Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flexibility Exercises for Young Athletes

Before you participate in any type of sports and other athletic activities, you must first perform a set of flexibility exercises. This will not only help you improve your posture and physical performance but will also reduce muscle soreness and decrease risk of lower back pain and other injuries. Take note that the main goal of this set of exercises is to take your joints through a full range of motion so you’ll have more freedom of movement.

Young athletes should perform each of the exercises carefully, it does not matter how fast or slow it takes to finish the set. But make sure to warm up before performing any of these exercises. Some examples of warm up activities are walking for a couple of minutes and slowly jogging in place. After doing these, you are now ready to perform these flexibility exercises for young athletes.

1. Seat Straddle Lotus. To perform this, first sit down and then slowly place the soles of your feet together. Drop your knees towards the floor, place your forearms on the inside of your knees, and then push your knees towards the ground. After which, from the hips, you lean forward and then hold for about five seconds. Repeat this exercise three to six times.

2. Seat Side Straddle. Just like in the first one, again sit down; but this time, with your legs spread, placing your hands on the same ankle or shin. And then slowly, bring your chin towards the knee while keeping your leg straight. Now, hold for about five seconds. Repeat it three to six times, and then do it again on your other leg.

3. Seat Stretch. This is done by sitting with your legs together, while your feet are flexed and your hands are on your ankles or shins. Then slowly, bring your chin towards your needs, and hold for five seconds. Perform this exercise three to six times.

4. Knees to Chest. Do this by lying on your back, with your knees bent. Then, grasp the tops of your knees and bring them out towards your armpits, rocking gently. Just hold for about five seconds, and then repeat the exercise three to five times.

5. Forward Lunges. In this exercise, you need to kneel on your left leg and then place your right let forward at a right angle. Afterwards, you lunge forward while keeping your back straight. Hold for about five seconds, and then repeat the exercise three to six times. Do this also on your other leg.

6. Side Lunges. To do this, stand with your legs apart, and then slowly bend your left knee while leaning towards your left side. See to it that your back is straight as well as your right leg when performing this. Then, hold for five seconds. Now, repeat the exercise three to six times. After which, perform it on your opposite leg.

7. Cross-Over. As the name implies, simply stand with your legs crossed. Make sure to keep your feet close together and your legs straight when doing this. Then, slowly reach for your toes. Hold for five seconds. Now, repeat the exercise three to six times.

8. Standing Quad Stretch. To perform this, you need to stand supported by holding onto a chair or wall. Then, slowly pull your foot behind to your buttocks. Hold for five seconds. After which, repeat three to six times and then do it to your opposite leg.