By Erin Irish
- Walk or lightly run for three to five minutes to slightly loosen and prepare muscles for direct stretching.
- Hold each stretch for two to ten seconds.
- Repeat each stretch two to ten times or as many times as needed until muscles feel loose and ready to play.
- The shorter the stretch is held, the more repetitions should be made. The longer a stretch is held, the fewer repetitions should be made. For example, a stretch held for two seconds should be repeated ten times or a stretch held for ten seconds should be repeated two times.
- Mild discomfort means the muscles are being stretched.
- Do not bounce. Relax and exhale.
When stretching for sports like baseball, hockey, golf, tennis, to name only a few, you should use the specific equipment you’ll be using in the sport. Doing so ensures you stretch the muscles you’re going to use most during the game and help you prevent injuries.
Stretching the Shoulder:
- Roll the left arm widely.
- Roll the right arm widely.
- Use the right hand to pull the left arm across the chest, holding and pushing the elbow into the chest.
- Use the left hand to pull the right arm across the chest, holding and pushing the elbow into the chest.
- Start by holding the racket, bat, club or stick above the back of the head with both hands and pull down.
- Hold the racket, bat, club or stick with both hands behind the lower back and move up as far as possible.
- Use the right hand to hold the left elbow behind the head, pushing the elbow towards the right side.
- Use the left hand to hold the right elbow behind the head and pushing the elbow towards the left side.