Training Like an Athlete: The Importance of Dynamic Stretching

training

The Boston Red Sox had their unhealthiest season last year. In fact they were the most unhealthy in the league due to injury.  With three guys in three days on the DL at one point and David Ortiz’s ‘slight tear’ in his Achilles tendon (which remains irritated) it was an unimpressive season for the players and a grave disappointment toward the fans.  It’s pretty pathetic when browsing the internet to check on the 2013 stats at spring training there are humorous anecdotes on how the team remained ‘injury free on day 2’ in response to last season’s debacle.

“The Red Sox had 27 players serve 34 stints on the disabled list (for a total of 1,729 days missed), the most for any team since at least 1987” (espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/23595/reinold-out-as-head-physical-therapist)

Injury prevention is key to being an elite athlete and possessing an elite team. Dynamic stretching is one way to remain safe and keep the players intact. Of course it isn’t a miracle drug but it does decrease the odds of getting hurt. Not only for the professional athlete but this abides to anyone looking to enhance their performance in a safe and effective manner. So don’t try to tell me it’s a waste of time.  As a personal trainer and fitness guru I have all of my clients no matter what athletic ability they are perform a fifteen minute routine to warm-up their muscles prior to an intense work-out. This allows for improved flexibility along with a slow, steady increased heart rate. Your muscles are like rubber bands, the colder they are the tighter they are and they have the ability to ‘snap’ if you’re not careful. However, as you warm up your body the muscles loosen and gain elasticity so as not to tear as you sprint home or swing at a ninety mph pitch.

There are sport specific exercises that cater to each muscle group used in a certain movement.  For example baseball players need to focus on their core, groin, hip flexors, hamstrings and quads.  Walking lunges with a rotation is perfect to warm up the hip flexors and lateral lunges stretch the groin. So whether you are the professional athlete, the high school athlete or someone just looking for an intense workout it is most important to loosen up your muscles by beginning your work-out with a dynamic warm-up.

“Any time someone doesn’t limp off the field or get hauled away on a golf cart in camp is a good day, so the Red Sox made progress from Day One, when Clay Buchholz left with a mild hamstring strain. Not only were there no casualties, manager John Farrell said Buchholz checked out well and threw on flat ground Wednesday.” (espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/24751/todays-takeaways-day-2-is-injury-free)

In honor of the Boston Red Sox and in the hope that this season will take them to new heights let’s go out there and train safe and train hard!

2 thoughts on “Training Like an Athlete: The Importance of Dynamic Stretching

  1. Great post! Before I train Muay Thai, I jump rope for at least 15 minutes after stretching my legs and arms. Then I shadow box for a bit before I hit in our actual workout. If I skimp on the warm up, it shows during the workout and I get hurt a lot easier.

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