When preparing for a soccer match, you need to ensure that your body is warmed up and ready for the amount of endurance and flexibility that will be needed to play without incurring an injury. By performing the right type of stretches, you will not only allow yourself to increase your flexibility, but you’ll also be able to improve your skills set, agility, and range of motion. We all see Orlando Pride players stretching and warming up before a match or even just before practice, and therefore, we know that we must do the same.
First, let’s take a look at some of the most common types of soccer stretching:
Dynamic Soccer Stretching
This particular type of stretching is used for warm ups. You’ll often see Orlando Pride players doing arm circles or swinging their legs to loosen up their joints.
Ballistic Soccer Stretching
Ballistic soccer stretching often involves bouncing or jerking movements that rely on body weight. Toe touches are a good example. Most players should AVOID ballistic soccer stretching because you can use other types of stretches to accomplish an improved range of motion.
Static Soccer Stretching
In static soccer stretching, you stretch your muscles without actually moving your limbs or joints. A quad stretch example is bringing one leg up to your backside and holding it there.
There are other types of stretching like PNF, CRAC, and isometric stretching. While those stretches tend to be more intensive, they have also been known to be very effective.
Let’s review some dos and don’ts when it comes to static stretching.
Don’t move around to different muscle groups without completing your repetitions for your original muscle group.
Do hold your stretches for 20-30 seconds with two repetitions each.
Don’t hold a stretch that is causing you an immense amount of pain. Your pain and tightness should go away as you hold the stretch for longer.
Do breathe normally throughout your stretches. Holding your breath can raise your blood pressure.
Don’t expect overnight results. If you want to see a great improvement, you will need to wait at least six weeks.
Do stretch every day or at least three to four times per week.
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