I had zero flexibility when I played. My hamstrings were tight, my quads were tight, my hip flexors were tight, my glutes were tight, for the most part, my whole lower body was tight, and I was always sore. I sat in our “stretching circle” after practice and stretched for a second but used the rest of the time to untie my shoes, start cutting off my ankle tape before everyone else snagged the tape cutters, and talk to the rest of the girls because I just went a whole 2.5 hour practice without getting to gab! If I had known how important stretching was I probably would have put more effort into the whole stretch circle but, good flexibility goes beyond a 3 minute, quick cool down, stretch.
I know that athletes don’t have time to go to an hour yoga class consistently, but if they can spare 10 minutes a day to do a quick routine, their bodies would thank them!
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- Pigeon Pose (Stretches deep glutes and groin, this one can be uncomfortable on knees, there are a few modifications that can be made such as putting the bent knee on a block to relieve some of the pressure.)
- Pyramid Pose (Try to keep hips facing forward, the squarer the hips stay the better the stretch. This one is good for back, hips, and glutes)
- Dolphin (hamstring, upper back)
- Eagle Pose (strengthens thighs, ankles, calves. Stretches shoulders, arms, upper back. Works on balance)
- Downward Dog, with Twist (Opens hamstring for quickness and speed, stretch shoulders, and strengthens wrist. Who knew downward dog could help your athlete with their follow through on their shot!?)
- Cow Face Pose (Lower back and glutes)
What are your tips for recovery? I’d love to know! Leave a comment or find me on Instagram @ Kelsey.Fit