Stretching Guidelines for a Young Athlete by Linda Banos, MSPT, Hazleton Health & Wellness Center Warming up properly not only helps prevent injuries, it also helps improve performance. Stretching is an important tool in managing the muscle imbalances that occur in a young athlete’s growing body. Stretching is used in various forms by practically every coach, athlete and physical therapist on a regular basis. The recent debate is not the importance of stretching but rather which is best: static stretches vs. dynamic stretches. Static stretches take the joint through its full range of motion and then hold below the point of discomfort for 30-60 sec. Research findings indicate static stretching is correlated with injury prevention by helping to increase range of motion and correcting postural imbalances. While research shows static stretches increase flexibility, they do not prepare a muscle for the active contractions and quick reactions needed in sports. Dynamic stretches utilize speed of movement, momentum and active muscular effort to bring about a stretch. Unlike static stretches, the end position is not held. Dynamic stretches are useful before competitions and
have been shown to reduce muscle tightness, Visit our website for more detailed informawhich can then reduce the occurrence of mus- tion about rehabilitation and fitness services: cle tears. Some examples of dynamic stretches www.hazletonhealthandwellness.org. P include arm circles, walking lunges, straight leg marches, butt kicks and leg circles. All athletes have different flexibility needs in order to avoid injury. Poor flexibility may lead to injury problems, especially tendonitistype injuries such as Osgood-Schlatters (in Be sure to stop in for our runners and jumpers) and shoulder impingements (baseball players). monthly advertised & Regular stretching is essential for the young in-store specials! athlete. As a general guide, one should make sure that athletes have a normal range of motion in all muscle groups and correct postural alignment to avoid injury. Dynamic stretches are useful prior to sports n to reduce muscle tightness, improve active criptio s e r P range of motion and prepare the muscle for Free elivery! quick reactions required for that sport. Static D stretches are useful after playing a sport once the muscle is well heated. They will help increase blood flow, prevent build up of lactic acid, which leads to muscle soreness, and help Mon.-Fri. 9am to 7pm • Sat. 9am to 2pm restore normal range of motion and postural 1749 E. Broad St., Hazleton, PA alignment required for sports activities.
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