To avoid an increase in football related injuries, safety precautions become more and more in depth each season. Taking care of your body as an active football player includes a good stretching routine before and after practicing.
Players’ bodies break down over time and lack of stretching vital body parts adds to the long term damage. Coaches instill their own stretching routines but players incorporate different warm ups regularly.
Players will usually warm up with a set of auxiliary stretching to get the blood flowing. It is light to medium pace to get ready for the up-tempo practice or game environment. These include high knees, high skips, high kicks, etc. Hamstrings and calf injuries are most common when athletes play unconditioned.
Auxiliary stretching with high knees. Photo by Johnathan White
If a player’s muscles go from no speed to game speed, it is more likely an avoidable injury occurs. Aggravating those injuries further adds to the long term physical toll.
Saiyan Mosley hitting leg swings. Photo by Johnathan White
Cooling down stretches are just as vital to maintaining overall well being. A simple stretch can unlock a muscle’s full capability and enhance recovery. Football requires a commitment to mind and body in equal proportion. If you treat your body well it can minimize the risks already taken with playing the game.