Who wants to miss out on sport because of injury? A simple warm up, stretching and cool down routine helps prevent muscle and tendon injuries and reduces pain after exercise.
The length of your routine depends on the intensity of your exercise program. More vigorous activity requires more preparation time before and after exercise.
Start with a 2 or 3 minute walk or light jog. Then do some exercises with the actions and movements used in your sport, eg jumping and kicking for Australian Rules.
Stretching is important both after the warm up and after exercising. Stretching should move all the muscles you use in your sport through the full range of movement. A stretching /warm up routine can take from 5 to 20 minutes.
- Always warm up prior to stretching.
- Stretch gently, slowly, and keep breathing.
- Hold for 10-20 seconds, without bouncing.
- Repeat each stretch 2-3 times.
- Stretch till the muscle is tight. Stretches should be uncomfortable but not painful.
Cooling down helps to prevent muscle soreness and stiffness. Do a 2-3 minute walk or easy jog after sport and 5-10 minutes of stretching of the main muscles used.
Visit: http://www.smasa.asn.au/ for a more detailed stretching routine.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.