Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dynamic stretching: Lateral Lunge

Alternative names: --
Objective: "To open up the muscles of your groin and hips.  Also to hold pillar strength as you sit back and down." (1)
Typical length of drill: 3 mins
Materials needed: None
Skill level required: None
Description: According to everyone's favorite Wikipedia, dynamic stretching "is a type of stretching while moving, as opposed to static stretching in which one stands still" (which is the kind of stretching that a majority of us utilize).  "This form of stretching prepares the body for physical exertion and sports performance. In the past it was the practice to undertake static stretching before exercise. Dynamic stretching increases range of movement, blood and oxygen flow to soft tissues prior to exertion. Increasingly coaches and sports trainers are aware of the role in dynamic stretching in improving performance and reducing the risk of injury."  Make sure that you warm-up a bit before doing the dynamic stretching so that you are not completely stiff when starting.

Lateral Lunge

"Starting position: Stand with perfect posture.

Procedure: Step out to the right, keeping your toes pointed straight ahead and feet flat.  Squat by sitting back and down onto your right leg, keeping your left leg straight and the weight ont the right leg's midfoot to heel.  Squat as low as possible, keeping your left leg straight and holding this position for 2 seconds.  Return to the standing position and repeat.

Coaching key(s): Keep your feet pointed straight ahead and flat throughout.

You should feel: A stretch in the inside of your thigh." (1)

Doris, #404. Photo by Mick Dagger, Helsinki Roller Derby

My physical therapist had me do this stretch 8 times on each leg (so a total of 16 times).  I think this is a good starting point for anyone doing dynamic stretching for the first time, and even after having practiced dynamic stretching for 3 years I still do all of the sets in 8 repetitions. 

Additional notes: When I was in college I was hit by a car.  No, I was not rear-ended, I was a pedestrian.  I was crossing the street when out of the corner of my eye I saw an old mint-green car coming right at me and in my panic I turned around to face the car and its driver, I put my hands out and screamed "Stop!" while running backwards but after taking only two steps, WHAM! I flew onto the hood of the car.  I'm still amazed that I didn't actually get seriously hurt in that accident.  What I DID get though, was knee problems.  These knee problems were not an issue at first because I was totally unathletic, artsy fartsy feminist in college and I could never even DREAM of one day being interested in sports, so it wasn't until I started roller derby that these knee problems manifested themselves and really got in my way.  This is where the dynamic stretching comes into the picture.  After skating with New Hampshire Roller Derby for a few months my right knee started to really hurt, and not just at practice.  It was hurting in the mornings, it was hurting when I was walking to work, it even hurt during 'intimate moments' with my refband some times.  It was a total drag.  I went to the doctor and was prescribed physical therapy.  This was exactly what I needed.  In my multiple months of PT not only did my knee pain go away but I also learned a great deal of new exercises and stretches.  My physical therapist encouraged me to show all the other skaters how to do the dynamic stretches he had taught me because they really benefit EVERYONE.  The stretch in this post is one of them.  The text has been shamelessly copied from Core Performance by Mark Verstegen and Pete Williams (1).

We will be posting more dynamic stretches in the coming days/weeks, complete with demonstrations by skaters from Helsinki Roller Derby :)

1 comment:

  1. You were hit by a car??????????????????? That's horrible!
    It's so weird imagining you as a non-athlete... I don't think I an manage it!