trainer
This years annual St Edward parish wide golf scramble will be Saturday August 17, 2013 at Quail Chase Golf Course, tee time at 4 pm. $240 per team includes cart, greens fees and dinner. Please register by contacting Wayne West at 502 376 4106 or via email at email@example.com. This is always a fun event so we hope to see you there!
The Jtown High School football program is having a cornhole fundraiser tournament this Saturday July 27th at the gyms on Bluebird Lane. The cost is $50 for a 2 person team with registration beginning at 6 pm and first toss at 7 pm. Many of you have met Nate Jones and his wife Selena since they have joined St Edward 2 years ago. Nate is the head football coach at Jtown High school and his wife will be the new marketing director for St Edward. There are also now 3 St Edward parishioners that are helping coach at Jtown. St Edward is always great about supporting within our community as well as fellow parishioners. So if you get a chance please come out and play and also help spread the word as it should be a fun time.
Tomorrow I will be handing out spirit wear order forms for football and one is also attached to this link. All order forms MUST be turned in by Thursday July 25th in order to receive the items back in a timely matter. I am at most practices and orders can be turned in to me or given to your head coach. Thanks so much and GO BRAVES!!
St. Edward alumni, Madison Mudd was chosen on the all American tournament team for the 15 open division during the AAU national championships this week in Orlando. It is a huge honor. They only chose around 8 players out of about 600.
Her team came in 3rd over all, out of around 70 teams.
We are extremely proud of Madison, who also helped coach a 3/4 grade boys volleyball team this year.
Congratulations to the 3/4 grade baseball Braves on an undefeated season and winning the city championship tournament. In the championship they defeated St Stephen Martyr by a score of 11-5. Parker Guillaume pitched all 5 innings and also homered in the game. Nick Dawson and Cole Allgeier had triples. An all round team effort. Way to go Braves!