Monday, April 25, 2011

Dynamic stretching: Inverted Hamstring

Alternative names: The T
Objective: "To improve hamstring flexibility and balance, along with dynamic pillar stabilization." (1)
Typical length of drill: 3 mins
Materials needed: None
Skill level required: None
Description: "Dynamic stretching uses speed of movement, momentum and active muscular effort to bring about a stretch. Unlike static stretching the end position is not held [2].  Dynamic stretching is similar to ballistic stretching except that it avoids bouncing motions and tends to incorporate more sport-specific movements." (Sport Fitness Advisor)  The dynamic stretches in our current series of posts can be considered derby -specific since that is the sport that caused pain in my knee and the sport that my physical therapist was helping me return to.

Although these dynamic stretches can technically serve as warm-up exercises on their own the physical therapist that I was seeing always stressed the importance of warming up a bit before doing the dynamic stretching so that I wouldn't be completely stiff when starting. He said something like a warm shower could even be enough if I was doing the stretches at home.  At practice you could also do something as simple as jogging for a few minutes beforehand.

Suvi Hokkari, #99 problems.
Inverted Hamstring

"Starting position: Balance on your right foot with perfect posture (tummy tight, shoulders back and down). 

Procedure: Bending at the waist, and maintaining perfect posture, grab your right foot with your left hand, extending your left leg back as you fire the left glute. (You might find it easier to extend forward with both hands out, as shown, rather than while grabbing a foot.)  Your shoulder and heel should move as one, forming a straight line.  Take a step back at the end of each rep as you alternate legs. 

Coaching key(s): Your body should be in a straight line from ear to ankle [even straighter than our fabulous volunteer, if you can!].  Keep your back and pelvis flat!  Someone should be able to place a broomstick snuggly across your back. 

You should feel: A stretch in your hamstrings." (1)

Additional notes: All text from Core Performance by Mark Verstegen and Pete Williams (1).  This is part of a series of dynamic stretches that we are posting over the next few days/weeks.

(2) National Strength & Conditioning Association. Essentials of strength training & conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2000

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