Training Camp — Dynamic Stretching
With August comes heat, football training camp, and 2-a-days. It’s a grueling time of year as coaches push players to their limits to get them in shape and prepared for the gauntlet of a punishing season.
Training camp tests you at every level. It covers the strategies behind the offensive and defensive systems. It creates competition between players for starting roles. It should also be performed in a way that keeps you from getting injured and prepares you for optimal performance.
And it all starts with a stretch.
You might have seen professionals moving around before practice and wondered what’s happening. What you are observing, in essence, is dynamic stretching. While many athletes continue to perform the classic stretches — what is known as static stretching — dynamic stretching combines sport-specific movements in a warm up routine that prepares you for the physical activities ahead.
In fact, static stretching may have a detrimental influence on your performance, up to 10% reduction in muscle strength and power for 60 minutes following such a stretch.
Stretches and movements such as walking knee hugs, dynamic lunge rotation, hip rotations, and backward skips improve your warm up immensely. It prepares you to move.
Also, take note of areas that feel extra tight during these dynamic warm ups. Give them a little extra attention as you prepare for your sport-specific activities.
These dynamic stretches are designed with functional motion, starting with slow stretches and progressing toward full-speed exercises. Ultimately, the goal is to prepare the athlete through raising heart rate, increasing circulation, elevating the neuromuscular response and joint motion.
Or in other words, always begin practice with a gradual progression of dynamic motion.
Dynamic warm ups keep athletes focused on the task at hand and also prevent injury. This is a big deal and often overlooked.
Too often we hear about season’s cut short before they even start. With the intense competitive spirit that emerges from training camp, injuries often pop up. Just look at the NFL this year, everyday provides a new headline about a star player dealing with an injury. So why not do everything in your power to prepare your body for the tasks at hand and begin your training camp with dynamic warm ups.
Interested in some examples of dynamic warm ups? Stop by the clinic and we’d be glad to offer some sport-specific examples!